2011 Saint Patrick’s Festival – A Unique Celebration of Ireland’s National Day in the Heart of Seoul!

Here is the official press release on the St. Patrick's Day Festival in Seoul.


Seoul’s now annual participation in the international celebration in honour of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and the man accredited to having brought Christianity to Ireland, will start off in Insadong in Seoul on March 19
One of Seoul’s most popular and widely participated cultural events will continue to be hosted in the city – despite the downturn in Ireland’s economic fortunes. It wouldn’t be March if Ireland’s national day, Saint Patrick’s Day, wasn’t being celebrated. Thanks to the kind support of Daesung Corporation, Seoul Global Center, the Embassy of Ireland and a number of individual and private donations, the 11th Saint Patrick’s Festival in Seoul will take place on Saturday March 19 in Insadong, Seoul from 11:30 am to 5pm.

Having attracted over 15,000 spectators to past events, The Irish Association of Korea, who organise the event, are grateful for the support of trusted sponsors without whom this costly event wouldn’t have come into being.
This year’s festival will concentrate on the music and dance performances which people will be familiar with from previous festivals. Every festival has been a showcase and celebration of Irish culture and this festival will not differ. The open air concert which has become synonymous with Saint Patrick’s Day in Seoul will be the centrepiece of the Irish Association of Korea’s festival this year.

The festival is known for its keen participation from members of both the Irish and Korean community. This year will not disappoint with traditional folk-dancers and musicians playing Irish music, both traditional and popular rock, all coming from Korea. Musicians from Ireland will also feature heavily on the bill. The festival will also feature a performance by the United States 8th Army Band, who will perform Irish songs.

The festival will also offer an opportunity for the public to get involved – folk-dancing, which has grown in popularity every year, will take place at the main stage. The dancing gives everyone, young and old, a chance to come up and try some of the lively dances. The festival has become a major international family event.

Also, a display of Gaelic football – a unique national sport from Ireland – will be hosted by the Seoul Gaels Gaelic football team, one of the most successful teams in Asia. They will be hosting the Asian Gaelic Games in Korea later this year with teams from all over Asia coming to Korea to play Ireland’s national sport.

Being Irish, the festival has a reputation to live up to. Following the festivities in Insadong, not one but two more parties will take place at different locations in Seoul. Both parties are designed to suit different audiences. The Hooley, the name of both parties, will start from 6.30pm in Itaewon and 7:00 in Gangnam. The first smaller hooley shall be located in Itaewon and the larger one will be in Gangnam.

In Itaewon, the Hooley will take place in JR Bar where there will be a focus on traditional and other forms of Irish music. The first performance will start at 7pm with music continuing on until 1am. The will be a small cost at the door but the event will include special offers on drinks.

In Gangnam the Hooley will be a much larger affair. Hosted again by Dublin Terrace, several bands will play a variety of Irish and international rock music throughout the night. This event will take the form that many are familiar with. For 50,000won customers will be given unlimited Guinness and other drinks all night, or for 40,000 for those who consist of a party of ten people or more. For those who drink less, the price is just 30,000 won for two pints of Guinness plus one other drink. Free food is included in all prices so you can easily recharge yourself.

The Irish Association of Korea is a group of volunteers, from Ireland, Korea, and other countries, who rely on the spirit of the community and other groups to make their events a success. All over the world St. Patrick’s Day is a great example of sharing and celebrating cultural diversity together.

The IAK invites you to join in the festivities from the afternoon through to the night. Everyone, Koreans and members of the foreign community, are invited to participate in and support this friendship festival, while celebrating Ireland's national holiday by wearing green and joining the party!

11.30-11.45 Video showing Irish dance and sports performances
11.45-12.15 US 8th Army Musical Performance
12.15-12.30 Festival opens –
Introductory Speech by Irish Ambassador, Dr. Eamonn McKree
12.30-1.00 Traditional Irish Music by Banú (pronounced ban-ooh)
1.00-1.15 Irish folk dancing display
1.15-1.45 Irish folk dancing – participation by the audience
1.45-2.00 Intermission performance
2.00-2.30 Fotla – Irish rock-music group
2.30-2.45 Intermission performance
2.45-3.15 Traditional Irish music by Bard
3.15-3.30 Irish folk dancing display
3.30-3.45 Irish folk dancing – participation by the audience
3.45-4.15 U2 covers band
4.15-4.30 Intermission performance
4.30-5.00 Finale – all musicians gather on stage and people dancing
5.00 End.

Schedule for Hooley
All tickets available at door

Venue: JR Bar

6.30 - Doors open
7.00-8.30 – Music by Dara Sheehan
8.45-10.00 – Traditional Irish music Bard
10.15-11.30 – Irish contemporary and folk by Erik Custer
11.45-01.00 – Irish folk rock by Fotla

Venue: Dublin Terrace
50,000 won for all drinks especially Guinness
*for parties of ten or more, a discount of 10,000 won per person shall be applied.
30,000 won for two Guinness and another drink

Free food for all customers

7.00 – Doors open
7.30 - 9.00 Irish contemporary and folk by Erik Custer
9.15 – 11.00 Irish folk rock by Fotla
11.15 – 01.00 LRD
All performance times and performers may change at the organisers discretion.

Please visit our website for further details and updates – www.iak.co.kr

Contact details:

Conor O’Reilly – conor_o_reilly@yahoo.co.uk

Tom Coyner – tom@softlandingkorea.com

Photographs available fromtom@softlandingkorea.com

About the Irish Association of Korea
Founded in 1996, the Irish Association of Korea promotes Irish culture in Korea by organizing events of interest to Irish people in Korea, and that are opportunities for Koreans and other people living in Korea to experience and learn more about Irish life. Among other events, it organizes the annual St. Patrick's Day festival in which over 18,000 people participated in Seoul in 2008 and now celebrating the Eleventh Annual Irish Festival.
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Pictures are taken either with my Panasonic DMC-G2 Camera with 20mm Lens or with my iPhone 4G
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