The Korea Times news organization held its 17th annual Korea Times Music Festival at the Hollywood Bowl on April 27. Being my first Korean music festival, I was excited to be around other K-pop stans. From the moment I stepped out of the parking lot, I was greeted warmly by the staff and those who were participating in fan projects.
To kick off the 17th Korea Times Music Festival, the pre-show consisted of a strong school performance using traditional instruments and outfits, Choi Wonhyun singing the USA national anthem, and Wanna One’s Ha Sung Woon sang the Korean national anthem. The MCs, Kim YoungChul and Lovelyz’s Kei, greeted the crowd while speaking both Korean and English. Despite the language barrier, they both communicated well with the crowd, and of course, Kim YoungChul made sure not to leave out the jokes.
I was taken by surprise that the first singing performance was by Kim YoungChul himself! Turns out, YoungChul is not only a comedian but also a singer. He certainly didn’t disappoint. This exhilarating performance was followed by an enchanting performance by Lovelyz.
The charming Ha Sungwoon took the stage while performing his latest solo songs “BIRD,” “Tell Me I Love You,” and “The Magic Castle.” After Ha Sungwoon was the adorable Choi Jinhee and the energetic 6Band.
Wrapping up the first half of the show was the legendary Super Junior, performing “Sorry, Sorry,” “Bonamana,” and “One More Time.” During their last song, “Miracle,” the members the time to greet as many fans as they could by walking around the stage and among the audience.
After the intermission, soprano Kang Hyejung and tenor Choi Wonhyun performed alone at first and then mesmerized the audience with a duet. Then, breathtaking vocal performances by Apink’s Jung Eunji and Kim Bum Soo left the audience in awe.
SHINee’s Taemin brought back the Move disease with his smooth choreography. With his performances of “Move,” “Hypnosis,” and his latest “Want,” he amazed Shawols that have waited for a long time to see him perform live.
Wrapping up the 17th Korea Times Music Festival was a thrilling performance by DJ Doc and an encore stage with all of the performers except Super Junior. During this time, the artists walked around the stage, greeting fans and even taking pictures with them.
Overall, the 17th Korea Times Music Festival was an amazing experience. Although there were no translators to interpret what the artists were saying to the fans, it was a good way to practice listening to their ments in Korean and see how much I can understand. What stood out to me about the experience was that people were very considerate of your space—not once was I rushed or pushed out of the way while walking around. Another thing that stood out to me was how usually venues don’t allow outside food or drinks into the venue, but at the Hollywood Bowl, I saw people bringing trays of food and picnic baskets.
Out of all of the concerts that I have attended, I think that the 17th Korea Times Music Festival has been the most comfortable because of the staff and the fans. What was your best experience at a K-pop concert?
Cover Image: Super Junior (SM Entertainment) - 2019 KTMF
Written by Sarah Wong