Lance Reegan-Diehl has to be considered a legend to the independent music scene in South Korea. Aside from his phenomenal guitar work, he is also the founder of the HBC music festival in Seoul. This year, HBC celebrated it’s 10th anniversary, and it’s bigger and better than ever. Lance took the time to reminisce about the past and discuss this Fall’s festival which takes place on October 16th and 17th. Here’s what he had to say…
Congratulations on 10 years of the HBC Festival in Seoul.
Let’s start way back at the beginning. Where did the idea for HBC come from?
The HBC fest began in 2006, we started with 3 bars. It has grown from there. Originally it was started because it meant that we had something to do. Now it’s a must have event!!
I know it’s a long time ago, but can you remember the highlights of the first festival?
I remember the performances, the jovial spirit. A certain authority figure smacking Mark Baker in the head for singing and playing his guitar in the street late at night. I certainly started a rumble in the “Sleepy town of HBC”
Were there any logistical problems when you first started?
Setting gear was fine, as I already had my studio established and I had enough gear on hand.
Did you honestly think after that first festival that you would someday be celebrating 10 years?
I never thought it would last this long or endure as something that people would look forward too.
Who are some of the more memorable performers you’ve had on stage?
Kimchi Cowboys, EV Boys, Frank Barrisi, Skasucks, Used cassettes, Pentasonic, Diamond Randy Reno. These stick out, but keep in mind all bands and performers put their hearts into this. And I see as many as I can!!!
How many bands applied to play that first year and how many bands have applied for this fall’s festival?
2006 festival had 28 acts in 2 bars. This Fall, the festival has over 90. May fest 2015 was at 126 acts.
For people or bands who are interested in performing, are there any rules regarding the kind of music they should play?
Play music, it must be performed live. Have a great time. That’s about it. It’s a free fest. No sense restricting people’s artistic license for something they volunteer to do.
Where can people sign up?
How do you decide on who should play and where they should play?
The schedule is decided on sometimes by when an act can arrive, as some are out of towners. Usually a deciding factor is also how long they have been at it, and the type of show they have. The acts with tenure and polish get a better later spot.
(The schedule for the fall fest is here)
A question only partially related to HBC, but how is the music scene in Korea?
Given the flood of voice talent shows, EDM parties, and K-pop bands that feature lip-sync artists and dancers only, I am quite surprised that there is a live band music scene. With the decline of music instrument sales worldwide, it’s a wonder people still want to play music live, or even study an instrument. Music study is often viewed as boring by most young folk by the way, very few these days get into it like earlier generations have. But I guess that’s just it though. The few that know it, and stick with it, even through adversity find there is a distinct feeling of energy, creativity, and inspiration you get from an actual ‘LIVE’ performance that just doesn’t translate in any other medium. And I think live music will always find a home. And in Korea it seems to be staying alive in the underground.
What can bands and fans expect from this year’s festival?
A whole lotta performance, a whole lotta live and a few new venues taking place.
On a personal note, what’s happening with your other projects, LRD Band and Deeleebob Music?
Currently my band is performing all the time. We are on an event schedule that keeps us hopping. As well we have upcoming performances for the U.S. Army, and for the U.S. Air Force. I will be traveling to Shanghai China to perform in the Expo center for Swing Guitars, and Olympia Strings Oct. 13th and 14th. So I will be flying in just to setup the HBC Fest.
Congratulations on 10 years! Here’s to 10 more.
Official Press Release:
HBC Fall Music Festival 2015 – Fall in love with music again…..
The 2015 HBC Fall Fest will take place on Friday, Saturday October 16th, and 17th In the two neighborhoods in Yongsan Gu known as ‘Hae Bang Chon’ and ‘Kyung Li Dan’. The HBC festival is ‘the’ expat music festival featuring over 100 live acts in housed in independent venues spread over four days, and it is the largest independent artist showcase in Korea. The festival first began in 2006 as a showcase for independent musicians, with that idea in mind it has continued to blossom with each new season.
A verifiable boost to the local economy, the small streets where the action happens is very famous as a local expat hangout. And the streets in the area have been even more popularized by MBC and by SBS for showcasing certain restaurants and the unique culture of the area for what is now a ‘Yongsan’ independent music festival. The unique part of the H.B.C. Fest in Korea, is it is made by independent people, that love to support and hear ‘LIVE’ music.
The festival has always swayed with the demands of both musicians and venues, and with that the size and scope of the festival has fluctuated through the years. Fall Music Festival 2015 sees the return of these venues Phillies, Bonny’s Pizza Pub, The Cave, Hidden Cellar, Genie Pub, Thunderhorse Tavern, Camarata Music Studio, Pet Sounds, Southside Parlor, , Craftworks, Kimchi Sounds, and adding to the mix; V-Lounge, Bedrock, Hair Of The Dog, and Maloney’s Pub.
Street level acoustic performers will entertain the busy bars, while below ground a plethora of rock, alt-rock, funk, blues, R&B bands will keep the air vibrant until 1am. With shows starting from Oct 16th at 9pm until 12am and beginning again the next day Oct 17th from 3pm until 1am.
Additional supporting places for HBC Festival are: Jacoby’s Burgers, Casablanca Sandwiches, UnBuckle, Gogi Chip, Al Matto, and, Fat Cat deli. The festival is provided and paid for by the local businesses in order to give independent artists a place to play, and to rejuvenate the local economy in the area once again. While not every business in HBC/KLD area is a venue for live music, there are many who openly encourage the festival. These businesses can be clearly recognized by the HBC Fest posters in their windows, and the support they give to HBC Fest.
The HBC Festival is a DEELEEBOB Music Production, with Lance Reegan-Diehl being the central point between artists, venues and business owners. Music sponsors for the festival, that also endorse Lance Reegan-Diehl as an Artist, include Sound Drive Amplifiers, Graphtech, Swing Guitars, Olympia Strings and Straps, along with all participating business owners in the Hae Bang Chon, and Kyung Li Dan area.
Lance will also be performing at the Music Messe in China on October 14th and 15th for Swing Guitars and Olympia strings right before his festival kicks off in Seoul Korea. He will be flying in to administer and setup the fest.
“The festival would not be a success without the perseverance of indie musicians out there, and the open mind and support of the local business owners that I have in this area.” says Reegan-Diehl. “I hope for future that more owners and musicians see a benefit to supporting the Festival and the efforts of my company DEELEEBOB Music.”
The festival begins on Friday October 16th with the music starting at 9pm to around midnight. Saturday the 17th is an entire day of music from 2pm until 1am with 20 plus venues and over 100 performances. Sunday the 18th will see us left with a few performances, singer songwriter afternoon at Craftworks 2pm to 6pm, followed by the HBC Blues Closing Jam from ‘Hangouver’ at Phillies Pub 7pm to 9pm and the Hidden Cellar Open Stage.
Entry to this music festival will cost you absolutely nothing! Buying a Tshirt is encouraged. Fest T-shirt’s are at KRW15,000 to support the festival, located at Phillies, V-Lounge, and in the DLB tent that is supporting Tshirts, fliers, maps, and other festival items.
For more details, including an updated schedule and list of performers, please visit the main website www.hbcfest.com and the Facebook links.
DEELEEBOB Music – HBC Festival, 47-B1, Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu,
Seoul, Korea, 140-842 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT : LANCE REEGAN-DIEHL PH: 070 7538 4716
A few of the participating artists:
Lance Reegan-Diehl Band
Blue Tooth Blues Band
Land Of Peace
Grand Seoul Central
Dave Beck Band
분홍7/boo nong chill
A Couple Cents Flat
and about another 80 or so more entries…….
All those artists perform for free while the venues make a bunch of money.