HBC Fest – A grainy and blurred photographic reflection on the musical event of the summer!


Yesterday was, of course, the HBC Fest. It was very colourful, especially if you consider the busfuls of cops that turned up to help us out with crowd control. It’s good to see that our taxes are eventually getting their money’s worth, especially when it comes to the 5-O. Anyway, I’m sure that the prominence of the cops has well advertised on the Korean blogosphere. This suits this post perfectly as I don’t intend on sharing any pictures of the cops – although I did see one great picture of some guy standing in and helping out the cops as crowd control which was hilarious… Anyway more about the cops later…

In my Groove article about the HBC Fest I advocated for people to go into the venues and enjoy the music, and for some reason everyone – or at least a lot of ones – did so. All the venues were packed and the music benefited and rose to the occasion! At the start of the day it pissed rain and I think this encouraged a lot of people inside where they found that it was a lot cooler than the previous May Fest and also that the standard of music, entertainment and good vibes was of a high standard. Kudos to everyone who took part in the festival; musicians, bar owners, bar staff, restaurant workers, Kobawoo supermarket, Lance, and of course all the wonderful people who turned up on the day to drink and be merry, and of course spend enough money to make all the hassle from the cops – if there was any – worth it in the end for the organisers.

Here are some of the photos that I took yesterday with my iPhone and shared on twitter throughout the day.

Phillies at the onset

My good friend - Mississippi Dave ... who's actually from Winnipeg but that's beside the point, he's a wonderful performer and I'll miss him when he returns to Canada after fifteen years in Korea this September.

Yes they are jello shots and yes they were all gone the next time I looked at the tray!

These guys were called Language of Shapes (I think), very cool sounding group.

Unfortunately I can't remember the name of this guy 😦 But it's nice photo, right???

Mikey from the VFW mopping the floor before the Fest started. Why did he bother???

Great festival weather - actually made me a little homesick. That crowd is gathered around the Frills and Thrills Burlesque Show which nearly caused more car accidents than the entire festival!

Magna Fall! Good band and worth checking out in the future!

The always spell-bindingly wonderful Mia Zepeda!

Mikey in the VFW still shouting for everyone to get fucked up - as if they needed any encouragment!

Two guys playing The Local - I think they were called Backus. Good stuff!

The Drunk Democracy - I'm not sure if this was before or after the 30 other Irish people had to be pulled down from the lights (myself included) when they started playing Horse Outside - if you haven't heard of this song just look for it on YouTube.

Johnny Red in Le Vert

LRD and a strange bald ex-editor or Groove trying to steal his guitar...I think

Angelic me

The Two Guitars in The Orange Tree well past my bedtime...

...and also this fella's!

Photos are, admittedly, a bit grainy. Oh well.

When I was coming back through Haebangchon the next morning in a taxi there was someone passed out in front of the Family Mart – unfortunately it was only hindsight that had the good idea to stop the cab and take a picture. Maybe next time!

I didn’t take many pictures of the police presence at the festival. For me, this was probably the most significant thing that you can interpret as you will. It was certainly unique. However, as far as I could work out everything went well. There didn’t seem to be any problems and all the interactions seemed to be good natured and respectful. Most people realised they weren’t there to break up the party and people just go on with having a good time. The guys forming the line along the street were all young military service aged kids who didn’t want to be there any more than any of us would have liked to be there, but I could see that they were taking it in their stride and enjoying the madness of the situation, while a few were even taking the opportunity to practice their English. I’m pretty sure no hagwon or text book in the world will have a lesson on ‘drunk at a music festival’, so they can be happy about that. While their may have been some bad things that happened, all in all, I think it passed off – for want of a better word – trouble free.

Thanks to everyone who came out, performed, drank, smiled, danced, ate, kissed, and/or held hands. This was certainly a HBC Fest worth remembering!

I should have more less grainy photos up somewhere soon!

Excuses are like arseholes…


If an apology is what is required, then I apologise to those of you who may have grown accustomed to revelling in the wizardry of my ramblings here on If I Had a Minute to Spare I Would Probably Say Something Like This, those of you who have been left waiting, wanting, crying for more, if I may venture an excuse… I was busy. Continue reading

LRD & HBC: The Reason for Our Very Existence


Oh wise and wonderful ones, where would we be without you? Sitting in a hovel waiting for something good to happen perhaps? Or maybe complaining about all the good that could happen? Certainly not, as the case is, waiting for the good that definitely will happen this Saturday! Yes music fans, it’s Tuesday and that means that it’s nearly Saturday (it’s especially the case if you don’t work on Fridays like me), and that means the streets and bars will be bubbling over with jolly revellers belly ful with the joys of October and nothing but delight and hopeful anticipation for another smashingly wonderful HBC Fest!

But what is it that makes the HBC Fest? Well, I could say it is the people who fill the bars, or it’s the bars that fill with people, or it’s the beer that fills the people, but without one thing there would be no full bars and no full people. What is it that can create such a mass migration up the narrow alleys to Haebangchon? Allow me to enlighten you. Continue reading

Born from Hellfire: The History of the HBC Fest From Then until Now.


The HBC Fest, being from Haebangchon, was born in the manner that is expected of it. Leaning on the bar in the Orange Tree (the old one that is, not the newer green one) Jim Gaynor listened as it was some how injected into his consciousness that he had the potential to organise and run a music festival in Haebangchon.

While no one (except Jim) will ever know what the shy and philosophical Australian with more gold teeth than real teeth dreamed off, this incident, a drunken conversation in a late-night venue, has gone on to be one of the most diverse and popular events on the waeguk scene in Korea. In fact I would argue that two events, the Seoul International DJ Festival and the Boryeong Mud Festival (both International festivals with major corporate and government support) are larger. The HBC Fest has grown and mutated and regrown and shrunk and mutated again into an orgasmic organic festival of Music, Art and Life. Continue reading

The Unofficial Official A-Z of the HBC Fest


***Correction: Clown that I am, I got conflustered and mixed my dates up. The HBC Fest is on October 9, no 10. Thanks Lance! Where would we be without you?***

The HBC Fest is one week away, and in honour of that I’m going to running (or at least I’m going to do my best to run) a piece a day about the festival, its past, its present, and what lies ahead in the future!

I’ve been involved in the festival since the very start back in 2006, I’ve seen the fest big and small, I’ve seen it with tears and with smiles. Despite a wee legger for a couple of fests, what with getting married and having to become more intelligent, I’m back as one the fest’s best friend!

Hopefully I can recount some of the best and most difficult times, not forgetting a few anecdotes for those who believe in it all!

To start it all off, here is my first post!

The Unofficial Official A-Z of the HBC Fest

A is for asshole, if you are one please stay at home

B is for bars, booze and bands…need I say more?

The Animal Dads (not actually playing at this festival) at the Fall Fest - courtesy of http://www.myspace.com/hbcfest

C is for cars which shouldn’t even bother trying to drive through Haebangchon on October 9. Continue reading