Music Transcends Cultures: Asia Song Festival 2008

I am writing this post with my heart still ringing to the beats of the 5th Asia Song Festival which was held at the World Cup Stadium, Seoul on 4th October 2008 1800 – 2200 Hours. For the uninformed, Asia Song Festival, is the biggest Asia Level concert with all the greatest singers and bands from all over Asia comes under one umbrella. This aims at providing the spectators with a magnificent fusion of light effects and music. The performers are recepients of the Best Asian Artist Award in the recent years. The audience this year was about 50 000 with participation seen from a variety of societal standings ranging form middle school students to certain ministers of Korea. The special guest list also included the most popular fashion designer in Korea. Along with these big people (who sat in VIP seats right next to the stage) even foreigners (non residents) who were in Korea were each allowed a VIP pass themselves.

This was the first time I was attending a concert of such a huge scale.. The performers this year came from the following countries: Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia. They provided 4 full hours of wonderful entertainment to the audience. The theme this year was “Asia is One” and I guess the organizers and the artists tried to convey it in its complete sense. For me, this was a wonderful chance to meet the most famous singers from various countries across Asia and the taste their music in person.

Here are some snaps to know what I am talking about … Apologies for the quality, since I dont have a sufficiently powerful lens.. yet..

After the concert.. One thing left me thinking .. Music does transcend regions and cultures…

PS1: The concert was “FREE for all” for the entire 50 000 in the audience. Roughly 4000 people flew from around the world to take part in the concert (There were many westerners as well) . Even the VIP seats (where one could sit near the ministers, and VIPs were given out for free to foreigners and some Koreans). I could not help but wonder about the generosity of the sponsors who would have had to pay all the artists, stage and other huge expenses involved.

PS2: And yeah.. There were absolutely NO metal detectors or Frisks anywhere on my way to my seat, 4th row from the front… Man the Koreans do trust everyone as much as they trust their own country men.. I am constantly impressed by how much they emphasize on mutual trust and respect. I am sure that something like this wont be safe to be implemented in similar situations, at countless other places in this same world… One main reason I love this country and countrymen..

PS3: There were no misbehaviors from anyone in the crowd, except two guys who tried to create my-country-your-country feelings with certain levels of misbehaviors, which was against the “Asia is ONE (country)” motto of the ASF 2008, and were immediately suppressed.

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5 Responses

  1. that is so fake.. make sure you stay longer in korea to know how foreigners are really treated there (unless you’re white-skinned then it’s going to be all-good for you).

    anyways, anybody who’s been keeping an eye on the ASF (korean-version) knows already that the artists they invite aren’t the REAL hot ones.. and koreans themselves have remarked that they aren’t really interested in the event so it would be a useless event if the SM artists (DBSK, etc) weren’t there. have you guessed why DBSK is always there (5 years straight?).. it’s because their ‘cassiopeia fans’ are the only ones keeping the seats occupied. and why would they bother with security and ticket prices? if they did, then there wouldn’t really be anyone who’ll come

  2. @ my friend from manila : Thank you for your honest remarks..

    First of all I would like to emphasize that I dont belong to the so called “white-skinned” set..

    Coming to the second point i write my blog on my personal experience as an Indian in South Korea, having lived here for just one year.. So far the general experience has indeed been mostly good.. About the REAL hot ones and non-real hot ones… I cant say much on it, because its completely personal.. My favorite may be different from yours..

    and about your last remark (ticket prices and security), i guess you missed my point.. They dont really have to do this for CHARITY without charging you a single penny.. Its quite obvious that there is a lot of money involved, may be 100s of thousands of dollars.. Security: Its obviously mandatory when you have important people like ministers attending the event.. Absence of which shows the Koreans trusting on people like you and me to be disciplined without introducing any obstructions bu frisks et. al ..

  3. By Asia, do they mean south-east Asia? In which language had the artists sung? Who were the Indian representatives?

  4. @ asr: not exactly .. there we mongolian artists as well (just that they performed it on the day before) .. but sad i could not find any indian reps there .. They sung in their native languages and some of them sang in english as well..

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