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[Review] Jisan Valley Rock Festival Brings Out the Rock ‘n’ Roll in Everyone

Rating Rating more Two Stars

2012.07.31 15:10 Mwave Nancy Lee

Rock music may not be for everyone, but for anyone with even a spark of the rock ‘n’ roll spirit, the 2012 Jisan Valley Rock Festival was enough to ignite or recharge that fervor.

[Review] Jisan Valley Rock Festival Brings Out the Rock ‘n’ Roll in Everyone

The musical acts, from Radiohead and James Blake to The Stone Roses, that took center stage throughout the weekend were, for obvious reasons, the major draw to Jisan this year, and they definitely did not disappoint.

But if the big names were what got attendees to show up, it was the laidback atmosphere and freewheeling crowd that made the three-day rock music marathon a truly worthwhile experience.

[Review] Jisan Valley Rock Festival Brings Out the Rock ‘n’ Roll in Everyone

While Jisan draws out mostly 20- and 30-somethings, it wasn′t suprising to see babies in strollers and ajummas sitting under parasols in the ski resort-turned-adult playground at Jisan Forest Resort among the tattooed rock fiends.

Hallyu royalty Jang Keun Suk, LeeSsang’s Gary and actress Shin Se Kyung were all spotted at the festival this year, adding to the mix of the eclectic crowd.

Unlike Seoul, Jisan Valley also proved to be a haven for singles, as there were more mixed groups of friends blasting each other with super soakers than lovey-dovey couples pulling out the PDA.

And while the big shows didn′t start till later, people swarmed the park grounds, striking poses at the various themed-photo walls, in line to enter the numerous giveaways or picking up swag, from beauty product samples to free drinks. Or cooling off by the stream - but most spent the majority of the day stuffing their faces at food stalls, or getting buzzed from all the readily available alcohol.

[Review] Jisan Valley Rock Festival Brings Out the Rock ‘n’ Roll in Everyone

From the standard carnival fare of hot dogs, kebabs and even caramel popcorn, there was enough finger-licking food to satisfy attendees’ mid-afternoon and midnight munchies, while the resort cafeteria served up warm Korean dishes all day.

For the 19 and older crowd, a wristband granted access to Smirnoff’s pop-up bar and several Max Beer’s pubs spread throughout the resort grounds, while smaller vendors provided other spiked drink varieties, including cocktails by the bucketful and jello shots served cleverly in plastic syringes at “emergency” bars.

But the standout food stall rolled into the festival on wheels. ICEPLIN, the new dessert spin-off of Grill5taco, helped keep the crowd ultra-cool, serving up cups of soft serve ice cream topped with party-in-your-mouth, foodie flavor combinations like Tabasco and dried persimmon, macadamia and grain syrup and Guerande salt and nurungji (the crust of overcooked rice).

The festival’s T-money card payment system made wining and dining a little too easy, contributing to the easygoing vibe of the festival.

But that’s enough food talk. On to the music.

[Review] Jisan Valley Rock Festival Brings Out the Rock ‘n’ Roll in Everyone

If timing is everything, the diverse performers at this year’s festival took attendees on a musical journey (this could also be taken literally, as fans shuttled back and forth from the three stages set up throughout the resort) with live performances that were well-suited for the time of day.

Bands like Motion City Soundtrack, Apollo 18 and house duo Peppertones kept the crowd energized into the afternoon as part of Saturday’s lineup, before Lucid Fall’s bossanova set got the crowd swaying into the early evening on the Green Stage.

Lee Juck then shifted the crowd over to the Big Top Stage, where he had fans singing along to hit songs It’s Fortunate and Apgujung Nallari.

Owl City kept the momentum going back on the Green Stage with a synthpop, electronica set, featuring Fireflies and Angels, before fans unwound to the electronic sounds of the final Big Top Stage act James Blake’s Limit to Your Love and CMYK — all before the clock struck 12.

But the party didn’t end there, as Idiotape as well as the contestants and rappers 45RPM, Double K, MC Sniper and Joosuc from Mnet’s hip hop survival audition program Show Me the Money brought the Seoul night life to the Red Stage at Jisan Valley.

And while there were crowds of people heading to their tents (or just passed out on the grass) after the Red Stage sets, there were still people dancing till the break of dawn to old school K-Pop music.

[Review] Jisan Valley Rock Festival Brings Out the Rock ‘n’ Roll in Everyone

The Jisan Valley Rock Festival proved to be an event that never slowed down, but moved at a pace so anyone and everyone could hop along for the ride.

Photo credit: Elizabeth Eun

Shin Se Kyung 20120731 Jang Keun Suk 20120731 Lee Juck 20120731 Lucid Fall 20120731 Jisan Valley Rock Festival 20120731
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