Rosa Gulliver of TINYGMUSIC | 26th October 2023
'The Grand Mint Festival 2023 (hereinafter referred to as GMF2023)' successfully concluded the event, firmly maintaining its position as a leader among traditional festivals.
GMF2023, which took place over three days from October 20th to 22nd at 'Olympic Park,' featured 42 acts of Korea's top artists. This event, held for the first time in a long time, showcased performances on three stages: Mint Breeze Stage, Loving Forest Garden, and Café Blossom House. The festival attracted a large number of visitors. As a large-scale festival with a wide audience, the participating artists also gave their best to deliver an unforgettable performance. This included a more cohesive set list and collaborative stages with other artists.
The standout performance at this year's GMF2023 was 'The Classic' stage held at Loving Forest Garden. The Classic, who performed on the festival stage for the first time since their debut through GMF2023, once again showcased the power of timeless masterpieces by singing many hit songs such as 'Letter' and 'Magic Castle' with the audience. In addition, on the 'Fox Night' stage, 'Lim Kim,' who rose to stardom by singing the song on 'Superstar K Season 3,' made a surprise appearance, presenting a beautiful harmony between seasoned performers and up-and-coming talents. Lim Kim, who is experiencing a resurgence in popularity after being chosen as the mega mission song for '1 Million' in Mnet's 'Street Woman Fighter 2,' delivered a captivating performance on the Café Blossom House stage alongside two talented dancers, creating a visually stunning spectacle. It was a well-executed performance.
Artists who debuted new songs at GMF2023, such as 'Yudabin Band' and 'Kim Feel,' also garnered attention. Yudabin Band, who participated in the Loving Forest Garden stage on Sunday, created an exciting atmosphere for everyone to enjoy by performing three unreleased new songs, including 'ONCE' and 'CALLING,' which will be released on the 29th. Kim Feel also released his new song 'LIFE' for the first time, filling the waterside stage with his emotional performance.
The close friendship between senior and junior artists was evident on the stage of the festival's powerhouse, 'Soran.' In Soran's festival signature performance, which began with the sound of an alarm while lying on a bed, Young K of 'DAY6', who performed just before, surprised many fans by making a surprise reappearance while lying on the bed. In the 'Autumn Tree' sequence, known for its 'Nordic dance,' vocalist Choi Sang-yeop from 'LUCY' joined in and danced the Nordic dance together, elevating the festival atmosphere to its peak.
The headliners on each stage clearly showed why they were chosen as the headliners, delivering flawless performances. On Friday, 'ThornApple,' who was the headliner of the 'GMF2023: Special Night' stage, collaborated once again with the national tour staff who had been together for the past month. They presented an electrifying stage that required no embellishments. Despite the colder-than-usual weather, ThornApple's passionate performance heated the atmosphere.
'Younha,' who appeared on Saturday, showcased her prowess as the festival's reigning queen by flawlessly performing her repertoire of hit songs, while also delivering impromptu, unaccompanied performances of songs not included in the setlist. In addition, she created a romantic atmosphere by dimming the lights on the stage and gazing at the stars with the audience. This gesture garnered praise and led to comments like, "As expected, Younha is the star of the festival."
On Sunday, the headliner at the Mint Breeze Stage was LUCY. LUCY's Shin Ye-chan delivered a mesmerizing blindfolded violin performance that captivated both the eyes and ears of the audience. As the headliner on the final day of the festival, they infused the crowd with energy from beginning to end, dispelling any lingering disappointment.
Meanwhile, at GMF 2023, not only the audience but also the artists frequently watched other artists' performances after their shows and strolled around the festival grounds to interact with fans. Many celebrities, including actors Jeon So-min and Seol In-ah, also attended the festival. Attendance also received attention through social media.
In addition, GMF2023 not only has three official stages but also a separate space called 'Bright Lab.' with busking performances by emerging artists, 'With ARTIST' where artists and audiences come together, a photometric booth, a hot air balloon, 'GMF2023 Awards Voting', and more for both men and women. A variety of side events and events were prepared for people of all ages to enjoy, receiving favourable reviews from the audience. The results of the 'GMF2023 Awards', which generated a lot of enthusiasm with the participation of about 3,000 attendees on-site, will be announced through the official website and social media as soon as the counting is completed. The awards ceremony will take place on November 12th at 'Mint Festa Vol. It will be held at ‘71 EXPRESSION.'
Mint Paper, the organizer of the festival, said, ‘ As this is the last outdoor festival of the year, we tried to create a performance that would make all the audience happy,' and ‘I hope that this GMF2023 will be remembered as one of the most enjoyable moments when looking back in 2023.' He expressed his thoughts.
GMF has once again written the legend of the Fall Festival just as the fall foliage has reached its peak and plans to captivate audiences with even more exciting events and compelling content next year.