Elite Back Alley Party
May 7 2004
The concept behind Elite Night or the Back Alley Party was to encourage the bars and music venues in the Itaewon Alley to join forces for a night and provide a way for the auidence to make the most of the venues while also encouraging them to move around and drink at the different bars.
"So what?" some people were heard to say. Some even complained that it would just make a group of bars that normally kept quite seperate identities turn into another version of the Hongdae "Club Night" party.
Well, the point is that the bars do providea a different type of atmosphere compared to the Hongdae and Apkujong scenes. A unique identity some would even say. Even though Itaewon generally has a bad rep in the eyes of most Seoulites. We wanted to change that attitude by presenting a cohesive well functioning and supportive community atmosphere. Not to mention that the performers at the various bars would be able to reach a broader audience as people were encouraged to move around and sample each bar throughout the night.
With live bands and DJ's mixing it up in the same venues it was a different style from the fare served by the Hongdae scene. People did move around and they even had fun. The general consesnsus was that it was a good idea that should be encouraged and the turn out for the night confirmed it with all the participating venues reporting an increase in sales from an average Friday night.
Unfortunately, as is often the case in community events politics got in the way. Recent history between two of the bar owners and bone headed stubborness mixed with black and white conflicting viewpoints. It's almost as though the history of Itaewon is self fulfilling. Until the locals can see past the attitude divide it will continue to be a cool place with a lot of potential. In the meantime the various bars and venues will continue to offer their own seperate identity and Itaewon will continue to be appreciated for what it is...
A multi cultural and ethnically diverse oasis in the heart of Seoul.