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The 2011 K-POP World Festival Updated: 2012-01-05 00:00:00 KST

The much anticipated K-POP World Festival finally opened on December 7th, 2011! Arirang Today followed the days leading up to this monumental event to find out more about the world's passion for K-pop.

[Interview : ] "It is so much fun!"

[Interview : ] "K-pop is the best!"

[Interview : ] "I love Korea. Go K-pop!"

[Interview : ] "I love K-pop."

Young people from all around the world have fallen in love with Korea by listening to K-pop.

All of these contestants have made through the fierce preliminary rounds to compete at the festival.

[Interview : ] "Hello."

[Interview : Lukas Kurniawan, Contestant
Indonesia] "If I had to describe Korea in one word, I would say, “excellent"."

[Interview : Patricia Agustin] "It's good."

Over 40 contestants came from 16 different countries to compete! Inspired by their visit to the cradle of K-pop, they cannot help but break out their dance moves in the streets.

[Interview : Karla Carreon, Contestant
The Philippines] "Amazing! I love it! Korea is such a pretty country!"

[Interview : Lrnka Vatascinova, Contestant
Czech Republic] "It's really great. It's a beautiful city out there. I really love it."

[Interview : ] "I love K-pop."

Their love for K-pop has opened their eyes to the greater charms of Korea.

[Interview : ] "Korea rocks!"

On the eve of the festival, contestants are fully absorbed in rehearsing and fine-tuning their skills. Their gift in singing and dancing is indeed riveting.

Special guests make an appearance to rally for these contestants!

[Interview : Soyu, Member of SISTAR] "It feels unreal to see so many K-pop fans from overseas. It feels like I'm in another country!"

[Interview : Hyorin, Member of SISTAR] "They're really into it!"

They immediately hit it off with the K-pop stars whom they've only admired from a distance. They spend a meaningful time together discussing their passion for music and Korea.

Stars are blown away by the contestants' powerful performances! Now we are all curious to find out who will win the grand prize.

[Interview : Hyorin, Member of SISTAR] "I'm so impressed. They've been such a great inspiration for me to work harder on my singing. I'm so grateful for their performance."

[Interview : Young Min, Member of BoyFriend] "The looks on their face were as intense as those of professional singers! I was able to feel the heat of K-pop."

[Interview : Young Min, Member of BoyFriend] "It was beyond anything I’d imagined. I'm getting goosebumps."

[Interview : Johana Marilyn, Contestant
Peru] "I like to dance K-pop. I love K-pop. This moment is wonderful."

Another special guest makes an appearance! Minister Choe Kwang-shik[최광식] from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has come to encourage these nervous contestants.

[Interview : Choe Kwang-shik, Minister
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism] "The world today is enamored by K-pop. More people from overseas are creating fan clubs and are imitating K-pop stars. We organized the 2011 K-POP World Festival to attract greater attention from the world on Korean Wave and Korean culture."

[Interview : ] "Go K-POP World Festival!"

The day of the competition finally arrives. Fans create a long queue outside the venue in anticipation to see both K-pop stars and contestants stage elaborate performances.

[Interview : Lee Ji-su, Audience member] "I'm going to cheer really hard today. Go K-pop!"

[Interview : ] "Go K-pop!"

Contestants can't help but feel butterflies in their stomachs! They are completely absorbed in making the final touches in their preparations.

[Interview : Lukas Kurniawan, Contestant
Indonesia] "I'm so speechless. I can dance on a big stage. I'm so speechless. I'm so excited."

[Interview : Anastasia Roja, Contestant
Russia] "We're very nervous about this competition. We're trying to concentrate. And we're going to do everything in our power to win in this competition."

K-pop fans cheer at the opening of the 2011 K-POP World Festival!
The festival, in fact, would not have been possible without these admirers. K-pop stars' opening acts arrest the audience.

[Interview : ] "I love it!"

[Interview : ] "It's so fun!"

Finally, the competition has begun. Their months of preparation finally pay off as each contestant stages an impeccable performance.

[Interview : K.will, Singer] "It's not easy to sing each letter right to convey the emotion. I can't believe these participants practiced these songs in Korean. They must have put in much more effort than we have. I am so blown away and humbled."

[Interview : Dasom, Member of SISTAR] "All of them were so gifted and talented. In fact, I thought we had a lot to learn from them. Some participants had really impressive dance moves. They were very inspiring."

As the competition comes to a close, the moment of truth arrives. Who will walk away with the grand prize[Interview : Ji Hyun-woo, MC] "The Best Vocal Performance of the 2011 K-POP World Festival goes to, Karla Carreon from the Philippines!"

The 2011 K-POP World Festival has brought fans, contestants, and K-pop stars together. All contestants feel like winners just by having come this far.

[Interview : Karla Carreon, Winner of Best Vocal Performance
The Philippines] "I am so happy right now. I can walk away with this trophy and US$5,000."

[Interview : Bui Huong Linh, Winner of the Grand Prize
Vietnam] "I could die happy since I got to perform on such a big stage. I am very happy and grateful."

[Interview : ] "I love K-pop!"

Although the festival has come to a end, it marks a new beginning for contestants, who have just come to deepen their appreciation for Korea. They were, in fact, able to observe, feel, and experience the country by participating in various cultural programs outside the festival.
K-pop will continue to inspire people to learn more about Korea. Why don't we all spread our love for K-pop by competing in the next K-POP World Festival


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