2022 WELCOME DAEHAKRO from Sept 24 to Oct 30, Emerging as a global tourist destination for performing arts

Date Sep 26, 2022

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister PARK Bo Gyoon, MCST) in collaboration with the Korea Tourism Organization (Acting President SHIN Sang Yong, KTO) and Korea Performing Arts and Tourism Association (Chairman KIM Gyeong Hoon, KPATA) hosts 2022 WELCOME DAEHAKRO from September 24 to October 30. The festival is organized to promote Daehakro, a major art and culture street located in downtown Seoul, as a hub of performance tourist attractions and encourage foreign performance tourists to visit Korea, thus contributing to the nation’s leap forward as an attractive tourist destination.

Marking its 6th anniversary this year, the event has emerged as Korea’s representative performing arts festival offering outstanding performances in Daehakro, including non-verbal performances, traditional performances, musicals, and plays. This year, it will feature a record number of over 150 performances, which will serve as a venue for Korean and foreign tourists to release the psychological fatigue induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and offer opportunities of fair access to culture for all.

The opening ceremony, “Welcome Road Show,” was held on September 24 (Sat) at 5pm. For the opening, in particular, the entire street of Daehakro was car-free, the first since the festival’s inception in 2017, creating a giant stage for performances by 32 teams. Along the 500-meter stretch of Daehakro, over 20 teams grouped into two parts performed a street procession. Pianist Chong PARK and a choir featured a beautiful harmony. The modern dance company Lee K- Dance and rock band YB heated up the opening ceremony even further with their performances.

During the opening ceremony, MCST Minister participated with actor LEE Sun-jae and PARK Jeong-ja, legendary actor and actress in Korea, who also played in Daehakro stages. During the interview, the minister said that he is excited to take part in the 2022 WELCOME DAEHAKRO. He also added that as the world is enjoying Korean culture, including K-Pop, movies, drama, and classical music, he strongly recommended people to come and visit Daehakro, which is becoming a destination for performing art and tourism. The opening ceremony was the culminate with the special stage by O Yeong-su (also acted in “Squid Game”), the honorary ambassador of KPATA, and Monika (choreographer), the honorary ambassador for 2022 WELCOME DAEHAKRO. Mr. O performed in collaboration with The Painters, a world-renowned performance group, and Monika impressed the audience with a splendid performance.

During the festival period, Welcome Theater will offer 10 performances that have drawn the most attention this year in Hall 1 and 2 of Seogyeong University Center for Culture & Art. The musical Legendary Little Basketball Team and the creative musical play Aesop’s Fables will be presented in Hall 1 and the play Living with Father and the musical Mia Famiglia in Hall 2 to delight the audiences. English subtitles will be provided to enhance the experience for foreign visitors.

In addition, Welcome K-Stage will broadcast 10 performances online (Naver, YouTube, etc.) every Wednesday at 8pm (KST) to provide viewing opportunities for those who cannot visit Daehakro in person to enjoy the festival. Starting with My Bucket List (Sept 21), a popular musical in Daehakro, plays and musical performances will be streamed online for viewers at home and abroad. Welcome K-Stage features subtitles in English, Japanese, and Chinese, which is expected to contribute to excellent Korean performances emerging as global tourist attractions in the performing arts beyond language barriers.

Furthermore, Welcome Fringe, a weekend street performance program in October at the outdoor Marronnier Park and Sonamu-gil in Daehakro, will provide a stage to 36 performance teams, serving as a venue for Korean and foreign tourists to feel the unique vibe of Daehakro. To add more to the program, the festival will market Daehakro tourism products in partnership with nearby tourist destinations, shops, and restaurants and distribute discount coupons for 30 shops in the area of Daehakro. For more information, please visit the event website (welcomedaehakro.com).

MCST official stated, “We will work with the private sector to develop the WELCOME DAEHAKRO festival into Asia’s leading celebration of performing arts like the UK’s Edinburgh Festival and advance Daehakro as a tourist destination for performing arts like the West End in London and Broadway in New York.”