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Grand Mint Festival takes place under a star and a moon

2010/10/29 | 1110 views | Permalink | Source

From left, No Reply vocalist Kwon Soon-kwan and actress Han Hyo-joo at this year's Grand Mint Festival held at the Olympic Park in Seoul, South Korea on October 23, 2010. [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

Guitarist Lee Neung-ryong of Sister's Barbershop said, "The Grand Mint Festival (GMF) is like a festival for herbivores". And vocalist Junsu of Untouched Wind remarked, "GMF's audience are chic". They were not wrong. Most of the audience were swaying their body from left to right while sitting on mats in the picnic zone and even in the standing zone, they were merely clapping their hands or waving their arms in time to the music. At this year's GMF which took place at the Olympic Park on October 23 and 24, the audience calmly concentrated on singer Lee Sora's every move after she sang and spoke slowly. That is why 'infatuation' is the word that better suits the GMF than 'enthusiasm'.

The location that best revealed GMF character was the Loving Forest Garden stage on which acoustic musicians including Epitone Project, Jung Jae-hyung, EZ Hyung and 10cm performed. The melodies from the keyboards and acoustic guitars became richer as the sun set and darkness fell while Cha Sae-jung, who debuted four years ago yet still feels nervous standing on stage, was a musician sentimental enough to be at a loss of words after she saw soap bubbles emerge from where the audience were seated. There was probably no other stage that was as lyrical as that stage. So that is probably why they did not leave it once they got there -- because they didn't want to shatter that atmosphere.

Han Hyo-joo remarked, "This is amazing!" after seeing the filled up standing area and people sitting huddled about in the picnic zone. But the audience felt the same emotion too upon seeing unexpected sides to the musicians. Who would have expected to see the Jaejoo Boys sing a trot song while playing the tambourine. They had so sheepishly stepped onto the stage saying they are at the biggest stage they have ever been on with the smallest instrument. Guitarist Yoo Sang-bong said they didn't know they would get to perform such a song at the GMF but the audience too probably did not expect to hear the seemingly gentle and kind Jaejoo Boys sing such a song. And to see Han Hyo-joo herself shout out the words "Milky complexion Han Hyo-joo!" when the audience did! To see an outdoor stage where the sound of the tambourine accompanied trot music mixed in with the occasional "Milky complexion Han Hyo Joo" was indeed a sight to see.

The Ghost Dancing stage of the GMF was where two daily deejas played at the same time. It was a contradictory space which was silent since only people wearing headphones could hear the music yet was full of their intense movement as they danced to the beats. One member of the audience was shaking his body so fiercely that the deejays wanted to take him to their own stages and the Daybreak vocalist Lee won-suk's deejaying session, closer to a fan meeting, was noisy to the extent that the audience had to be quieted. These people, who danced when they got excited and shouted when they got even more excited, were neither herbivores nor chic. They were herbivores in front of soft melodies who changed into wild carnivores when they want to jump about and dance as much as they want. In that sense, why not change the first sentence. The GMF is like a festival for Jekyll and Hydes.

Actress Han Hyo-joo [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

Actress Han Hyo-joo takes part in this year's Grand Mint Festival held at the Olympic Park in Seoul, South Korea on October 23, 2010.

No Reply vocalist Kwon Soon-kwan and actress Han Hyo-joo [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

From left, No Reply vocalist Kwon Soon-kwan and actress Han Hyo-joo sing at this year's Grand Mint Festival held at the Olympic Park in Seoul, South Korea on October 23, 2010.

Photographer : Chae ki-won ten@
Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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