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Global Gathering

10. 8. 2011

For all of the epic pictures from Global Gathering, take a peek at my Flickr.

I have been to quite a few of incredible music festivals, but Global Gathering easily rises to the top. Global Gathering is a huge worldwide electronic music festival and, lucky for us, the last stop of the year was Seoul.

Accompanied by two hesitant new friends, with no tickets, trekking across parts of Seoul none of us had even been close to before, it is no small miracle that the evening was such a success.

Having only arrived in Seoul a few weeks prior and only finding out about the festival mere days before it was to occur, I went to the festival totally blind. Myself and two fantastic friends strapped on our party pants, popped our soju cocktails and hopped on the subway on a Saturday afternoon to find ourselves some glow sticks and electronic music.

Two hours after leaving our apartment and several plastic bottles of cocktails later, we walked over an ambiguous bridge to find ourselves facing a beautiful scene: the Han River as a backdrop for a sea of white tents. We had arrived! Would we find tickets? Would they accept credit cards? So many questions and so many unknowns. Much to our surprise and delight, the answer was yes and yes!

Hearts fluttering, we crossed into the festival. Immediately amidst a crowd equal parts Westerners and Koreans, we found ourselves in, what we’ll call, Tent #1. In awe, we watched a pumping crowd listen to what seemed to be a sort of Korean rock / pop/ rap band. Armed with draft beers we migrated onward.

As we traversed the festival, we acquired flashing glasses and glow sticks galore. What kind of electronic music festival would it be sans flashing lights? After enjoying already a few dance parties in several tents, our favorite of which was dubbed The Jungle Tent, Digitalism was up. Nothing but love here. We migrated to the front and danced for the entire show. The crowd was full of love, good energy and an ample supply of bag drinks.

Bag drinks? What could that possibly be? Need a hands-free way to consume your alcoholic beverages? This is Korea’s solution. Stick the drink in a plastic bag and where it around your neck. Pure genius! The festival grounds were also crawling with great food tents and street food carts. Tacos, quesadillas, hot dogs and, of course, the typical Korean fixings, this was a foreigners dreamland.

Groove Armada closed out the festival and the dance party continued. What I really enjoyed about this festival was not only the fantastic company of two great friends, but great energy from everyone at the festival. Groups of people dressed up as oompa loompas, tall Western men donning crazy costumes like giraffes and dinosaurs, Koreans wearing enormous amounts of glow sticks… anything went at Global Gathering.

We even managed to leave with neon warpaint painted on our faces. Successful evening? I think so.

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