Seoul’s Pop District

The municipal government of Seoul, South Korea,  wants to develop the northern edge of the capital into a “pop music mecca” featuring concert halls, a music school, and even residences that specially target musicians.

Photo: AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon
"All Night Stand," Olympic Park, Seoul, South Korea

An announcement from a city official outlined a plan to create a “blueprint for the creation of a culture and arts complex in Changdong, where the Seoul Arena, a performance-only venue with 20,000 seats, will be constructed … by 2021,” according to Korea Bizwire. Also under consideration is a “K-pop museum or K-pop experience hall” provisionally called the Hall of Fame for Pop Music.

Officials envision the Seoul Arena as presenting more than 200 concerts a year, and fans of the Korean Wave from abroad are expected to come to Seoul expressly to attend shows there. Changdong is easy to access from Incheon International Airport. The city opened Platform Changdong 61 in April near the Changdong subway station, a complex that incorporates a concert hall and a recording studio.

Officials are carrying out a feasibility study for an applied music school patterned after the Berklee College of Music in the U.S. There are also plans for a photo museum, a robot museum, culture and arts studios and a “culture street.” Famous music-related cities such as Liverpool, UK, and Austin, Texas, are being studied as examples.