Summer is a time for fun vacations and outings with family and friends. Wherever one’s destination in Korea may be, check out some of these fascinating summer festivals to help you forget the scorching heat. For summer activities, the best of the best includes beach festivals like Boryeong Mud Festival in July, and Busan Sea Festival in August. There are also cultural festivals like Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, where one can watch indie films in a variety of genres; and Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival, with performances by internationally famous rock musicians. With so many great festivals to choose from, it’s easy to enjoy your summer in Korea.
Period: June 27 – July 7, 2019
Venues: Bucheon City Hall, Bucheon Gymnasium, Korea Comics Museum, Bucheon Art Bunker B39, etc. (부천시청, 부천제육관, 한국만화박물관, 부천아트벙커B39)
Bucheon International Film Festival screens independent movies from all over the world, and offers a chance to engage in free-style conversations with directors. The festival showcases movies from a variety of genres, including horror, mystery, thriller, and sci-fi.
Period: July 5-7, 2019
Venue: Area of Seodong Park and Gungnamji Pond in Buyeo-gun, Chungcheongnam-do (충청남도 부여군 서동공원과 궁남지)
The Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival is held at Gungnamji, the first man-made pond in the nation. Visitors can view many lotus flower varieties, including red and white lotuses as well as water lilies. At night, the pond is illuminated with LED lights and sculptures. The most popular event at the festival is the performance showcasing the love story between Prince Seodong (King Muwang’s childhood name) and Princess Seonhwa. Other programs include trying foods made with lotus and taking part in a lotus leaf tea ceremony demonstration.
Period: July 19-28, 2019
Venue: Daecheon Beach Mud Square in Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do (충청남도 보령시 대천해수욕장 머드 광장)
At the Boryeong Mud Festival, visitors jump into a huge pool of mud for more than just fun, as Boryeong mud is well-known for its excellent quality and efficacy. This fun, action-packed festival is popular among local and international visitors because it offers various programs such as the mud massage pack, colored-mud body painting, and mud soap-making.
Period: July 26-28, 2019
Venue: Jisan Resort, 267, Jisan-ro, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 이천시 지산로 267)
Jisan Valley Rock Festival features performances of top international rock artists, including King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Adoy, and Guckkasten. The great music can be enjoyed along with the natural surroundings by camping out at the Jisan Resort campground.
Period: July 26 – August 1, 2019
Venues: Areas of Tamjingang River and Cypress Forest Woodland in Jangheung-gun, Jeollanam-do (장흥군 전라남도 탐진강, 편백숲 우드랜드)
The Jeongnamjin Jangheung Water Festival has its foundations in the waters of the Tamjingang River and Jangheung Multipurpose Dam in Jangheung. The festival teaches the value of water for the environment, humans, and energy in many ways through exhibits, films, and hands-on programs. Exciting summer water programs such as riding in wooden boats, on rafts, or water cycling are popular among visitors.
Period: July 27 – August 4, 2019
Venues: Areas of Naeseongcheon Stream and Sports Park in Bonghwa-eup, Bonghwa-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 봉화군 봉화읍 체육공원, 내성천)
Bonghwa Eun-uh Festival is held in the pure waters of Naeseongcheon Stream in Bonghwa-gun. The festival focuses on sweet fish, small freshwater fish that have a light watermelon scent. The main programs are catching sweet fish with a net or with just one’s bare hands, and sweet fish-related exhibits.
Period: August 2-6, 2019
Venues: Haeundae Beach, Gwangalli Beach, Busan Songdo Beach, Songjeong Beach and Dadaepo Beach in Busan (부산광역시 해운대해수욕장, 광안리해수욕장, 송도해수욕장, 송정해수욕장, 다대포해수욕장)
The Busan Sea Festival is a huge event that combines several events and festivals, such as a rock music festival, a beach dance festival, and a number of water sports. Concerts on the beach are a highlight of the festival, along with the night pool party, water carnival, and Gwangalli dance party.
Period: August 8-13, 2019
Venues: Areas of Megabox, Cheongpunghoban Lakeside Stage, Cultural Hall, and Uirimji Reservoir in Jecheon-si, Chungcheongbuk-do (충청북도 제천시 메가박스, 청풍호반무대, 문화회관, 의림지)
The Jecheon International Music & Film Festival showcases movies, documentaries, and animated films, focusing on the music used in the film industry. In addition to over 100 films showing during the festival period, musicians will also perform in locations all throughout the city.
Period: August 9-11, 2019
Venue: Songdo Dalbit Festival Park in Incheon (인천광역시 송도달빛축제공원)
Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival is a must-visit for rock fans. This annual festival invites famous rock artists from Korea and overseas to perform on the large outdoor stage. Artists coming this year include Two Door Cinema Club, Sevdaliza, YB, Broccoli,you too, and many more.
Period: August 10-14, 2019
Venues: Areas of Cultural Plaza, Tongjeyeong and Yi Sun-sin Park in Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 문화마당, 통제영, 이순신공원)
The Tongyeong Great Battle of Hansan Festival is held to commemorate the patriotism of Admiral Yi Sun-sin (1545-1598), who led his people to victory during the Imjin War (1592-1598). The festival features a parade for Yi Sun-sin and a recreation of the Great Battle of Hansan, as well as ocean sports and hands-on experiences such as making models of geobukseon (iron-clad turtle ship built by Admiral Yi during the Imjin War) and arrows.
Period: August 31 – September 8, 2019
Venue: Areas of Deungnamju Arena, Namdaecheon Stream, Yeche Cultural Hall, and Jinam Park in Muju-gun, Jeollabuk-do (전라북도 무주군 등나무운동장, 남대천, 예체문화관, 지남공원)
Muju Firefly Festival is held in the clean environment of Namdaecheon Stream in Muju. In the evening, visitors are greeted by an unforgettable sight: tens of thousands of fireflies lighting up the warm summer night like stars. Signature programs of the festival include learning about fireflies, sending up wish lanterns, and watching traditional culture performances.
* Festival dates and schedules are subject to change.
* This column was last updated in May 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.