An Encounter with a Special Performance in Jeju

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Cultural Event – <Wonderland in Jeju>
Date of report: November 2016 (Interviewed on November 3, 2016)
Culture reporter: Kim Ji-eun


What if you can enjoy a free outdoor performance with a fantastic lineup in Jeju? First of all, it is unbelievable that a large-scale event was planned in Jeju by an unknown company alone, not by a broadcasting company or a conglomerate. And it is free! Even with a free admission, would many local people visit it? Jeju has a small population in the first place, and in general, many people lack information on cultural events (concerts and festivals in particular). Besides, most of them do not actively engage in those programs. That is why Jeju sees no growth in the number of its events and the youth had no choice but to visit Seoul to enjoy concerts.

However, Wonderland in Jeju helps you escape from the said prejudice. It was like everyone who ‘wanted to have fun!’ was there on the event site. Hosted and organized by ANJI’S Company, Wonderland in Jeju began its performance in July 2016, and continued a non-stop journey until November, completing three performances so far. An Ji, CEO of the company, has dreamed to design their own concert for over 10 years. Planning a performance available only in Jeju, he wants to make the event a specialized brand of Jeju. He receives no admission fees because he does not intend to take any money from the audience with a not-yet-satisfactory concert.

Running without a stop for the past three events, ANJI’s Company communicated with the audience and received feedbacks actively on their Facebook page. The first concert was postponed due to the rainy weather, and the send again owing to the unexpected typhoon. When planning the third event, the company made an announcement on the alternative event site under rainy conditions in advance. On top of that, the company gave priority to those who visited the first concert as well as the culturally marginalized in their third event.

What made the third concert entitled ‘Wonderland in Jeju Boromwat’ made even more special was its event site. Boromwat is the production site of buckwheat and short sorghum located in Seongeup-ri, Pyoseon-myeon. The company decided on the site to help those farms that were damaged due to Typhoon Chaba. The slogan “We support the 1st and 6th industries of Jeju” was placed in many places on the event site. It reflects the path for ANJI’S and the local performances.

Not only the site, but also the foods sold at the event was special. Visitors to the concert could enjoy some nostalgic snacks, including tteok (Korean cake) made with buckwheat and sorghum grown in Boromwat. Nearby residents also prepared chicken and fish cake soup, but never expected to have the large number of visitors. Most of the foods were sold out when the show was about to begin, so many people had no choice but to leave the food stands with bare hands. Though offered at a small scale, another fun activity was prepared where children could grill jjondeugi (a Korean traditional jelly-like snack).

The audience could enjoy the show at any place where they decide to unfold their blankets because no seats were previously assigned. This helps those who visited the concert with their family members or friends to have memorable moments together. Hopefully, we could have more opportunities to enjoy the performance on the stage with the crescent hanging above the thick trees.