The long-awaited London Korean Festival day finally arrived as attendees gathered to Olympia National in Kensington Olympia to attend the event. From 11AM, there were already 100+ people waiting to enter the venue, by 1PM the queues were endless. It was fortunate that the UK weather was on our side for the day, with the sun shining throughout.
The festival was hosted within a large venue, with the first floor for performances as well as bar, whilst the second floor held different zones for Korean culture. It ranged from the K-POP content zone where fans had the opportunity to pick up a Feel Korea fan and listen to music; as well as Korean food stalls and a zone to promote the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
At the previous London Korean Festival in 2015, we had Josh from the Korean Englishman YouTube channel. This year, the festival is hosted by Dan and Joel from same channel!
Performances varied throughout the day with Kukkiwon Taekwondo performances performing the first set, followed by the Drifters B-Boy crew.
Thus, the KBS K-POP World Festival preliminaries began. The preliminaries this year were judged by LoKo’s Tammy along with two of KNK’s members, Seungjun and Jihun! For the dance contestants, we had EQUINOX, UJJN, Evangeline and Saders, whilst for the vocal contestants we had Chiara and Ellie, Limia and Zowie.
EQUINOX performed VIXX’s Shangri-La, accompanying their performance with hand fans playing as a tool to their graceful and delicate performance. They were then followed by UJJN who performed BLACKPINK’s Boombayah, presenting a dynamic show. The group was then followed by the vocal group, Chiara and Ellie who performed a vocal medley with songs from SEVENTEEN, MAMAMOO and BTS. They performed an acoustic rendition providing their own unique vocal twist to the songs. Followed by Limia with a charismatic powerful vocal performance of Ailee’s I Will Show You.
For our 3rd dance performance, we had Evangeline (of FUSI8N), performing a rendition of EXO’s They Never Know along with IKON’s Bling Bling. The audience were captivated with her sharp moves, as she showcased her slick moves. For the final vocal performance, Zowie performed a rendition of the jazz-pop song, SPICA’s You Don’t Love Me. She performed it with class and elegance, voicing a mature vibe. Last but not least, the 11-member group, Saders performed SEVENTEEN’s Don’t Wanna Cry. A group with so many members, yet they were able to dance with style whilst remaining in sync.
Before the results were announced, there were several performances from the previous winners of the K-POP World Festival UK preliminaries. The London Korean Festival brought in Rebecca who won for vocals in the UK preliminaries in 2015, before winning an award in the finals in Changwon, South Korea. She came to perform a compilation of Taeyeon songs (such as 11:11 and Why) as well Jessica’s Fly and IOI’s Very Very Very. Tita Lau was also featured, who previously won the vocal category for the UK, and also went to the Changwon. Finally, she was followed by 9034K who had previously won the dance category for the UK in 2013.
Before everyone knew it, the results were in! As everyone anticipated the results which were in the hands of Dan and Joel…
And the winners are… Limia for the vocal category and Saders for the dance category! The winners were presented with their winning sign by the one and only KNK members, Seungjun and Jihun!
After a short stage shift, the TAGO drumming group, Kukkiwon Taekwondo group and Drifters B-Boy group returned for a second set. This allowed people the opportunity to catch performances which they may have missed from earlier. People also took the opportunity to explore the venue, as the second floor ended up forming a long queue due to the high-capacity of attendees.
As the end drew near, the fans attending the Feel Korea concert in the evening, began to exit to queue up for the evening. Overall, the London Korean Festival brought together a range of audiences, from families, to friends. It was an event which provided entertainment for all, as well as providing people with an opportunity to widen their mindset of Korean culture.
Did you attend the London Korean Festival this year? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below or via our social media links!