After a seven-year hiatus, South Korea has a summer music festival this year. Organized by local promoter Yellow Nine Entertainment, the 2006 Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival takes place July 28-30 on

After a seven-year hiatus, South Korea has a summer music festival this year.

Organized by local promoter Yellow Nine Entertainment, the 2006 Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival takes place July 28-30 on the island of Songdo, off the west coast of South Korea.

More than 45 acts are scheduled to perform at the event, including international acts such as Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, Placebo and Black Eyed Peas.

The same organizers attempted to hold a similar festival in 1999 called Triport, but a typhoon washed out the event in such a spectacular fashion that no one has since attempted a music festival on a similar scale.

"Since 1999, the Korean music market has really matured," says Yellow Nine Entertainment president Steven Kim. "There is more awareness of international music and different styles. We're not planning on making a lot of money this year. But eventually, we hope to gain exposure for alternative music and other good performing bands."

The event is modeled on Britain's Glastonbury and Japan's Fuji Rock festivals. "Thanks to Fuji Rock, Japan has grown into a much more balanced market over the past 10 years or so," says Kim. "Fuji helped move Japan away from manufactured music and toward more 'real' bands. We hope Pentaport will do the same for Korea."

While for many years South Korea had a strong rock scene, since the 1990s the market has been dominated by teen dance bands and ballad-oriented pop. Yellow Nine notes, however, that more than half the acts set to play the festival will be local alternative and underground bands.

Looming over the event, however, is North Korea's July 5 test-launch of several missiles. Pentaport organizers are concerned that this could cause some foreign acts to cancel. "It has nothing to do with anything, but you never know how people are going to react to this kind of thing [the test launch]," comments Kim.

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