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From sleeping to space-out contests, Seoul to host 120 events at Han River

Events include competition to award who sleeps most peacefully by river

By Lee Jung-joo

Published : April 29, 2024 - 15:45

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Participants take part in a space-out competition at the Han River on May 21, 2023. (Seoul Metropolitan Government) Participants take part in a space-out competition at the Han River on May 21, 2023. (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

Parks near the Han River in Seoul will play host to 120 cultural, leisure and recreational events, including a sleeping contest and a space-out competition, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government on Monday.

Starting with the 2024 Han River Festival in May, the city government announced during Monday’s press briefing that the festivities will last until the end of the year.

According to city government officials, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to host 25 percent more events by the Han River than in previous years. Out of the 120 events, 105 are city-led events while 15 are organized through private organizations.

“Aside from the 15 privately led events, the city government anticipates using up to 4 billion won ($2.9 million) of the city’s funds for the 105 other city-led events,” said a city government official during Monday’s briefing.

Out of the 120 scheduled events, the city government gave a list of 10 programs it anticipates being the most popular.

The top 10 programs include a mask parade on May 5, in which people march down the Jamsu Bridge with the marine band and performers in oversized costumes while wearing masks. This parade is a part of the opening ceremony for this year’s car-free Jamsu Bridge Walking Festival, which gathered up to 2 million visitors last year according to the city government.

The highlight of the events will be the space-out competition which has taken place every year for the past decade. This year’s competition will take place for 90 minutes to determine who is the best at spacing out by measuring whose heart rate beats the most steadily and the lowest. The competition will take place on May 12 at Jamsu Bridge.

The sleeping contest on the other hand, will take place for the first time on May 11 at Yeouido Hangang Park and will award the person who sleeps the most peacefully and quickly.

A A "noise-free DJ party" takes place at the Han River in 2023, where participants enjoy dance parties wearing wireless headphones. (AHHA Labs)

The city government will also host musical events, such as a songwriting contest for university students where teams can perform songs they made personally. This event is slated to take place on May 25, and is an homage to the popular Campus Song Festival that aired on MBC in 1977. On May 19, May 26 and June 2, a talent show for Seoul citizens will take place near Banpo Hangang Park, where participants are welcome to demonstrate any kind of skill from singing and magic to athletic performances.

Additionally, a boat parade is scheduled to take place on June 2 and supporters' events for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris is also scheduled to take place from July 26 to Aug. 11. A “noise-free DJ party,” where participants can enjoy dance parties wearing wireless headphones will also take place from May until October. Toward the end of the year, a Christmas market will also open near the Cheongdam Bridge and a sledding site will be available to the public at Ttukseom Hangang Park.

Through its scheduled events, the city government aims to attract 3 million visitors, which it estimates will generate up to 120.6 billion won in economic benefits along with 964 new jobs.