MT is an essential event for university students. It is an acronym for Membership Training, but it is really a type of party. We participate in it to make friends somewhere apart from our familiar surroundings. MT usually lasts between 2 to 4 days and there are various types of MTs such as department MT, club MT, and the university MT, etc. Students usually go to a vacation location and have their own little party there.
If you are a college student, you are bound to experience this at least once, so I would like to introduce a new type of MT that is currently on the rise. Drinking and partying is still all the same, but now we can enjoy a music festival all night long. You are able to learn different genres of music and artists and accumulate musical knowledge through the Festival. It is a fun and exciting MT where students can enjoy and learn at the same time. The MT that I am talking about is called ‘Jara Island internal Jazz Festival’
The Jara Island International Jazz Festival is held every October. The event first kicked off in 2004, and the variety of carnival programs has been gradually adding more. In 2005 there were 70,000 people in attendance, and in 2006 and 2007, the numbers increased to 100,000 and 130,000 respectively. In 2009, it was nominated as the most ‘Promising Festival’ by the Ministry of Culture.
The island isn’t just made for performances, and the audience can also use the island as a camping spot. There are international and domestic Jazz musicians on the main stage, but on the stage set by the Gapyeong Organization, you can also see hip-hop, soul, funky, etc types of performances.
You have to purchase your tickets online if you plan on going for more than two days, but if you would like to purchase a one day ticket you can buy them on the spot. You can also receive discounts if you have a Lotte card or if you are a student. People over 65, the handicapped, and children pay no admission fee.
Still think it is too expensive? No need to worry, because not only does the Jara Jazz Festival have concerts that are charged, but it also offers free concerts all over the island. The free events are held at the camping grounds, basketball court, playgrounds, Gapyeong the new station, Ihwanwon and many other places.
I went to Jara Island Jazz Festival last October on my professor’s recommendation, but at first I was not that into it because it was a Jazz Festival in which I had been barely interested. However, I thought of it as an MT, decided to go, and really enjoyed it. You can easily get to Jara Island from Gapyeong as it is in walking distance. When I arrived, I felt an instant vibe of Jazz as I saw indie bands perform on stage.
In a regular MT, you can’t normally go camping freely since it is a group activity, but at the Jara Jazz festival you can camp anywhere you like. It is like killing two birds with one stone where you can enjoy a Jazz festival and camp. You can have a good time with your friends and even you family. After unpacking we went out and had a barbeque and held back on the alcohol since we had to go watch the concerts. It was a whole new experience.
We took advantage of the free performances because as students we thought the prices were a bit too expensive. I personally think we don’t need to watch the charged events since there are various free events. I used to think that Jazz was a quiet and calm type of music, but once I got there my view changed immediately. Some of the music felt like K-pop ballads and others sounded like music you would hear at local clubs. It was exciting and made me want to go to a club. Don’t think of Jazz as a complicated, unapproachable genre. I think that everyone should experience Jazz and enjoy it just as I have.
<Tips to enjoy Jara Island Jazz Festival>
1. Make sure you have your jacket or blanket since it is cold at night!
2. There are an unusually large number of rainy days during Jara Island Jazz Festival.
Make sure you check the weather and should it rain, prepare a big plastic or paper box so you can use it to sit down.
3. Prepare a flashlight because the festival doesn’t stop just because it’s dark.
If you can’t make it to Jara Festival, there are other festivals you can go to. Just check the links below and find a festival that you can enjoy!
**Other festivals you might want to check out
1) Beautiful Mint Life: April 28~29, Goyang Aramnuri
2) Green Plug Seoul: May 26~27, Hangang Nanji park
3) World DJ Festival: May 26~28, Yangpeong gangsang sport park
4) Nami Island Rainbow Festival: June 9~10, Nami Island
5) Green Groove Festival: July 21~22, Chungnam Boryeong Daechonbeach
6) Jisan Valley Rock Festival: July 27~29, Jisan Forest Resort
7) Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival: August 5~7, Incheon Dream Park
8) Letsrock Festival: September 22~23
9) Global Gathering Korea: sometime in October, Hangang Nanji park
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