Seoul’s Open Mic Scene is Driven by Expat English Teachers
Seoul is so big and my time spent there on each trip is so limited – I stay one or night on my way to Mokpo in the south, and sometimes another night on my way back – that I have not been able to properly explore all the Korean musical venues. But the city has a vibrant expat community, and within that, a vibrant, if often ephemeral – open mic and jam scene. This expat community is bursting with struggling musicians and singer songwriters from Australia, England, the United States and Canada who work as English teachers on the side. They have set up open mics all over, with a high number in the Itaewon district, which is the expat centre of the city as far as I can make out.
Worldwide Open Mic Guide Philosophy
The only guide I am really in a good position to update regularly is that of Paris, since I live there. But I decided to do guides to all the other 20 and more cities on my worldwide open mic tour in order to give the knowledge I have personally of each city’s open mics. The guide has links to sites I know of local guides that may be more up-to-date, but I have chosen to list the open mics or jam sessions that I have played in myself. There may be others that I know of, but if I have not played there, I will not include it on the list. That way, the user learns a little of my own impressions. But I cannot be as certain that the guide is up-to-date – so check before you go.
So here, now, in any case is the Thumbnail Guide to Seoul Open Mics, Jam Sessions and other Live Music. Please do help me whenever you have information to give me on venues.