With an impressive lineup consisting of both legends of Korean hip-hop and R&B and fresh rookie faces, the fans’ expectations for RapBeat Festival 2022 were high. After being postponed two times due to pandemic restrictions, the popular event came back in style, showing the unstoppable strength of ever-growing Korean hip-hop. The festival brought together a wide range of music enthusiasts, thanks to a great selection of both prominent and indie artists.
The setting of the colourful SeoulLand amusement park was accompanied by the vibrant, funky design of the festival’s publicity materials (led by the psychedelic drawing of the rabbit mascot) creating a bizarre, slightly off-the-wall atmosphere, perfect for this type of event. The exciting weekend flew by fast, filled with fantastic, playful energy from start to finish.
The two days were packed with countless performances, divided between 4 stages. The performances were kept quite short, with each set lasting around 30 to 40 minutes. While this setup was obviously disappointing for people who came to see only a few of their favourite artists, it provided a great opportunity to see many performances, experience different types of music, and discover new artists.
Somehow, the festival did not feel rushed and the short sets gave the artists the opportunity to give it their all. As seen with most concerts after the pandemic, the artists’ eagerness to perform was usually equal to the fans’ excitement to see them. It was a festival that delivered a range of emotions, from Loco’s unbelievable hype to Zion.T pulling at everyone’s heartstrings with “YANGHWA BRDG.”
The main stage (Rapbeat Stage), hosting the biggest names like CL or Aminé, was always buzzing with energy, with people going crazy even during the heavy rain brought upon by an incoming typhoon. Each performance felt like a party.
However, people preferring less intense concerts could find their refuge at the Chillax Stage, which definitely lived up to its name. Instead of standing, the attendants were invited to relax on wide steps covered in fake grass while watching the performances.
This stage hosted all the indie rock, R&B, and hip-hop artists, including Samuel Seo, Since, Seori, Bloo, and Zion. T. Sitting at the Chillax Stage was immensely relaxing, providing the perfect environment to discover new music. On the evening of the first day, with warm summer air and the moon shining bright above the stage, RapBeat felt like the epitome of the perfect summer music festival.
Even the two smaller stages, Phooey Stage (for rookies) and Boogie Stage (DJ’s), provided entertainment in between the bigger shows. When walking to the colourful SeoulLand 7/11, one could discover new up-and-coming artists (including Cherry Coke, Niihwa, and Mingginyu).
It was a nice space for newer artists to hold their first live performances, without much pressure from the public.
The line-up consisted of too many great artists to list them all, but some of the performances really stood out. CL brought the house down with her unmatchable energy, while Zion.T once again proved the deep emotional quality of his music, astounding the audience with his touching vocals. BIBI mesmerised the public while SE SO NEON really stood out by bringing true rock and roll energy to the last performance of the festival.
There weren’t any major issues with the organisation. The communication was good, with a minor hiccup on the first day concerning a lack of pointers on how to get to the shuttle bus. This was fixed on the second day, with staff members pointing the way to the buses with red light sticks.
Even with the typhoon arriving in Korea on the second day of the festival, the continuous rain did not stop the festival from running smoothly and all the attendees were provided with raincoats.
Overall, RapBeat Festival 2022 was a positive experience and a highly recommended event. The setup in SeoulLand amusement park added a fun and unique flare to it. After two days of seeing their favourite artists, discovering new music, and singing their lungs out in the rain, fans left the festival charged with positive energy.