Right next to the Asia Culture Center where part of the “Imagined Borders” show was occurring was a giant festival called 7080 Chungjang. I’d read a little bit about it online but hadn’t been interested in going out of my way to find it, but since I happened to be there I decided to check it out. The festival is a 5 day festival that happens once a year in Gwangju where they reminiscence on the past and bring it back to life. Specifically the 70’s and 80’s.
Outside of the Asia Culture Center were several buildings that you could go into for a specific nostalgic experience. There was an old post office and an old barbershop, both of which were running and you could pay to get a hair cut or send a special post card. There were performances and a video arcade with a couple old games playing and the busiest room was the school house. So crammed that you couldn’t get into the room and there was a large line outside trying to get in or even to see in.
Out past the Asia Culture Center were all sorts of experiences and booths from local Gwangju businesses. I walked past a bird cafe with their birds out for people to meet. (and hold for a fee of 3,000 won) Plus, like most festivals there were street food vendors around, so carry cash if you want a snack.
There were also several stages. The main stage seemed to be inside the Asia Culture Center somewhere was broadcasted out into the square showing the traditional performances for everyone to see. Throughout the streets were several smaller ones with performers playing and singing songs from the 70’s and 80’s. The art road also was busy with artists outside doing crafts and teaching guests (usually lots of children) how to make things that they could then take home.
It was fun to walk through, very very busy and crowded but the roads were closed off so you could walk easily through the street without having to get out of the way of cars. (Keep this in mind if you’re traveling in Gwangju during the festival that bus routes do get re-routed) This festival happens every year and has a variety of performances to watch and experiences to enjoy and is family friendly. It usually occurs in late September/early October,