The Wonderfully Random HBC Fest

All types are welcome in the formerly little-known (which is kinda how the locals liked it) expat neighbourhood of Haebangchon (Freedom Village). Twice a year though, the street erupts in a drunken frenzy of drunken frenziness… with live music! And, such as the planets do align occasionally in extraordinary bursts of marvelous luck, several of these festivals have coincided with the 2000 year-old Celtic Pagan tradition of All Hallow’s Eve, more recently re-appropriated by Americans and transformed into an alcohol-fueled fuckfest for young, and not-so-young adults alike, during which time innocent children have their attentions diverted by attempting to visit the homes of their more trustworthy neighbours to beg for sweets. Here are some photos (of the HBC Fest).






The festival is generally just a weekend of crazy – it started modestly in 2006 when a few expats decided to entertain their friends in the (then) few local bars. These days there’s a few dozen wide-eyed, 20 year-old Korean cops, who have never encountered so many foreigners in their lives, trying to maintain some semblance of order among the few thousand very drunk expats in weird outfits. It’s all good fun.


People like to get there early, so as not to miss out on any of the excellent live music. That will start many hours later.





There will be interesting and/or somewhat deranged people there that you may or may not enjoy drinking a few beers with!






People keep coming, apparently oblivious to the fact that it is actually a music festival, and that the music is being performed inside the bars. The cars, taxis and buses continue to refuse not to drive down the narrow laneway, even if the two-block drive takes 90 minutes.




The ever-vigilant officials appear not to mind the local action.






Proprietors of local businesses dress as they usually do.







People have a couple of drinks…







And there’s music! Lots of cool live music!




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