We came here a few years as part of our tour itinerary – my memory of it may be a wee bit hazy, but by no means inaccurate!
Jeju Jungmun Resort presents the digital theme park “PLAY K-POP” where new media technology and K-pop music meet. The Live Holo Concert, a hologram concert, gives more excitement than an actual live concert. Live 360 3D, a 360-degree 3D animation video, is so real that you might feel as if the 3D images pass through your body.
This interactive entertainment space also features regular exhibitions, special exhibitions, a cafe and a souvenir shop.
There are quite a few museums/exhibition halls across Korea that have the same concept, such as SMTOWN @COEX and MBC World. This is, of course, thanks to the power of the Hallyu wave, that’s bringing lots and lots of tourists into Korea every year.
This K-pop theme park seems to heavily feature YG stars, even though I think it’s not directly opened by YG Entertainment. I got curious, so I went to research a little on it:
On July 22, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), YG Entertainment, and Next Interactive K (NIK) established the largest K-pop digital park in the world in Jeju Island. Named ‘Play K-pop,” the park is 4,300 m² (46,285 ft²) big and will hold hologram concerts as well as 3D animation shows.Source
Well, now we know!
You will get a ticket with a QR code on it: this is for you to scan at various spots for photo ops that they will save in the system, as well as to enter the hologram concert.
They change the videos and the stars everyday, if I’m not wrong, and it happened that PSY was a very big name back then (this was back in 2016) and there’s an assumption that everyone would know PSY, so… yeah. Of course, PSY isn’t the only star performing in the concert: BIGBANG was, of course, featured in the video, together with a few other 90s stars.
The entire hologram concert wasn’t very long; I think it took about 10 to 15 minutes. I was quite impressed by how realistic everything looked – you can barely tell that it’s a hologram! You even get to ‘interact’ with them, just like how performers usually interact with the audience at a concert. Unfortunately, no form of recording is allowed (understandable, since no company wants spoilers of their work circulating around), so I can only show you a photo of the ‘stage’ before the actual concert started.
After the show, you can take the time to go look around the other exhibits and engage in photo ops around the place. It’s definitely an exciting place to be if you are a K-pop fan, or at least know something about the industry and people involved.
After you are done, you can head to the ‘Play K-pop Shop’ located on the same floor, which sells various souvenirs and YG Entertainment products. Surprisingly, even though most the focus is on YG artistes, you will find official merchandise from other groups such as BTS as well.
In addition to the park itself, you can find MBC ‘Starry Night Café’ located on the first floor of the park. It supposedly features Akdong Musician’s hologram concerts, besides selling your usual F&B. We only went in briefly to take a look but didn’t stop for drinks because we were running short on time (that’s the problem with tours).
You won’t really find locals here, because such a place is specifically built to attract international K-pop fans. It’s not entirely bad – I do admit that I quite enjoyed myself here, especially considering that it was on my first trip to Korea after having dreamt of visiting the country for longer than I can remember. This is a common thread among international fans, so you can imagine why they came up with this idea, and on Jeju Island no less.
15 000 won is not cheap, but for a hologram concert experience that you may not get anywhere else, I think it is definitely justifiable. Do drop by and experience the hologram concert for yourself if you have time during your trip to Jeju!
[PLAY K-POP Admission]
Adults: 15,000 won
Teenagers: 13,000 won
Children: 12,000 won
[Lightning Man Performance]
* Closed on the first Tuesday of March & December
Address: 15, Jungmungwangwang-ro 110beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
From Jeju International Airport, take Airport Bus No. 600 and get off at the Korea Tourism Organization, Jeju Branch Bus Stop.