Apr 7, 2011

The Most Rockin' Place in Busan

BUSAN — As old expats leave and new ones replace them, one permanent fixture of Busan’s scene is Kyungsung (a.k.a. Kyungsungdae, KSU, or Kyungdae). Whatever name people choose, it refers to the area between Pukyong and Kyungsung universities.

Come DARK, the place comes ALIVE.

At its subway station, all exits lead to somewhere bustling with activity. In typical university area fashion, the multiple story buildings fill themselves with bars, restaurants, places for coffee, DVD rooms, singing rooms, and a few dozen Family Marts. Everywhere here is foreign friendly, but when looking for music, a few places drift to the top of the list.

Kino Eye
This is a long-popular place that often throws themed parties on the weekends. A resident DJ spins tunes all week by request and by his own creation. The floor gets packed on Saturday nights with a good mix of expats and locals. A giant cinema screen also graces one wall, entertaining customers with movies throughout the week.

Vinyl Underground
This venue contributed to the start of Busan’s music scene. With a recent remodel, the Vinyl looks like a typical small venue concert hall and feels like a place to catch a band before they can sell more than a thousand tickets consistently. Bands and DJs blast music from the stage every weekend. DJs here are usually on their Asian tour. When it comes to dancing, Vinyl Underground is the place to be on Saturday nights. Look for the Warhol-esque yellow banana hanging above the door.

With a stage devoted to live music, visit Ol’55 late in the evening for rock and roll most every Saturday night. They keep equipment on the stage, so Fridays can be a mix of different folks swinging by the place for impromptu jams. When it comes to music, Wednesday night’s open mic is the oldest and best, not to mention the most popular, in town. On Wednesday nights starting around 10 o’clock, musicians of every style and genre grace.

Known for its fantastic homemade Western-style food, HQ does a great job holding charity events. Whatever the cause, musicians make their way to this neighborhood bar to entertain. Whether it be a Movember fundraiser or an orphanage rib cook-off, HQ is the place to fill the belly while having ears massaged by Busan’s finest musical entertainment, all in an environment that still makes conversation possible.

For more information on these places, search for them on Facebook.
To find them in a physical sense, just ask any expat wandering the area.

By Roy Early

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