INTRODUCTION

Each day, the weather is growing cooler, and that signals the end of the outdoor festival season.  It has been an incredible summer with a ton of festivals and events.  We were happy to end the outdoor festival season of 2014 with a bang at Global Gathering Korea.  The event took place on Saturday, October 4th, at Jamsil Olympic Stadium.  Global Gathering Korea has moved locations over the years, and while the stadium wasn’t as beautiful as where the event was held on the Han River in the past, it was definitely more convenient than Carribean Bay (2013).

For this year’s event, thousands of people gathered to enjoy the atmosphere with artists like Idiotape, Krewella, Dada Life, Bassjackers, Shermanology, Axwell/Ingrosso, and more!  Keep reading for our coverage of the event, jam-packed with information regarding what happened in case you missed it.  Also, be sure to check out the photo gallery located at the very bottom of this page!


THE SETUP

Global Gathering Korea featured three stages at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium Complex.  The first stage was the Bunker Stage.  This was located underneath the stadium seating, giving it a true ‘bunker’ feel.  Most of the artists that played on the Bunker Stage were local acts like Baryonyx, Ffan, J-Path, Yann & Julian, and Peach Ade.  With a Funktion One speaker system set up in the Bunker Stage area, this was a bumping spot to be.

The second stage was the Sub Stage, which was located near the entrance of the stadium.  Even with the sound system pointed away from the Main Stage, you could still catch a lot of the bass from anywhere in the entire stadium.  This was a bit distracting, but overall it wasn’t much of a problem.  The Sub Stage kept a consistent crowd throughout the event and more local DJs like Bagagee=Viphex13, Jeffrey Choi, Massive Ditto, and Vandal Rock encouraged fans to jump, dance, and throw their hands in the air.

The final stage was the Main Stage, of course.  This was fairly large, but not the largest stage we have seen this summer.  The stage setup was fairly simple and the design was minimalistic.  On either side of the stage were large video screens so people from the back of the crowd could catch a glimpse of the DJs up close.

Surrounding the sides of the stadium were food/drink vendors, the VIP section, and other sponsor booths.  For some reason, the lines were quite long the entire night.  We definitely didn’t want to miss the performances, so we avoided waiting in line as much as we could.  Another thing worth noting was the bar in the center of the stadium that had a large video screen for people to watch as they waited in line.  This also let people sit down near the back of the stadium and see what was going on at the Main Stage while they relaxed their sore feet.


THE MUSIC

We spent most of the event at the Main Stage, because we didn’t want to miss the big performances, especially since a few of them had never been to Korea before!  We’ve been going to festivals and events for several years in Korea, so we had seen a couple of them before, but it is always interesting to see how they improve/change over the years.

The first big headliner was Bassjackers.  During his set, we were lucky enough to be invited backstage to grab some photos and watch some of his set.  For those that don’t know, Bassjackers is made up of two guys – one DJ and one producer.  So for Global Gathering Korea, it was just one member up there DJing.  He played a lot of Bassjackers material and high energy ‘festival house’.  His set was clean and powerful.  We caught up with Marlon, the Bassjackers DJ for an interview afterwards and he said that the energy from the crowd was absolutely insane.  It was his first time in Korea and he definitely seemed impressed.  (Our Bassjackers interview will be out very soon!)

Dada Life was up after Bassjackers.  Since we were busy with the interview, we only caught the second half or so of the Dada Life set.  For Global Gathering Korea, it was only one half of the duo performing, but the crazy Dada energy was still present.  With bananas, champagne, and wild visuals, the crowd had an amazing time interacting with Dada Life.  The set left everyone wanting more, and the next duo definitely gave it to them.

Krewella took to the Main Stage next and kept the party going throughout the entire timeslot.  We’d seen Krewella before at UMF a couple years ago, but we were impressed at their performance last weekend.  With Rain Man no longer in the group, the two sisters both DJed and sang for the thousands of fans in the crowd.  Bringing hard bass music, the crowd didn’t seem to mind, and they raged to the max until the music stopped and the lights faded.

Originally Knife Party was supposed to perform for Global Gathering Korea, but they suddenly had to cancel their Asian dates for the weekend.  In their place, Global Gathering Korea welcomed the brother and sister team of Shermanology.  They’ve released some very recognizable songs over the years, and it was cool to have another act that featured live vocals.

Finally, the big headliners of the night were ready to go on.  Two-thirds of the popular trio Swedish House Mafia made their way to Seoul to play.  Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso took to the stage.  When the curtain dropped, they were standing, hands held, for a screaming crowd filled with cell phones.  We’ve never seen a crowd so excited to see an act.  As their first song dropped, fireworks burst in the air, and the music was drowned out by screams.  Playing songs of their own with other popular progressive/Swedish house tunes won the crowd over.  They didn’t have the same energy or power of earlier acts, but they didn’t need to because they are Axwell and Ingrosso.  Nonetheless, it was a good experience to finally witness the two playing together in South Korea.


WHAT WE LIKED & CONCLUSION

So, here’s what we liked/appreciated about Global Gathering Korea 2014.  First of all, we felt that the event was well organized.  The staff was helpful and they had great lines of communication.  The entrances to stages, toilets, the VIP section, etc. were clearly marked and easily accessible.

We also liked the location this year.  As we mentioned in the introduction, this was more convenient than Carribean Bay.  With the event ending before the subway closed, people were able to enjoy themselves and get home or the after parties cheaply and easily.

The musical selection was good overall.  Many festivals have just DJs, but Global Gathering made sure to include live acts like Idiotape and acts with live vocals like Krewella and Shermanology.  This gave the festival enough variety and made it unique in comparison to other events.

The atmosphere was nice in that it was modest, yet effective in portraying emotion.  The stage didn’t distract from the acts.  It complemented the music and performers in the right ways.  The screens also helped people see closeup shots of the performers and were great for displaying advertisements and short videos during setup times between the acts.  The visuals behind the DJs/performers were different from the side screens, which allowed for the individual acts to express creativity.

We also want to give the fans a bit of encouragement and gratitude.  We saw and met a lot of people that were really getting into the festival and experience.  Having a positive mindset and participating is a huge part of attending a festival.  We took some great photos of people that worked hard on planning their festival attire.  From full costumes to kandi to masks and flags, it is awesome that Korea is starting to use festivals to set trends and showcase their creativity.  When the DJs and performers interacted with the crowd, the fans responded and that’s so important.  For an event to be successful, everyone has to feed off each other.  The performers look to the crowd to give themselves energy, and the crowd is looking to the performers.  If everyone is giving off good vibes, then the whole experience is so much better. We witnessed that at Global Gathering Korea 2014, and we loved it!

Global Gathering Korea has been a staple in the outdoor festival lineup in Korea for several years now, and we think that this year shows that they have no signs of stopping.  We are excited to see the event get bigger and better in the years to come!

If you want to share your thoughts or feelings about Global Gathering Korea or any other events that we cover at ElectRow, then drop us a line at submissions@electrow.com!

 Thank you to all the performers, organizers, and staff!


PHOTO GALLERY