The 13th Grand Mint Festival took place at Olympic Park, eastern Seoul, over the weekend, with a heavier emphasis on band music than ever before.

The all-genre music festival featuring K-pop artists, rock bands, hip-hop artists and more had a total of 50 acts in this year’s lineup. According to the festival, this year the main focus was band music.


The 13th Grand Mint Festival takes place Sunday at Olympic Park in Jamsil, eastern Seoul. (Im Eun-byel/The Korea Herald)
As with previous editions, “space hero” Minty was the festival mascot, appearing on all the festival posters as well as its merchandise. The organizers also prepared photo zones where visitors could pose with Minty figures.

The event kicked off Saturday with the likes of indie singers Yongzoo, Hong Issac and rock band We Are the Night. Four separate stages were set up, three of them sponsored — by Shinhan Card, WeMakePrice and Tsingtao.

As the sun glared, the main stage Mint Breeze Stage was packed with attendees lying down on picnic mats, ready to enjoy music in comfort.

It was the first time Jung Eun-ji of Apink had graced the stage alone at a festival. After singing her solo tracks “Hopefully Sky,” “The Spring” and more, she finished off with her biggest hit, “All for You,” which she originally sang with singer-actor Seo In-guk for the drama “Reply 1997.”

After Jung, Day6 took the stage. The five-man band under JYP Entertainment brightened the mood with tracks “You Were Beautiful,” “The Book of Us” and more.

At Club Midnight Sunset, the KSPO dome, more rock music played.

The quartet Soran then took the stage, turning it into a solo concert scene as it performed “Ricotta Cheese Salad” and “Stuck on You,” among others. The set list was packed with songs that fans could enjoy.

Actress Jeon So-min took the stage as a guest of Soran, singing “Confession of Your Love,” for which she wrote the lyrics based on her own experience of having a crush on someone. The actress collaborated with the band on an episode of the SBS TV show “Running Man.”

When the crowd sang along to the song “Happy,” vocalist Ko Young-bae, in awe, could not continue with his speech. He asked the crowd to repeat the song one more time.

On Sunday, singer-songwriter Younha sang “The Real Reason Why We Broke Up,” “On a Rainy Day,” “I’ll Be Your Light” and more. Onstage, she revealed that she can sing love songs better now as she currently has a crush on someone.

A hip-hop lineup was featured, too, with rappers Crush and Beenzino taking the stage.

Solo singer K.will and male duo MeloMance closed the festival on their respective stages.

Though the music festival is well established, there were some small hiccups. As the stages were not far from each other, the sound sometimes intruded into the wrong space. Also, attendees saved seats by spreading picnic mats by the Mint Breeze Stage, making it difficult for newcomers to find seats.

The Grand Mint Festival was launched 12 years ago and is organized by Mint Paper, which hosts the Beautiful Mint Life festival every May as well.

By Im Eun-byel ([email protected])