Posted on 03 May 2010.
Author’s note: There’s bound to be updates to this month’s events – keep checking back for more information and new events!
A few things I haven’t found enough information for, but you might still hear about:
- Dongdaemun Spring Shopping Festival
- Gangnam Fashion Festival
- Art in Bloom
- Seoul International Book Fair
- Children’s Design Camp
The Hi Seoul Festival has been canceled – look for it in September to mid-October. Why? Heaven forbid we have a festival celebrating a seasonal change when there’s been a peacetime tragedy.
April 23 – May 9 – Goyang Flower Show. Time to marvel at the flowers, and I’m not just talking about the cherry blossoms here. Held once every three years near Lake Park, it’s definitely worth checking out if you like flowers at all. See the official website for more information.
April 29 – May 7 – Jeonju International Film Festival (전주국제영화제) – one of the best Korean film festivals worth seeing. Not far from Seoul, here’s the link in English.
May 1 (7:30pm): Camarata Music Company’s second major performance – Duruflé’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, along with Rheinberger’s “Stabat Mater” – plenty of classical music performed by a choir of both expats and Koreans. Check out the event’s Facebook page or go to camaratamusic.com for more. Changshin University, near Walker Hill, 20,000 won admission.
May 1-5: Damyang Bamboo Festival (담양대나무축제) – the area is known for its bamboo forest, although it’s quite popular during the festival season. Check out the English-language site for more.
May 1-5: Ansan Street Arts Festival – gotta love the events that are exactly what they sound like. Check out the official website for more information.
May 2 (7pm): Andrea Bocelli – the classic Italian operatic singer comes to Seoul. Great for a classy date, or if you’re a fan of his powerful voice. Call Interpark at 1544-1555.
May 2: Chuck Mangione – the famous trumpet player has two shows, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the Sejong Center. Don’t ask me why a trumpet player’s performance calls for 6-figure ticket prices. Call Interpark at 1544-1555.
May 2 & 3 – Auditions for “Pirates of Penzance” with the Camarata Music Company. From the announcement: “Please prepare one song to sing for us. It doesn’t have to be from the show, but can be if you want. What we want to hear is something that shows off your ability. [It s]hould be lighthearted, as this whole show is lighthearted. We will have some script reading, to hear how well you are with dialogue. A pianist will be provided for the audition!” Contact Ryan Goessl for more information – 010-9806-8655 or goesslry AT gmail.com. For more information about Camarata Music Company, check out their website.
May 4-8: Chunhyang Festival in the City of Love (Namwon) – don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it either. A supposedly true Korean love story is the cause celebre, while the focus rests on resisting immorality and corruption. Expect a parade, a shamanistic rite, a singing competition, and more. See the official government site for more.
May 5: Children’s Day. You may or may not get this day off of school/work – if you do, expect any place popular with children to be nuts.
May 7-8: The Seoul International Wines and Spirits Expo (call it SWSEXPO for short). It’s aimed at people interested in what’s new in the business or those interested in the business, so don’t expect to be treated like an alcoholic. All the same, check out the English-language website for more information. 20,000 won gets you a wine glass and entrance to the expo.
May 7: RAK 2010 – Raising Awareness in Korea for Bear Necessities, the Dasi Hamkke Center, and a celebration of World Bellydance Day. Typically I don’t list fundraisers, but the scheduled entertainment promises to be worth your time and money. Comedians, dancers, belly dancers, spoken word artists, hip-hop, and the Seoul Players bringing the theater – all donating their time for a good cause. Club Ta, Hongdae, 15,000 won gets you in and a free drink. Check out this Facebook page for more.
May 8-9 (2pm on the 8th til 6 a.m. on the 9th): The World DJ Festival. While the whole world isn’t quite represented, DJs will be coming from quite a few nations to spin their tunes. Han River Park, Nanji area. See the official website for more details.
May 8-9: Haengju Culture Festival 2010. Held up in Goyang, I don’t have a lot of information about it quite yet. Expect to see, hear, and taste some of the culture coming from northern Gyeonggi-do.
May 11 & 14: The Seoul Jazz Festival – two nights of jazz featuring Woter Hamel (11th), Matt Bianco, D’Sound (14th). English booking available: 02-563-0595. Don’t go expecting real jazz, though (read gordsellar’s take first).
May 12-16: The Seoul International Book Fair – take a guess what’s happening here. Read books, listen to seminars, and take a look at what’s coming out. COEX Mall, conference hall A & B. For more information, check out the English-language website.
May 12-16: International Robot and Artificial Intelligence 2010. Expect to see plenty of robots and cool stuff. The English-language website still shows information about last year’s event, but keep your eyes open.
May 15: KOTESOL’s National Conference, down in Daegu. A couple of big names in the ESL world will appear: Aleda Krause and Steven Cornwell. For more information, check out their page on the event.
May 15: And now, for something completely different – an impersonation contest. Hosted by Bar Bliss in Itaewon, First prize is 500,000 won CASH. Costumes and performances equally matter to the judges, so find the clothes to go with your voice. For more information, check out the bar’s blog.
May 15-16: The Lotus Lantern Festival – held a week before Buddha’s Birthday, there’s plenty going on to feel like a tourist. This is one of the few events put on that truly caters to foreigners, even if you feel a little patronized by all the attention. Last year there were stage performances, souvenirs, and lanterns abound. The main highlight of the festival is the Lantern Parade – 7 p.m. in front of Tapgol Park and around the Jogyesa area. (Jonggak Station in Seoul, line 1)
May 21: Buddha’s Birthday. The guy’s getting old, but that’s no reason to avoid the excellent events in downtown Seoul (in the Jogyesa area) or any of the other festivities planned throughout the country. Look for the Dharma Service at 10 a.m. at Buddhist temples, while the Lantern Lighting will be at 7 p.m.
May 21: The Shorts Show, sponsored by http://www.rootexperience.com/. The Shorts Show is a night designed to provide an opportunity for individuals or groups to showcase or try out new work. Each short performance must last a maximum of 20 minutes. The idea is just to give it a go in front of an enthusiastic audience.
May 21-22 – “Stones in his Pockets” – the hit comedy play by Marie Jones comes to Busan after a Broadway run and several performances in Seoul (May 1-16 – see above). Ol’55 in Kyungsung (Kyungsung University Station, exit 3; Ol’55 is under the Family Mart) for four performances, 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. each day. E-mail stonesinkorea (at) yahoo.com for reservations or call 016-695-4624 for information.
May 21-22: Green Plugged – five stages of mostly Korean music with a “green” theme. For more information and the lineup, check out greenplugged.com (English version supposedly available but not currently working) Noeul Park, in World Cup Park.
Brian in Jeollanam-do has some more events going on in the month of May – there’s plenty of stuff there that isn’t here, so check it out.
© Chris Backe – 2010
Chris in South Korea does not receive any money or special favors for promoting or mentioning the above events.