Every year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Organization organize the Seoul Festa, in which various activities that showcase different popular cultures of Korea are held for tourists. Last Sunday (30th April), I went to Jamsil Olympic Main Stadium to attend the opening ceremony of Seoul Festa K-pop Super Live. I enjoyed incredible performances from famous singers and K-pop idol groups and spent an unforgettable night with around 40,000 K-pop fans worldwide.
首爾市政府和首爾觀光財團每年也會舉辦首爾節（Seoul Festa），在市內的旅遊景點舉辦多姿多彩的活動，讓世界各地的旅客感受韓國大衆文化的魅力。 4月30日，我到了蠶室奧林匹克主體育場參加首爾節開幕音樂會K-pop Super Live，欣賞多個人氣歌手和偶像組合的演出，並與約四萬名來自世界各地的K-pop粉絲歡度了難忘的一晚。
K-pop fans from all over the world flocked to the Jamsil Olympic Main Stadium to join the Seoul Festa opening ceremony
Before the show officially began, the emcee briefly introduced some background information about the line-up. He even demonstrated the greeting slogans of each idol group, which was genuinely creative and hilarious! Then, he taught various events of the Seoul Festa. This year, the festival runs for eight days, from 30th April to 7th May, featuring many experiential activities, exhibitions, and performances in tourist spots across Seoul. For example, Seoul Culture Experience Zone is set up in Gwanghwamun Square to provide K-drama and K-beauty experiences. Myeongdong will be transformed into a gallery full of aesthetic artwork to showcase the beauty of K-artwork.
演出正式開始前，大會司儀向觀眾逐一簡介當天參演的歌手和組合的背景，更示範了各個偶像組合的問候口號，真的十分有趣！ 接著，他介紹了首爾節的各項活動。 今年的首爾節於4月30日至5月7日舉行，為期8天，期間首爾的各個旅遊熱點將會舉辦多項體驗活動、展覽、和演出。 例如光化門廣場設立了首爾文化體驗區，讓遊客體驗韓國電視劇和美妝文化。 而明洞街頭則會化身成為一個畫廊，透過設置巨型藝術品以及氣球、壁畫、和塗鴉，讓遊客感受韓國多樣的文創魅力。
After Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon gave an opening speech, the emcee used Mayor Oh's name to make a creative three-line acrostic poem, which made the audience laugh. Finally, the emcee performed PSY's globally hit "That That." The audience also sang and danced with the emcee, lifting the stadium's atmosphere.
首爾市長吳世勛致歡迎辭後，司儀以吳市長的姓名創作了一首有趣的三行詩，逗得全場觀衆捧腹大笑。最後，司儀更即席表演了PSY紅遍全球的名曲 “That That”，為接下來的演出揭開序幕。 在場觀眾也熱烈地歡呼，並跟著司儀一起合唱和跳舞，場內的氣氛瞬間被炒熱起來。
The glamorous stage brightened up the stadium
After "warming up" for half an hour, the first performer, girl group Kep1er, finally kicked off the K-pop mega show at 8 pm by performing their debut song "WA DA DA" and new drop "Giddy." The show was hosted by THE BOYZ's leading dancer Juyeon and actress Shin Ye-eun, who recently starred in the popular Netflix drama "The Glory." The duel introduced the impressive line-up joining the show, which included rapper Lee Young-ji and BE'O, as well as many K-pop idol groups which have gained massive fame in Korea and overseas in recent years, such as STAYC, IVE, ENHYPEN, iKON.
經過半小時的“熱身”後，第一組表演的組合Kep1er終於登場。 她們表演了兩首歌曲後，兩位主持人組合THE BOYZ的主舞柱延，以及出演《黑暗榮耀》的演員辛叡恩隨即為觀眾介紹接著演出的單位。 音樂會的演出陣容十分鼎盛，除了有知名饒舌歌手李泳知和BE'O，更有STAYC， IVE， ENHYPEN， iKON 等多組近年來於海內外均獲得高人氣的偶像組合。
THE BOYZ performed "Thrill Ride" under the glittering firework
THE BOYZ在燦爛的煙火效果下演唱名曲“Thrill Ride”
Even though it was raining throughout the show, and the rain got heavier as the show went on, all the singers tried hard to pull off their best performance for the fans. The poor weather also did not weaken the enthusiasm of the audiences and their love towards their favorite artists. Fans cheered so loudly while waving their lightsticks under the rain to show their support for their idols.
During the break, a video showing rookie girl group NMIXX introducing famous Seoul cuisines was directed. The members recommended many mouthwatering foods such as Korean beef, soft tofu stew, potato stew, and tuna seaweed rice rolls. This made me want to try out all the delicacies right away! Finally, "pirate boy group" ATEEZ performed two of their phenomenal hits, "Halazia" and "The Real," under dazzling fireworks (Watch: Seoul Festa 2023 K-pop Super Live - ATEEZ "The Real"). Their powerful performance left all the audiences in awe and brought the two-hour K-pop fiesta to a perfect end while simultaneously kicking off the exciting Seoul Festa in the coming week.
ATEEZ concluded the K-pop extravaganza with their stunning performance
On the day of the show, I saw many guided tour groups bringing tourists from all over the world to attend the concert, and many tourists brought their idols' lightsticks with them. This reflects that K-pop is a crucial factor that drives the tourism development of Korea. As K-pop continues to receive immense popularity worldwide, and different countries are gradually loosening their travel restrictions, K-pop will be able to attract more tourists to visit Korea and experience the Korean Wave. If you visit Korea this week, participate in Seoul Fest activities in tourist attractions around Seoul, and enjoy this annual tourism fiesta!
Authors: Bonnie Lo
Pictures and video: Bonnie Lo
Translations: Bonnie Lo (CHN)