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A Summer of Festivals: Rock-Do

Yeouido Floating Island Stage

And so as the summer draws to a close and I find myself having to don jeans for the first time since May, I think it’s time to look back at my summer of festival going. Despite my legs feeling weird wearing jeans yesterday, I did wake up this morning with a sunburnt face. Go figure.

Alas, yesterday was Rock-Do day, which any regular readers will notice was the festival I’ve had advertised in the sidebar for the past month (poster by Ursula Burgess and in spite of playing will-it-won’t-it-rain with the weather all week, the day went ahead as planned and nary a single drop of water fell from the sky. In fact, it was the perfect day to have it. Not too hot. Not too cold. Not too sunny you think you might die and need to go find shelter and a large bottle of water. The cloud cover gave way to a beautiful sunset in the evening and even with the night time chill, it was nothing a cardigan couldn’t solve. Taking place on Yeouido’s Floating Island Stage (uh huh a Floating Island Stage) the picturesque location made for a beautiful day of lazing by the riverside and watching some good music with friends and cheap beers.

Rock-Do, pronounced Rock-Doe (Rock도), is a first-year festival from the boys behind Exit6, a music promotions company set up by The Canadian One and The British Friend. Aiming to provide a way for dedicated supporters of the local music scene to check out their favorite bands without having to pay an exorbitant amount of money, Rock-Do was free. YAY! ‘Rock-Do’, in case anyone doesn’t know, is a play on words. ‘Rock’  meaning…well, ‘rock’ clearly, and ‘do ()’ meaning ‘island’.

Kicking off the event at 12:30ish was Ironic Hue quickly followed by Noisecat, who previously performed at that Art Show I went to where I bought a Turtle Teapot.

Next up were the BEARS!!

Angry Bear take to the stage

Well, Angry Bear to be precise, featuring the bear you’ll remember from this post and The Canadian and The British Friend on guitar and drums respectively. In the 30 minute set, they played three songs I love (although Canadian One if you’re reading this I enjoy all your band’s songs…moving swiftly on…). MOST importantly, they kicked off the set with this song, which is my second favorite.

After that was No Respect For Beauty (a band The Canadian One loves) and then Magna Fall, who are a three piece band which consists of two-third Irishness and one-third American.

Matt the Bear, Scott from Angry Bear, Neil from Magna Fall and June from No Respect For Beauty hang out near the band tent

Magna Fall and Angry Bear are friends and as a result, I see this trio a lot and they never fail to entertain. Koreans might remember them from Top Band, an American Idol-esque show they were briefly apart of earlier in the year. Since I was too busy drinking soju (a Korean form a vodka…to describe it very loosely) I took no photos of them on stage, so here’s one I took at Green Groove, a festival earlier in the summer.

Magna Fall @ Green Groove July 2012

Next up were Love X Stereo and Used Cassettes, which had Ironman show up unannounced during the latter’s set distracting the entire crowd including me and The Canadian One, who whipped out his iPhone to film the event. It was like a scene in a movie where the crowd is suddenly drawn to something in the corner of their eyes. They look to see something they don’t quite understand and think ‘What…is…that…?’…and then they stare, open mouthed as it gets closer and closer and even still, they don’t quite understand it. It was exactly like that. For me anyway. Even this morning, reviewing the photos, The Canadian One was enthusiastically claiming it was ‘awesome’, ‘amazing’ and ‘LOOK! What the f*&k?!’

After the commotion of IronAquaMan came a break in the bands for some belly dancing courtesy of Eshe and Navah from Dream Dance Studio. It’s worth noting ALL of the boys came out of the band tent for this one. All of them. Having never seen them perform before but heard a plethora of good reviews of their shows I was particularly excited to see them. I bailed on standing near the tent (and the boys) to go watch them from afar and became fixated on their colorful outfits and shimmying about. Even with the wind, the girls made the dances look floaty and effortless. We also all agreed if we looked as good as Eshe at 7 months pregnant, we’d all be very very happy!

Following the ladies was Vidulgi Ooyoo (meaning, literally ‘Pigeon Milk’) and then second to last to perform was Ynot?, the band I was most excited about playing! Their lead singer, Q, burst onto the stage like a giant ball of energy and had the crowd jumping and dancing within minutes of the first guitar cords being hit. Ending on a cover song (and an encore) and taking two runs off the stage and into the crowd, Ynot? were perhaps my favorite band of the whole event! Further proving there is nothing drunk people love more than dancing to upbeat cover songs by the riverside.

The Canadian One introduced me to Q after the show as ‘this is my girlfriend, Jenny. She loves you guys. She’s your biggest fan’. Q was polite, genuinely nice given that I was jumping up and down enthusiastically and animatedly telling him how much I liked his band. Of course, since the after party was in the bar he manages and I was on the door stamping patrons, I ended up seeing a lot of him during the night!

Closing out the night were The Strikers, finishing the event bang on time at 9pm and then it was off to the after party at Club Ta until 2:30am featuring The Rub, another favorite band of mine who’s 1st EP was released yesterday which features my favorite song of theirs so today I sit, patiently waiting for it to come online so I can type in my download code and dance around to it.

Overall, Rock-Do was a major success. No rain, awesome bands, great people. Months and months in the making, gathering bands, throwing fundraisers, marvelling at the extremely photogenic stage (Me: ‘What do you mean, it floats?’ Like a boat?’ – when The Canadian One first told me of the plan) and then day finally arrived and went off without a hitch or at least without a hitch that couldn’t be solved.

All of which begs the question, so boys, next year, Rock-Do 2013…it’s on, right?

For more information on Rock-Do or Exit6 events check out their Facebook pageor