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MBC Korean Culture Festival in London
I’m sure you’ve all heard about the much anticipated MBC Cultural Festival now confirmed to be held on 23 June 2012 at the IndigO2 arena. Billed as a Culture Festival and featuring Kpop artists 4Minute, Norazo and EXO-K, the tickets for this event are sure to sell like hot cakes.
This festival will be held in celebration of the 2012 London Olympics and the cultural performances are sponsored by Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Sports and Tourism. The aim of this event is to highlight the elegance and dynamics of Korean culture. And with Kpop making a big splash all around the world with its Hallyu wave, this event plans to combine Korean traditional cultures with Kpop to present the Republic of Korea to a worldwide audience. From the press release:
The audience will be able to see an eclectic collaboration of colourful traditional Korean royal costumes fashion show, modernized traditional music stage with the contemporary Kpop performance. The event will harmonize elegant traditional culture and dynamic contemporary pop culture.
So what’s instore for us? Lets take a look at the performances:
First up, Norazo/노라조. Although this duet may not be as well known as 4Minute and EXO-K in the UK, this doesn’t mean that their stage won’t be great. This pair seem to be a couple of jokers with a talent for making comedic songs, with the talent to back it all up! The two members of Norazo are Cho Bin and Lee Hyuk and their band name, Norazo, is a play on words – 노라조 /Norajo, which sounds like ‘let’s play’ in Korean or 努喇鳥, which means ‘a bird that tries hard to blow the horn’ in Chinese. Their playful name definitely reflects their style of music and their stage is sure to be entertaining for audiences of all ages!
Next to look at, is 4Minute/포미닛! Girl group 4Minute were first to debut from the United CUBE family back in June 2009. They have since released a string of successful singles as well as debuting in Japan with dedicated Japanese single (in that Japanese singles were especially made rather than translating their Korean singles). 4Minute is made up of five members, Nam Jihyun, Heo Gayoon, Jeon Jiyoon, Kim Hyuna and Kwon Sohyun. Their band name, 4Minute, refers to the fact that they can charm you in four minutes, the average length of a song. This will be 4Minute’s second visit to the UK after the United Cube concert in December last year and they’ve recently had their Korean comeback, with the hit ‘Volume Up’; lets hope they’ll be performing this great single at the Festival.
Last but not least of the modern music acts is EXO-K/엑소케이! EXO-K is SM Ent’s latest group who debuted about two months ago, but have already received an explosive response and have soared in popularity! Along with EXO-M, they make up EXO. While K and M perform the same songs and promote at the same time, EXO-K sings in Korean and promotes in Korea, while EXO-M sings in Mandarin and promotes in China. This six member boy group is made up of Suho, Kai, Sehun, Baekhyun, D.O and ‘Happy Virus’ Chanyeol. These cuties, who’ve been promoting their dramatic debut single ‘MAMA’, have been stealing hearts and winning fans around the globe and received the loudest screams when the news of the MBC Festival was announced to UK fans. Their stage is sure to have the whole arena filled with screams!
Now what Cultural acts have MBC got in store for us? ‘Queen’, an all female modernised Korean traditional music band will be performing and representing the more traditional side of Korean music. A little about the 5 member band: “They pursue a new harmony of traditional Korean music and Classic music. Their stage involves instruments such as haegum, daegum, electric violin and gayagum with the vocal performing traditional narrative song”. Traditional Korean music stages are always really popular at the Thames Festivals and last year’s Korea Calling saw the traditional Korean music stage bust out some Kpop classics such as SNSD’s Gee and Superjunior’s Sorry Sorry so here’s hoping for an interesting fusion stage of old and new from Queen!
And one of the highlights of the Festival is Park Sul-Nyeo’s fashion show where she will be displaying some of her Traditional Korean Royal Costumes! All the amazing costumes and colours are going to be a feast for our eyes! “Park is an established hanbok (Korean traditional costume) designer, favoured by celebrities. She has been holding hanbok fashion show every year in order to promote the beauty of hanbok”. Park is quite an impressive business woman having been selected as the Female CEO Who Has Established Outstanding Success in 2008, and have received two Lifetime Achievement awards in 1999 (Yejiwon and KBS). She also has costume leases with TV programs including Yeoin Cheonha, Yeoseotsi Naegohyang, and Jang Huibin of major national broadcasting companies such as KBS, MBC and SBS – no doubt you would have seen one of her works of art without even knowing it! And if she looks familiar to you, that’s because she was the designer who dressed our very own British sweetheart Pixie Lott in a Hanbok! It’s sure to be an excellent show and a first for the UK public to get to see her works.
But how can we all get our hands on these sought after tickets?! It has been advertised that tickets will be available on Monday 11th June at 9am on Gigs and Tours and Seetickets and we have also seen the ticket being available on Ticketmaster from 10am onwards. There are some restrictions on the event that people should note. This venue and event is for those aged 14+ only, and those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18. The venue itself is the IndigO2 arena at the O2 centre. The event seems like it will be totally seated, which is fitting as it’s not just a Kpop event. However, as seating arrangements can be changed, we can’t be sure yet how the venue will be set up.
This Festival sounds amazing – a mix of modern and traditional. It will be a great opportunity to see some amazing Kpop acts, and see more traditions sides of South Korea too. So don’t miss out and make sure you get your tickets!