The 9 Best Summer Music Festivals in Korea

A crowd of festival-goers revel well into the night
A crowd of festival-goers revel well into the night | © Hanny Naibaho / Unsplash
Photo of Mimsie Ladner
16 May 2018

There’s no better place to soak up the sun and enjoy a weekend of reveling with friends than at a music festival, and South Korea hosts several of them. Whether you’re wanting to dance the night away to some of the biggest names in EDM or relax to the soul-soothing sounds of Korean indie bands, there’s an event for you. Here are some of the best to check out this summer.


May 19 – 20, 2018

Often touted as the Korean Coachella, Greenplugged is a testament to the country’s burgeoning independent music scene. Aiming to share “diverse, ethical ideas of individuals through music” as well as “the warm and invigorating sentiment of spring,” the mid-May event promises to entertain attendees, even if you don’t speak the language or are familiar with the local acts. Located at Nanji Hangang Park in Seoul, Greenplugged makes for a delightful weekend of picnics and partying with the picturesque Han River set as the backdrop.

Seoul Jazz Festival

May 19 – 20, 2018

Every May, thousands gather in the expansive grassy fields of Olympic Park in Jamsil, Seoul to enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz performed by internationally acclaimed musicians hailing from all corners of the globe. Spanning three days, the Seoul Jazz Festival also features artists from other genres as well. In 2018, the event will be headlined by Lauryn Hill, Iron & Wine, and Jessie J, providing festival-goers the opportunity to see some of their favorite acts up close and personal.

The sounds of jazz fill the summer air at the Seoul Jazz Festival | © Jens Thekkeveettil / Unsplash

Seoul World DJ Festival

May 26 – 27, 2018

First held in 2007, Seoul’s World DJ Festival was the first large-scale music event to feature electronic acts. Bringing together some of the biggest names in EDM including the likes of Porter Robinson, BTSM, Boys Noize, and Gryffin, the festival held in May kicks off the summer with a weekend of excellent music and perfect weather.

Dream Concert

May 12, 2018

Held every May in Seoul’s World Cup Stadium, the Dream Concert is without a doubt the biggest annual festival devoted completely to K-pop, not to mention the highlight of the year for fans of the genre. Featuring the hottest idol artists and stars of the moment, the one-day festival is packed with dozens of acts that delight fanboys and girls with expertly choreographed dance routines, over-the-top costumes, and performances that are certain to wow. Don’t forget to dress in the fandom colors of your favorite group!

Beautiful Mint Life

May 12 – 13, 2018

Established by the company Mint Paper in 2010, the Beautiful Mint Life festival aims to “create one of the most beautiful and peaceful weekend festivals in the world.” Featuring some of the most popular names in indie music such as 10CM, The Koxx, and MY Q, the two-day festival is the perfect way to enjoy a mellow May afternoon with friends or a special someone. In addition to live music, the Songpa event hosts a variety of cultural activities.

Beautiful Mint Life festival | © JaeHun Lee / Flickr

Rainbow Island

June 2 – 3, 2018

Perhaps there’s no better way to enjoy the warm temperatures and sunny weather of early June than attending a music festival or going on a camping trip. The Rainbow Island festival manages to offer both at the same time. Taking place on the delightful Jarasum Island, the event is simultaneously action-packed and chill, with musical line-ups featuring varied musicians like hip-hop acts Dynamic Duo and Bobby Kim as well as acoustic rock artists such as MoonMoon and Jason Mraz. Bring your own tent or reserve one that will be set up for you when you arrive.

Ultra Music Festival

June 8 – 10, 2018

Since it was established in Miami in 1999, the Ultra Music Festival has taken the world by storm, hosting a staggering 45 shindigs annually, including one in Seoul. The world’s premier electronic music festival spotlights the globe’s top DJs such as David Guetta, The Chainsmokers, and Nicky Romero, along with unparalleled stage designs and top-tier production. Generally held in June at Seoul’s Jamsil Olympic Stadium, the event is one wild weekend you don’t want to miss.

The Ultra Music Festival brings the best names in EDM to South Korea | © Marcela Laskoski / Unsplash

Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival

Rock fests are few and far between in South Korea, so the atmosphere at the annual Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival — the nation’s largest rock event — is unsurprisingly intensified. The event spans three sweltering days every July and sees some 75 bands take the stage, including local and international headliners (Oasis, Gorillaz, Lorde, The Cure, and Nine Inch Nails are among those featured in years past). Undoubtedly one of the biggest events of the summer, the festival is one of the best places to experience Korea’s growing music festival scene.

Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival

Marrying the best of both the rock and EDM worlds, the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival treats revelers to a weekend of wild summer fun every August. Since 2006, the event has been a favorite of music fans all over the country, consistently providing top-notch performances by international acts including Bastille, Fall Out Boy, and Neon Trees, in addition to Korea’s leading rock and electronic artists.

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