Sep 23, 2017
A massive crowd gathered in front of the main stage at 'World Club Dome Korea 2017' in Incheon on Sept. 22, 2017. (MPC Partners)
World Club Dome (WCD), a massive electronic dance music festival founded in Germany, has kicked off its first Asian event in South Korea.
WCD was founded in Frankfurt in 2013 by the German radio station Big City Beats. The festival has attracted approximately 150,000 attendees each year, according to the Korean Tourism Organization.
The South Korean event, WCD's first Asian gathering, opened on Friday at the Munhak Sports Complex in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul. Top DJs and EDM artists, including Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, DJ Snake and Steve Aoki, were booked to headline the three-day event hosted by Big City Beats and MPC Partners.
'World Club Dome Korea 2017
' officially kicked off at around noon but began in earnest around sunset, with Dutch DJ duo Bass Jackers doling out its EDM hits, including "Derp" and "Fireflies," mixing in doses of hits by Ed Sheeran and also Linkin Park's "Numb," in an apparent homage to the band's late singer Chester Bennington.
Don Diablo, a renowned Dutch DJ who was ranked 15th in the Top 100 DJs compiled by DJ Magazine in 2016, further sizzled the crowd. A euphoric audience jumped in tandem with the booming bass drumlines "On My Mind," "Don't Let Go" and his rendition of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger."
"It's been so long since I've been in Korea, I missed you so much," Diablo told the roaring crowd. Bowing out from his gig, Diablo projected an image of the South Korean flag on a screen with the message "Thank You" in Korean superimposed over it.
Yeeun, a former member of the now-disbanded K-pop group Wonder Girls who now goes by the pseudonym Ha:tfelt, put on a joint performance with German DJ Le Shuuk, unveiling their joint song "Fly High," produced specifically for WCD's Korean event.
Kygo later took over the stage, apparently with his softer and more vocal-oriented tracks, such as "Stole The Show," "Stargazing" and his remix of Seinabo Sey's "Younger." Japanese-American DJ Steve Aoki later opened his stage with "Melody," while Seungri of K-pop band BIGBANG made a surprise guest appearance to perform BIGBANG's hit "Fantastic Baby" together with Aoki.
Afrojack capped off WCD's first day, mesmerizing the crowd with hit "Keep It Low," "Feel So Good" and "Can't Stop Me."
WCD Korea organizers have wooed EDM fans not just from Asia but also Germany and the greater European region as well. The venue was picked for being close to Incheon International Airport to court international tourists. The effort apparently paid off, with large national flags from the region, including Hong Kong, China, Japan and even France, seen being waved in the crowd.
The Incheon venue's less-restrictive regulation on noise volume, as opposed to areas in Seoul, was also a big factor.
"We came here with the intention to build something in Incheon which is unique and in Asia. The idea of doing a World Club Dome is not doing simply a festival, it's building a club," Bernd Breiter, founder and CEO of Big City Beats, said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on the festival sidelines.
When asked whether WCD will continue to be held in South Korea, Breiter said he hopes that will be the case.
"If you remember that one year ago there was nothing. And one year after now, there is a stadium with people who are happy who are dancing with the biggest stars coming together for the gathering. Of course we want to continue," said Breiter.