Which cities on earth will be the best place to enjoy street performance? The romantic streets of Paris? How about Seoul? Though Seoul is already well known for its vivacious city life, all kinds of delicacies and fashion, there is one more thing that many foreigners are not familiar with, but an essential component that completes its nickname, heart of Korea – busking. Also referred to as street performance, busking closely relates with the daily lives of youngsters in Seoul. You can easily see young artists busking on the streets with a decent crowd on the streets of Seoul.
Hf will introduce you the top three hottest busking districts that will take your trip to Seoul to a whole new level. Every corner of those spots blooms with vigorous energy of creative young artists. The terminology busk means to perform on streets, and hence busker stands for those performers. Since they throw public concerts on their own initiatives, anyone can perform, join and or participate in various forms of artistic activities.
A region adjacent to Hongik University, Hongdae, is a unique place in Seoul, exclusively known for its art performances and hippie cultures of the young. Hongik University has one of the top art schools, which explains why this region became so renowned for young artists. Clearly enough, many walls in this region are filled with graffiti as if they want to be recognized for their existence. In fact, there are many unique streets in Hongdae, such as Picasso Street, Café Street and Rodeo Street that represent Korean 20s’ trend and their cultures.
So, which spot exactly in Hongdae is hot right now? It’s this pedestrian-friendly Street (걷고 싶은 거리) that we want to introduce. This flamboyant street is the core scene of art, clubbing and busking. It is about a 1km-long road in front of Hongik University, where dozens of clubs, theaters and halls make up the area. Though it looks like just another public playground, Hongdae Playground (홍대 놀이터) is the symbol of indie music buskers. Some indie artists have turned into celebrities, such as Busker Busker and 10 cm.
那麼有哪一個地方在弘大現正是大熱呢？正是準備要為大家介紹的걷고 싶은 거리（直譯：行人方便道）。這條華麗的街道是藝術、酒吧和賣藝的核心。걷고 싶은 거리位於弘益大學前面，是由很多酒吧、劇院和會堂組成的路，全長約1公里。另外就是看起來雖然只像一個公共遊樂場的弘大遊樂場（홍대 놀이터），但它是獨立街頭音樂表演者的象徵，更有一些獨立音樂人成為了藝人，例如Busker Busker和10 cm。
It doesn’t end here. Hongik University is also the hub for wannabe musicians. They often borrow a café or a bar for one day and open up their own live music pub. When you visit this area, open your eyes widely; though they might look like normal students during the day, they might be famous buskers or DJs night.
Daehakro literally means the street of university; it is named so since it was the heart of university movements in the ‘90s, the home to Seoul National University before it relocated to its location now. Daehakro was a cultural hub way before Hongdae, dating its history back to the ‘70s. Marronnier park is a square where the city council opened its outdoor stages for everyone’s use, free of charge. You can see many buskers around the park. Unlike Hongdae, Daehakro is more for singer-song writers with acoustic guitars. If buskers in Hongdae excite and agitate spectators, those in Daehakro mostly soothes and calms them down. But not always! Famous K-pop idol girl group EXID once busked “Up & Down” in this region.
Most universities in Daehakro are branch campuses for arts and theater departments. Hence Daehakro gives more chances for busking; not only underground musicians but also aspirants to a screen career can easily be seen. Next to the park, there is an Artistic House which sponsors talented artists who are in need of financial support. If you are interested in modern Korean arts, Daehakro is a must-visit place.
Itaewon is a foreign village and a western town that is somewhat similar to the reverse version of Korea towns in foreign countries. In terms of busking areas in Itaewon, areas near Hamilton Hotel serve as the core of busking. Mostly buskers of reggae, hip hop and jazz perform in Itaewon. Some musicians with exotic instruments such as ukulele can be also seen. One of the famous buskers is the trio band “Bud,” known for busking to Latin jazz.
Recently, other music genres of busking have been blooming as well. Soyun Park, who is also as known as the goddess of indie music, threw numerous busking performances and successfully released a single album a year ago. Sometimes, some street performances are supported to be organized in this area. Itaewon has a yearly event called “Itaewon Global Village Festival,” where busking is the main event.
最近，其他音樂類型的街頭賣藝亦開始在綻放。被稱為獨立音樂女神的Soyun Park進行過無數次的賣藝，而一年前亦成功發行了第一張專輯。有時候，梨泰院會組織一些街頭表演，而近年的《Itaewon Global Village Festival》亦以賣藝作主打。
These three hottest busking places are much renowned for the quality of performances and also by the unique culture. Rock and pop, or indie style music buskers pin-point Hongdae, acoustic guitar singer song writers actively stage in Daehakro, and jazz hip hop lovers indulge into Itaewon. The improving quality of street performances attract more and more enthusiastic audiences who will support the buskers to continue. All these hottest spots are in Seoul waiting for your visit!