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Korea Battles Heatwave With Water Guns?

A heat advisory has been in place for most of South Korea since Sunday, July 3. Monsoon season started last week with torrential downpours that left roads flooded and the Han river at sky-high levels. But even when the rain paused, the heat and humidity remained. How are the youth of the city keeping cool? Rather than staying in cool cafes or at home with the A/C on blast, they are flocking to water music festivals.

(Twitter, @Winnerwithsally)

Fresh out of the restrictions from the last two years due to COVID-19, artists are eager to perform and make up for their on-stage absences. Their fans are eager to see them as well, leading to one of the most packed festival line-ups of many years past. While these festivals have received controversy for wasting water admit Korea's previous drought, Waterbomb Seoul kicked off its festival amidst the rain showers and criticism.

This star-studded festival had over 20k fans who battled the heat with water guns, immense water shows, and amazing performances. Performers ranged from K-pop acts like Kai, Jessi, and Winner to K-Hip Hop artists such as Jay Park, Simon Dominic, and DPR Live. All attendees and performers were equally soaked as they battled on teams to get more soaked and enjoy the summer fun despite the heat. This festival was such a success and yet Waterbomb is only getting started as its sister festivals in Suwon, Daegu, Busan, and Incheon are sure to draw similar crowds later this summer.

This coming weekend, July 9-10, is S2O, or the Songkran Music Festival, which features similar water gun fights, musical acts, and fun. This festival has an EDM music focus with international artists like DAYWALKER, Breathe Carolina, and MAKJ as well as local artists like Juncoco and Aster. It is sure to bring a similarly large crowd as people fight the heat wave.

(S2O Festival, 2022)

The summer fun doesn't end there. There is also the Shinchon Water Festival from July 30-31 and the Jeongnamjin Jangheung Water Festival from July 30- August 7. If you are interested in cooling off at one of these festivals, be sure to get your tickets soon! They're selling out fast as everyone races to beat the heat. Which one of these festivals would you be most excited about seeing? Leave a comment below and let us know!


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