“23rd Dol Green Concert… Inspired by a child playing on the lawn”
The Seowon Valley Green Concert, which has established itself as a K-pop hallyu green concert, will be held again this year. The Green Concert, which is held every year on the last Saturday of May, will be held on June 3 at the 18th hole of Seowon Valley in Paju, Gyeonggi-do. It was unavoidably delayed by one week due to an overlap in the schedule with the ‘Dream Concert’ to commemorate the Busan Expo.
The Green Concert, which began in 2000, is in its 23rd year and 19th edition. About 490,000 people attended last year, and it is expected to easily exceed 500,000 this year. Among them are about 3,000 overseas visitors.
This year’s performers are AB6IX, Super Junior 토토사이트 (Shin Dong-woo and Lee Chul), Jang Min-ho, Jinsung, Kim Tae-yeon, Park Gun, Baek Ji-young, Jung Dong-ha, Ha Dong-gyun, and 23 other ultra-luxurious members. What is different from previous years is the participation of trotting sensations in the global idol group.
We recently met with General Director Lee Jong-hyun, a poet and journalist who first organized the Green Concert and has been responsible for the beginning and end of the event for 23 years as a director, emcee, and organizer.
We first asked him about the background of Green Concert. “Since the mid-1990s, I’ve been thinking about opening up the vast lawns of golf courses to non-golfers once a year,” he said, “and I approached several golf courses, but Choi Choi, chairman of Daebo Group, which operates Seowon Valley Golf Course, agreed to take charge of everything.”
The idea for the green concert came from his desire to help overcome the negative perception of golf through donations. He was inspired one day at the theater when he saw a young child running across a large lawn with red balloons, looking so happy.
“I realized that the lawn was the site of a golf course, and I had the idea to utilize the golf course grass,” he said. “That’s how the Green Concert was born, and it first came to fruition in Seowon Valley in 2000.”
The first concert was held on October 14 of that year, with Lee and three other artists, including Park Hak-hak and Kang Eun-chul, who had always been close to Lee. The audience was only 1520 people, including Seowon Valley members and local residents.
From the second edition, the Green Concert was moved to May, and by the 10th edition, it had grown to a concert that attracted more than 20,000 people. And in recent years, except during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 45,000 people have visited Seowon Valley to watch the concerts.
One of the main reasons why the Green Concert has become one of the most representative Hallyu concerts in K-pop is the lavish lineup of performers who participated in the event. BTS, Wanna One, Girls’ Generation, BEAST, APINK, MAMAMOO, DJ DOC, EXID, BTOB, Teen Top, MBLAQ, VIXX, and many other K-pop stars who are now taking over the world stage have performed on the stage.
Green Concert is a donation and sharing event. Every year, the charity funds collected from the event are combined with donations from members of Seowon Valley Golf Club and Daebo Group to the Sending Wheelchairs for Love Movement and Paju Nursery School in Gwangtan-myeon, Paju City.
For him, not a single journey over the past 23 years has been unimportant, but an anecdote from the 2018 event is the most memorable. “After a four-hour performance, I was coming off the stage with an empty heart, and an elderly villager who lived nearby said, ‘Thank you for organizing the event. How can an old man watch such a luxurious performance?” He would take out mugwort from his handkerchief and often walk away, and tears would pour down his face. The event I created for others actually healed me,” he recalled.
There are too many anecdotes about Green’s concerts to list. “Once, it rained so much that we tried to stop the performance,” he said, “but I remember that not a single person moved and applauded, so we proceeded in the rain until the end.”
“If I can make others happier than myself, I will be happy in itself,” said Lee. “In that context, the Green Concert will not stop. We ask for your support and interest.”