The 2011 World DJ Festival Has Come and Gone – WDF Review (NEH Magazine)

To follow is the intro to my official World DJ Festival 2011 review, published in the June 2011 “The Arts Issue” of NEH Magazine.

In the coming weeks I will post the six interviews that also appear in the magazine review. The June Issue features interviews with three of the world’s biggest DJs in Markus Schulz, Dada Life and Riva Starr. We also made sure to bring you some of Korea’s finest, featuring local artists J-Path, Trouble Makerz as well as DJ Some Guy and DJ Space Munkey who represent Silent Disco.


The 2011 World DJ Festival has come and gone. Beyond being a fan of a quality music festival, I was intimately involved in several aspects of this fifth annual event. From personally promoting the pre-parties, as well as the actual festival to the English speaking community through the use of several print and online media outlets, to connecting the festival to radio programs on TBSeFM and Arirang, to coordinating ticket giveaway contests and awarding the winners, to assisting in the staffing of the World Village, to interviewing headliners from Saturday night’s performances, to ensuring our local talent was also being recognized, and finally reviewing this thing until frankly, I’m sick and tired of the three letters W. D. F….I was there for a lot. That fatigue however, will be short-lived, until this magazine is printed and I realize that I can’t wait for 2012.

Ask anyone in the know, the lineup this year was ridiculous. Electronic music consumers, club promoters and project managers, both emerging local artists and top pedigree DJs all confided in me their excitement over the vast amount of amazing acts that graced the stages in Yangpyeong. Markus Schulz, AVICCI, Judge Jules, Freemasons, Dada Life, Riva Starr, Moon Beam, Taku Takahashi, Lazy Rich– these are some pretty big names.

Held in Yangpyeong, this year’s location just east of Seoul was the first time the festival has taken place outside of the major metropolis. The main reason for this was ability to stay as loud as they wanted, as late as they wanted– and loud it was, I could hear the bass booming from our pension 2 miles from the venue. For those who couldn’t bum a ride from someone with a car, it was accessible by bus and subway, and it really didn’t take that long to get out there. ( If you were bored on the subway, hopefully you didn’t follow the lead of the group who were branded “bad foreigners” in the media by setting up camp on the floor and loudly playing a game of cards, pissing off the locals in the process.)

The festival grounds were more than adequate for an event of this magnitude. Everyone I spoke to was pleased with the selection of affordable food and alcohol. My personal favorite was the 7,000 won tandoori chicken followed by a 3,000 won shot of tequila (of which I was lucky enough to get the hallucination inducing worm), chased by a 3,500 won glass of Cass on tap. The festival set up camping gear including tents and sleeping bags. For those with reservations, you didn’t have to bring a thing. For those not wanting to camp, there were several hotels, motels and pensions in the area. The ajosshi at our pension might have been the nicest man on the planet. He took a cab back to the pension after a late night out drinking with the boys to open the door for someone in our group who had been locked out of her room after a miscommunication with the key holder, and he did it with a huge smile on his face. For those going back to Seoul at night, a queue of cabs was there ready to accommodate you.

If you weren’t in the mood for music or were interested in what Korea has to offer artistically, the World Village had a little bit of everything. Urban street body art, healing energy, hula hoops, martial arts performances, all kinds of artwork– it all provided an interesting respite from the main stages of pounding music.

Your T-Money card was the only method of payment at the festival this year, which I found easy and convenient. The only grumbles I heard were from people who lost their T-Money cards or assumed the vendor was over charging them– which probably means they had consumed too many 3,000 tequila shots and soju cocktails in a bag.

I hope you enjoy our account of the 2011 World DJ Festival. This event was as enjoyable to assemble in print as it was to attend and document.


To finally put this amazing chapter of my life in 2011 to rest, I just have a few more things I want to say. There was a lot of talk leading up to the festival year. Why were they moving to Yangpyeong? What’s wrong with Seoul? What’s with this lack of communication? Why are they being accused of not treating local artists with respect?

I don’t know about all that. What I do know, is that the people that I planned, promoted, communicated and spent quite a bit of time with, were extremely gracious, conscientious and sincere people that took a lot of pride in a job well done. So whatever you’ve heard, it doesn’t apply to everyone involved. This sentiment was also shared among every performer that I had the pleasure to meet.


~ by ripcitytoseoul on June 7, 2011.

2 Responses to “The 2011 World DJ Festival Has Come and Gone – WDF Review (NEH Magazine)”

  1. Next summer, I’m supposed to go to Korea, I would like to go to the WDF 2012 but I don’t know if my dates will match with its, do you know when it will happen?

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