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(LEAD) German EDM fest 'World Club Dome' kicks off in Incheon

All Headlines 21:33 September 22, 2017

(ATTN: CHANGES dateline; UPDATES with details throughout)
By Chang Dong-woo

INCHEON, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- A massive electronic dance music (EDM) festival based in Germany opened its first-ever Asian event on Friday in South Korea.

The World Club Dome (WCD) is an annual dance music event held in Frankfurt, hosted by the German radio station Big City Beats. The music festival first began in 2013, attracting some 150,000 each year, according to the Korean Tourism Organization.

The World Club Dome Korea 2017 that began its first day at the Munhak Sports Complex in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, is the festival's first foray into Asia. Top DJs and EDM artists, including Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, DJ Snake and Steve Aoki, were booked to headline the event.

WCD officially kicked off around 1 p.m. but began in earnest around sunset, with Dutch DJ duo Bass Jackers doling out his EDM hits, including "Derp" and "Fireflies," mixing in doses of hits by Ed Sheeran and also Linkin Park's "Numb" in an apparent homage to the band's late singer Chester Bennington.

Don Diablo, a renowned Dutch DJ who was ranked 15th in the Top 100 DJs compiled by DJ Magazine in 2016, further sizzled the crowd. A euphoric crowd jumped in tandem with the booming bass drumline in hits including "On My Mind," "Don't Let Go" and his rendition of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger."

"It's been so long since I've been in Korea, I missed you so much," Diablo told the roaring crowd. Bowing out from his gig, Diablo projected an image of the Korean flag on a screen with the message "Thank You" in Korean superimposed over it.

Yeeun, a former member of the now-disbanded group Wonder Girls who now goes by the pseudonym Ha:tfelt, put on a joint performance with German DJ Le Shuuk, unveiling their joint song "Fly High" produced for WCD Korea in the event's official opening ceremony.

(LEAD) German EDM fest 'World Club Dome' kicks off in Incheon1

Organizers have tried to woo hardcore EDM fans not just from Asia but also Germany and greater Europe as well. The venue was decided for being close to Incheon International Airport to court international visitors. The effort has appeared to have paid off, with large-sized national flags from the region, including Hong Kong, China, Japan and even France, seen being waved in the crowd.

The Incheon venue's less-restrictive regulation on noise volume, as opposed to areas in Seoul, was also a big factor. MPC Partners expects the crowd size to reach 150,000 for the three-day event.

"We came here with the intention to build something in Incheon which is unique and in Asia. The idea of doing a World Club Dome is not doing simply a festival, it's building a club," Bernd Breiter, founder and CEO of Big City Beats, said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on the festival sidelines.

When asked whether WCD will continue to be held in South Korea, Breiter said he hopes that will be the case.

"If you remember that one year ago there was nothing. And one year after now, there is a stadium with people who are happy who are dancing with the biggest stars coming together for the gathering. Of course we want to continue," said Breiter.

This is a file photo of Yeeun, former member of the now-disbanded group Wonder Girls who now goes by the pseudonym Ha:tfelt. The songstress performed at the opening ceremony at WCD Korea on Sept. 22, 2017. (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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