HBC May Festival strikes back
By John Redmond
With controversy over large crowds blocking the streets and complaints of excessive noise a thing of the past, the popular Hae Bang Chon Festival (H.B.C. Fest) is back with the May 2012 Festival in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on May 25 and 26.
Taking place across multiple venues in the popular expat neighborhood in central Seoul, the festival is considered by many as a "must go, must perform" event.
Comprising of an array of over 50 acts, ranging from rock bands to folk musicians and traditional Korean artists, the festival has grown over the last seven years to embrace both local and expat artists.
The H.B.C. Fest has been held twice a year since 2006. It now attracts live acts in five venues.
In line with complaints about noise levels and people creating traffic congestion, patrons have been advised to stay inside the venues. Organizers have stressed that they will not tolerate any unruly behavior. Last year’s event prompted noise complaints to the police.f
Always expanding, the festival is a local neighborhood initiative guided by Lance Reegan-Diehl, an internationally acclaimed musician, who has been the central organizer since day one.
The festival is considered as a "gift" to local businesses who want to thank their regular customers and also invite other people, who normally wouldn't venture down from Itaewon, to sample the delights offered in "Liberation Village."
With warm weather and good music all day, the festival has quickly become one of the most anticipated events on the spring music calendar.
When it first started back in the summer of 2006, the festival pulled together around twenty bands in three bars, some of whom are still on the bill for this May's festival.
Two of the original three bars, Phillies and the Orange Tree have been joined by VFW, The Local and Camarata Acoustic Wine Bar.
Looking down the list of this year's performers, there are many acts that played in the first event, while others have played at least once, and many have come back to play in new bands, or on their own as solo musicians.
As people come and go, the festival constantly seeks to find new talent and offer new experiences.
Artists signed up for the H.B.C. May Fest on May 25 are Kenji Onizuka, Zebrafish, Willman Morcillo and The 2 Guitars at the Orange Tree. At VFW are Snack, Magna Fall, Fabulous Pendejos and Dongmyo Police Box. The Waves, The Borgnines, Hotel Asylum and Harry Big Button will perform at Phillies.
The following day will see Daniel Vaillancourt, Highway 9, John Valentine, Yvon and Ryan, “I am John," Aggressive Pedestrian, Geoff Goodman and Johnny Red at The Local. Upstairs at Phillies will see Johnny B, Michael Burkhardt, Jenny Perelstein and EARL with The International Goat Breeders, Grey of the 80's, DMCK, Sinister, Chanters Alley, Lance Reegan-Diehl Band and Minha Band playing downstairs at Phillies.
Performers at Orange Tree include Rob Roy, Kimchi Cowboys, Ether, Josh Goodman, Michael Flanigan, Tequila Tekilya, Nick Iacovino/Matt Mangano and Swag-Rok.
Dodge and the Bullets, Thrustache, SOLO, Missing Jane, Big Boned Rhythm, Blue Biscuit Blues Band and Total Assholes will be at VFW with Kerey Smith, Jennifer Waescher, Mia Zepeda, The Language of Shapes, Dirty 30’s, Seth Martin and the Menders, Cael Anton at Camarata Acoustic Wine Bar.
For more information contact www.hbcfest.com.