• Updated : 2020.5.28 목 17:48
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My Feestival behind the Stage제1회 광주월드뮤직페스티벌 자원봉사활동
엄소민 기자  |  sokay@hanmail.net
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승인 2010.09.08  16:46:12
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<Reporter’s Sketch>
My Festival behind the Stage
-      Gwangju World Music Festival Volunteer Supporters -
By Um So-min, Tribune Reporter
When I first heard about a music festival that was going to take place in Gwangju, I was so excited that I applied for a volunteer position right away. That was a few months ago, and the first Gwangju World Music Festival (GJWMF) was successfully held from August 27th to 29th. Dozens of artists flew in from all around the world to Gwangju for this festival, which had several performance venues scattered throughout the Gwangju Metropolitan City central area, including the Main Stage, the Party Stage, the Premium Stage, Music Bars, Open Stages and Live Streets. I was a Gwangwol Bandi, a volunteer supporter. I was the leader of the Artist Care team, which provides escort and schedule assistance for the artists. Therefore the team members had to be well aware of the event schedule, transportation and other requirements of each artist. It was a fastidious yet important task that my team had to manage, so I was feeling both excited and tense as the festival began, even after all the several pre-meetings and education sessions we had attended.


Gwangwol Bandis, volunteer supporters for Gwangju World Music Festival

My team began its work as the artists started to arrive at Inchon Airport the day before the festival. It was our job to make sure the artists were in the best condition to perform on stage. It was not easy, some artists were very fussy. More than once just a few hours before their performance, an artist would ask to have their costume ironed at a specialized shop. So I searched everywhere to find a dry cleaner’s shop that was open on a Sunday and had no luck, then I took a taxi to an outlet and barely managed to use one of the dress store’s steam irons. After all that, watching the artist performing on the stage in those well-pressed clothes, I felt overwhelmed with relief and accomplishment.
Managing CD sales and signing session booth in Main Stage area was also part of my work with the Public Relations (PR) team. The audience came and took a look at the records of the band they had just listened to and sometimes artists came to check out other artists’ CDs too. People went around freely, took seats, and bought wine, coffee, cupcakes and pizza from the many hospitality booths. .
The outdoor stage and grassplot were great for creating a free festive mood, but were also quite dependent on the weather. Unfortunately it rained a lot over all three days, so the bandis needed to try hard to keep things going and organized. Things went more smoothly at the Premium Stage which was an indoor stage; however, there were some unexpected changes in the rehearsal schedule at the Main Stage. Still the rain could not change the passion of the festival. The artists performed distinctive beautiful sounds, fascinated audiences cheered, and energetic bandis, some of whom even went barefoot, moved all the more lively. The heavier the rain got, the more fervent the festival’s atmosphere became.


Bandis and artists preparing for the performance at the festival

Being a volunteer supporter of a festival and helping it work was difficult but worthwhile, and more than just a ‘good experience.’ Working with the wonderful bandis and festival operators was awesome, and becoming truly one mind under the name of ‘festival’ was even greater. The GJWMF was an international music event designed to provide opportunities for Gwangju citizens to enjoy performances from various cultural backgrounds. I believe that with Gwangju, a city of rich culture and art, the festival will grow even better as the years go by, as it is raising and meeting the demand for artistic events. Being a part of it has made the GJWMF a very special festival for me, which I and my wonderful colleagues have made together.
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