Here’s a complete list of major annual Korean music festivals and year-end award ceremonies in South Korea for K-Pop and K-Drama fans!
Annual Korean Music Festivals
1. Dream Concert
The Dream Concert is one of the biggest annual K-pop festivals in South Korea, and it will be taking place soon in Seoul World Cup Stadium on June 4, 2016.
This year, EXO, TAEMIN(SHINee), NAM WOO HYUN(INFINITE), B1A4, VIXX, BTOB, T-ARA, Lovelyz, Red Velvet, Boys Republic, GFRIEND, OH MY GIRL, Seventeen, MAMAMOO and many more will be performing at the Dream Concert. For details, click here.
2. Mnet 20’s Choice Awards
The Mnet 20’s Choice Awards is a major music awards show organized by Mnet channel, which is held every summer. Only fans in their 20’s can participate in the online voting. In order to register, voting is required, and one vote is permitted only once per day.
3. Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA)
Mnet Asian Music Awards, or MAMA, is one of the biggest music awards that is broadcast in 4 continents, including Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. Every year, MAMA presents a spectacular concept and theme of stages and shows.
4. MelOn Music Awards
The MelOn Music Awards is another major music awards show that is held annually in South Korea. Based on digital sales and online votes collected from online music store, MelOn, the winners are selected.
5. K-Pop World Festival
Organized by South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, fans of K-pop are invited to take part in the competition called K-POP World Festival. It is held every year in Changwon, the southern part of South Korea.
6. Asia Song Festival
Since 2004, Asia Song Festival (ASF), or A-Song-Fe, has been taking place in South Korea annually. It is an Asian pop music festival that features artists from Asian countries. It is broadcast all around the world. The schedule for the festival is TBD.
7. Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards
The Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards (가온 차트 K-POP 어워드) is one of the major music awards shows in South Korea. Every year, Gaon Chart, the national music record chart, give awards to the winners according to data for sales of songs and albums from previous year’s Gaon year-end chart performance.
8. Grand K-POP Festival
9. Summer K-POP Festival
Last year’s Summer K-POP Festival was just incredible. The line-up included Infinite, T-ara, GOT7 and many more popular K-pop stars.
At the festival, there are promotion booths that offer various vouchers that international travelers can use during their stay in South Korea. So don’t forget to get one of these vouchers if you want to make most of your trip.
10. Hallyu Dream Festival
Hallyu Dream Festival is an annual Korean music festival that takes place in Gyeongju , a city in South Korea that is widely known for its cultural and historic sites. Here, K-Pop fans and international travelers can witness their favorite stars and take a look around the magnificent Korean historic sites.
11. The K-Festival
This is a relatively new annual festival in South Korea that is first held in 2014. Unlike the other music festivals in Korea, the K-Festival offers beyond music. Not only you can enjoy stunning stage performances of some of the popular K-Pop stars, but also a variety of exhibitions and hands-on programs related to K-Food, K-Fashion, K-Beauty and many more.
Year-end Music Awards
1. Seoul Music Awards
Started in 1990, Seoul Music Awards, or High1 Seoul Music Awards, is one of the biggest K-Pop events in South Korea. Since 1990, this music awards feature the best artists and singers every year. The winners are selected from singers who have released albums during the year, through mobile votes, popularity poll, digital downloads and album sales, and judges’ scores.
2. Golden Disk Awards
One of the year-end awards shows in South Korea, the Golden Disk Awards celebrates by giving awards to the artists have made outstanding achievements in the music industry.
3. SBS Awards Festival (SAF)
SBS Awards Festival (SAF), is Seoul’s best year-end broadcast event that celebrates all the accomplishments in SBS‘ TV programs throughout the year. You can meet your favorite TV shows and stars in one place and there is a variety of exciting events you can engage in.
During the festival, there are booths that offer various programs and activities where you can take part in and win special prizes such as autographed CDs and tickets for the Gayo Daejeon (Kpop Music Festival), Drama & Entertainment awards ceremony!
4. Korean Music Awards
The Korean Music Awards (한국대중음악상) is another major year-end music awards show in South Korea, which acknowledges the achievements made by music artists in the past year. The winners are decided by a panel of judges consisting of music critics, music radio PDs, and other professionals within the industry.
5. MBC Gayo Daejejeon
MBC Gayo Daejejeon, or mostly known as MBC Gayo Daejun, is one of the best year-end music program broadcast events. Hosted by MBC, one of the 3 major broadcast corporations in South Korea, this music festival is held annually.
6. SBS Gayo Daejeon
Hosted by by Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), SBS Gayo Daejeon, or SBS Gayo Daejun, is a major annual end-of-the-year music program broadcast event. Today, it’s held together with SBS Entertainment Awards and SBS Drama Awards as a part of SBS Awards Festival.
7. KBS Gayo Daechukje
One of the popular annual year-end events, KBS Gayo Daechukje, also known as KBS Gayo Daejun or KBS Music Festival, is held by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS). The best artists are selected by viewers’ text-message vote.
Year-end Entertainment Awards
1. MBC Entertainment Awards
The MBC Entertainment Awards is an awards ceremony held at the end of each year. It takes about 140 minutes and is shown in two parts on MBC.
2. SBS Entertainment Awards
At the end of the year, SBS host SBS Entertainment Awards, which is an awards ceremony that acknowledges the best entertainers.
3. KBS Entertainment Awards
Sponsored by KBS, KBS Entertainment Awards features performances by popular K-pop artists and music parodies from comedians from the famous Korean comedy TV program called Gag Concert. This event is held at the end of each year.
Year-end Drama Awards
1. Korea Drama Awards
The Korea Drama Awards is one of the most honorable awards ceremonies in South Korea that K-Drama fans should not miss. Taking place annually in October in Jinju, a city in the southern part of South Korea, the awards ceremony is aired on all 3 major broadcasting networks and cable channels.
The categories for awards include ‘Grand Prize (Daesang)’, ‘Best Drama’, ‘Best Production Director’, ‘Best Screenplay’, ‘Top Excellence Award, Actor’, ‘Top Excellence Award, Actress’ and many more.
2. MBC Drama Awards
The MBC Drama Awards is an annual awards ceremony that celebrates outstanding achievement of Korean dramas aired on MBC at the end of the year. The highlight of the ceremony is, of course, the the final ‘Grand Prize’, which is awarded to the best actor or actress of the year. In 2015, Ji Sung took the Grand Prize home for his outstanding performance in ‘Kill Me, Heal Me’.
3. SBS Drama Awards
The SBS Drama Awards, hosted by SBS, awards actors and actresses who showed their best performances in dramas aired on SBS at the end of the year. Last year’s Grand Prize winner was Joo Won for his performance in ‘Yong Pal’.
4. KBS Drama Awards
Along with awards ceremonies by SBS and MBC, KBS also hosts the KBS Drama Awards. Last year, a famous Korean actor named Kim Soo-hyun, won the Grand Prize for his best performance in ‘Producers’.