I wanted to write a big, detailed explanation of The Zandari Festa, which takes place in Seoul between Friday, September 30th and Monday October 3rd, but I decided to keep it short and tell you this:

-More than 160 indie artists/bands playing over the 4 days.

-Bands from all over the world, including Korea, USA, Madagascar, South Africa, China, Cambodia and many more.

-Zandari Festa takes place in the famous Hongdae district of Seoul.

Read on for more information.

Started in 2012, Zandari Festa quickly established itself as South Korea’s largest music showcase festival. The annual event takes place in Seoul’s Hongdae area, the epicenter of youth culture in South Korea and ground zero for the country’s indie music scene. Each fall, Zandari Festa brings together acts and music industry professionals from around the world for concerts and conferences at a number of unique venues around Hongdae. One wristband allows festival-goers access to all of Zandari Festa’s shows.

Along with showcasing established acts and exciting up-and-comers from South Korea’s burgeoning indie scene, with each passing year Zandari Festa has placed a greater emphasis on becoming a truly global event. At 2012’s inaugural Zandari Festa, acts from two other countries traveled to Seoul to perform. The 2016 event will feature artists from 18 different countries. This year will also see two special branded showcases, the “Sound City Takeover at Zandari Festa” British Night and the “Esprit Français” French Night, that will highlight some of the top emerging talent from both places. By attracting more international talent, Zandari Festa has been able to expose audiences to a wider range of musical talent and has helped build bridges that have allowed for Korean and overseas artists and Korean and overseas music companies and festivals to better communicate, work together, and learn from each other.

Zandari Festa 2016 will take place from September 30 – October 3 and will see more than 160 acts performing at a dozen venues to enthusiastic crowds of music fans, journalists, and global industry professionals. Featuring four days packed with showcases from fantastic homegrown and international acts, this year’s Zandari Festa promises to be the most exciting edition of the festival yet!

Press Quotes:
“This really has grown considerably since its inception in 2012, fast becoming one of the hottest festivals around.” – Cubed3

“Zandari Festa has become a precious jewel of the Hongdae music scene.” – The Secret World of the Korean Indie Scene

“… the Seoul-based event is definitely growing in stature and is rightfully becoming one of Korea’s more talked about fests in the local and overseas indie scenes.” – View of the Arts

“… one of the country’s ‘must-attend’ autumn musical outings.” – Groove Korea

“… the largest indie music festival in Korea and one that adds even more exotic musical flavor to an already simmering Hongdae indie stew!” – 10 Magazine

Two of Korea’s top indie bands, Crying Nut and The Dead Buttons will be performing.  Here’s what they had to say about the festival.
Crying Nut accordionist/keyboardist Insoo Kim.
Crying Nut play on Monday, October 3 at 9 pm at MUV Hall.

You have played Zandari Festa a few times before. How have you seen the festival change over the years?

The festival is getting better and better with each passing year. There are more new friends to be made, more foreign artists to meet and watch performances from, and more kinds of music to enjoy.  It is wild and a bit chaotic.  It feels like home to me.

Does Crying Nut have any special plans for your Zandari Festa 2016 showcase?

We’re just going to go out and have lots of fun.  I find that having no plan is usually the best plan.

What advice do you have for international bands coming to Zandari Festa?

Beware of  makgeolli, it really sneaks up on you! Listen to lots of music, meet lots of people, and enjoy Hongdae.  Oh, and drink, drink, drink!

Why should all music fans in Korea attend Zandari Festa?

Because it’s one of the best weekends of the year if you’re an indie music fan living in Korea.

Dead Buttons guitarist/vocalist Jihyun Hong. 
Dead Buttons play on Sunday, October 2 at 5 pm at MUV Hall.

You have played Zandari Festa a few times before. How have you seen the festival change over the years?

I think it’s getting stronger and becoming better known around the world.  But despite this happening, the festival is still staying true to its original goals of creating an event that supports musicians.

Do you have any special plans for your Zandari Festa 2016 showcase?

We’re making a new setlist and fine tuning our performance to help give our showcase more impact.

What advice do you have for international bands coming to Zandari Festa?

Enjoy it!  The festival really respects musicians and does lots to make sure that artists have a great experience at the event.

Why should all music fans in Korea attend Zandari Festa?

It’s a showcase festival so that means you can discover lots of new bands from lots of different countries that play lots of styles of music. And you can also see a different side of acts that you already know and love.

Also playing at the festival will be The Dizzy Brains from Madagascar. This will be their first time performing in Asia.  Here’s vocalist Eddy
The Dizzy Brains will play at Club FF at 7 pm on October 3.

Why are you excited to come to Seoul to play at Zandari Festa?

How could we not be excited about performing in Korea?  Playing in Korea is part of our dream to perform all over the world, and this dream is finally coming true, so of course we are excited! But as always, when we give a concert the most exciting thing is the feeling we have when we discover a new stage.

Apart from playing, what else would you like to see or do while you’re in Seoul for the festival?

Once our showcase is finished, we’d like to explore Seoul.  We’ve seen many things about Korea on TV and in newspapers and the landscapes and culture seem very beautiful and interesting.  We will be very happy if we can spend a bit of time admiring the beauty of this country.  Our schedule is going to be very busy, but we’re hoping to find some time to discover Korean culture and enjoy it.

There are over 160 acts playing at Zandari Festa 2016. With so many options, why should everyone be sure to catch your showcase?

We recently learned that there will be 160 artists performing and it made us realized that Zandari Festa is a huge event and an incredible musical crossroads for bands. Why should people come to see The Dizzy Brains? That’s a good question. Onstage, we’re just four guys who play rock and who get excited and stimulated by everything that surrounds us and makes us feel dizzy. We’re just normal guys who only have music as a means to express our rage and love. People thankfully seem to enjoy what we’re doing.  We hope to see you at Zandari Festa, and that you will too.


The Zandari Festa is a must see for fans of indie music…hell, it’s a must see for any music fan.


Check out this video from last year’s fest.

Get up to Seoul this weekend and support indie music.

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