DMZ Music Festival Returns for it’s Third Year in the World’s Most Guarded Demilitarized Zone

Jun 14, 2020 | ESCAPE, GOV, Korea, N.Korea, POP

DMZ Peace Train Festival @DMZPeaceTrain

If you’re up for a music adventure of a lifetime, look no further. The DMZ Peace Train Music Festival held in the demilitarized zone of North and South Korea is the best way to experience peace through your favorite artists. 

Welcoming people of all ages and nationalities, the DMZ Peace Train Music Festival is unlike any celebration you’ve ever attended. The festival will be held between North and South Korea on July 18-19  

The non-profit event on the DMZ in Cheorwon County, Gangwon Province in the South Korea area is an all-inclusive space where people can have fun and vibe to music. The site sits on the Civilian Control Line that marks a DMZ additional buffer zone. 

Abiding by The Rules

Peace Train will incorporate some changes compared to previous years because of the coronavirus pandemic. This includes a shorter lineup which consists of homegrown artists instead of international ones. The festival will also be held for only two days instead of four, and will enforce social distancing rules. 

The organizers of the said event could not help but use humor when asked about the social distancing measures in place, suggesting that people can use sombrero hats and hula hoops.  

In the first year of the festival in 2018, it was attended by more than 12,000 people. But now that large-scale events are highly discouraged, the crowd is expected to significantly decrease to just 3,000 to 4,000 participants.  

According to the Head of Content and Operations Cecilia Soojeong Yi, “we will check for fevers and symptoms, and we’ll have a test booth during the festival,” adding that they will be obsessive about disinfection.  

DMZ Peace Train Festival - Lineup

About the Festival

The previous editions of the festival showcased a curated mix of electronic acts, hip hop, and alternative music which included Velvet Underground founding member John Cale, former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, No Brain, and Iceage.  

The festival was surprisingly conceived by Martin Elbourne when he was touring the DMZ. He previously worked for The Great Escape Festival and the Glastonbury Festival in the UK.  

“It was perfect for a festival site. As it happens, Peace Train ended up taking place in the neighboring province,” he said, adding that it had brilliant facilities which included lots of toilets and an airport.  

The timing of the 2018 festival named after a Cat Steven’s Song could not have been done at a more opportune time when there was mounting tension between the US and North America.