Last Saturday night, PSCORE supporters turned out in full force for an amazing rock concert to raise awareness and support for North Korean refugees!
The event took place at Club Freebird 2 in Hongdae, a great venue that somewhat resembles an underground cave – in a unconsciously hipster sort of way, if that makes sense. Not being particulary into rock music myself, I honestly wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy the concert, but I ended up having a really good time. When I walked in and heard the opening act, Bluesnake, playing a rock cover of Frozen’s now-infamous Let it Go, I know there would be something there for everyone.
And from a mix of classic covers to obscure rock songs to exciting new material, there really was. The thing that tied these acts together wasn’t so much the rock genre as it was a rockstar style enthusiasm for their performances and for bettering the lives of the North Korean people. It was inspiring to see and made me feel even better about having fun for a good cause.
I wondered if the songs would be in Korean or English and if either one would end up alienating the audience or pushing potential attendees away – would this be a largely Korean event, inaccessible to foreigners, or would this be an expat only scenario, leaving out the people who should care most about this issue? As it turned out, the concert was mostly in English, though covers of hugely popular and famous songs united the music lovers in the audience regardless of their native languages. There was a good mix of both Koreans and foreigners in the audience, showing that PSCORE is achieving its goal of uniting young people in Korea in the name of this cause.
The concert closed in the early hours of the morning with popular band Angry Bear and PSCORE revealed the next day that the event had raised more than 650,000 won! That money will go to running PSCORE’s essential programmes, specifically to helping North Korean defectors live both normal and fulfilling lives here in South Korea.
Sometimes we forget that after the massive struggle of surviving life in North Korea and the escape itself, there are still many more struggles to come for North Korean people, who have never been exposed to the crazy technology or huge numbers of cars and people that make up every day life in South Korea, who have learned to distrust authority rather than ask it for help, and who – if they went to school at all – spent their days learning about the double-rainbow lives of the Kim family instead of growing up in the ever-more-competitive academy culture that exhausts kids in South Korea. They have different accents, different clothes, different expectations, and often find it hard to fit in or be accepted. The money raised at PSCORE’s Rock Out concert will go to buying defectors food, clothes, school books and entrance into educational programmes to help them apply their incredible resilience and determination to life in the South.
And don’t worry if you missed it – PSCORE holds these concerts every two months, so you can definitely catch it next time.
See you there!