The first ‘no-mask’ outdoor music festival in several years has sparked a ‘ticketing frenzy’. The popular festival reportedly requires booking three to four months in advance to get tickets. The festival is sold out even at a ticket price of nearly 200,000 won. People are even selling black tickets on second-hand sites for a profit.
“Let’s enjoy without masks” festival sales surge
The end of the mask mandate after four years has boosted both supply and demand for festivals, according to the industry. In the last three months, festival transactions have increased 56% year-over-year in value and 84% in number of sales, according to Wimef.

Concerts and festivals, which bring together large numbers of people in one space, have benefited most from the pandemic. The Seoul Parks Music Festival 2023 and Beautiful Mint Life 2023, for which Interpark is organizing ticket sales, sold out of their allotment of tickets before the performances began.

The Seoul Jazz Festival 2023 (Seojae Festival) is known for its fierce “picketing”먹튀검증 (ticketing like a bloody war). Now in its 15th year, the festival will be held at Seoul Olympic Park from June 26-28. It is expected to be held on a normal scale before the pandemic, with more than 60 top artists from Korea and abroad.
“I can’t go because I don’t have a ticket” even if the price is over 200,000 won
Ticket prices are rising every year due to soaring inflation. In the case of Seo Jae Fae tickets, which are among the most expensive, they cost 130,000 won in 2019 and 160,000 won last year, making them about 30,000 won more expensive this year. Nevertheless, to get tickets that are sold out, secondary trading sites are also popular.

Recently, on the secondary market platform Carrot Market, there were several posts such as ‘I want Seojae festival tickets’ and ‘I want 2 tickets for Seoul Park Music Festival’. The tickets, which were sold for 30,000 to 40,000 won for a one-day ticket (190,000 won), were all traded within a day or two of being posted.

Illegal transactions involving multiple people sharing a single ticket have also been occurring every year. One trader wrote, “This is a 3-day ticket, but I’m only going to see it on Friday and Saturday, so I’m selling it cheaply to someone who will see it on Sunday.” Along with a 3-day ticket for Seojae festival worth 420,000 won.

Ticket sales for musicals, plays, and exhibitions have also increased. According to the Arts Management Support Center’s ‘Korea Performing Arts Integrated Information System (KOPIS) 2023 Q1 Performance Market Ticket Sales Status Analysis Report’, ticket sales for performing arts (excluding popular music) in the first quarter of this year totaled about 15.57 billion won, an increase of 44.6% year-on-year.

The fashion and liquor industries have also begun to attract customers to summer music festivals.

Fashion platform W Concept participated as an official sponsor of Seojae festival and held a “festival look” recommendation exhibition. Obi Beer, an official sponsor of SeoJaeFe, also met directly with consumers with its ‘HanMac’ and ‘Kas’ products during the event. “The pent-up demand for concert attendance continues,” said a representative from WeeMef, “and competition for ticket reservations has intensified, especially for major performances held outdoors.”

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