SXSW 2020 and the Future of Hallyu


South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual festival that highlights the best in film, music, gaming and interactive technology. Every year, over 100 panels and personal talks take place to explore the future of these mediums and their impact on society.

This year, “MACG Magazine” Managing Editor and Community member Cy White has created a panel for your consideration: “From a Wave to a Tsunami: The Future of Hallyu.” This panel, as part of the music festival, will explore and open up discussion about Korean music and its ever-increasing expansion to the West (the United States in particular).


The Hallyu wave has been on an upward trend since 2012. But it all started in 2009 with quintet Wonder Girls. Not only were they the first South Korean group to enter the Billboard Top 100, with their song “Nobody,” they were the first to actually make major television appearances. They performed on US shows “The Wendy Williams Show” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” They opened for the Jonas Brothers on tour. They also starred in their own Nickelodeon film called “The Wonder Girls Special.”

Then there came the undeniable viral phenomenon that was K-pop legend PSY‘s “GANGNAM STYLE.” The video was the first on YouTube to reach 1 billion views. Thus K-pop artists suddenly found themselves quickly thrust into the spotlight. People wanted to know what this seemingly “strange” new music was from people who didn’t speak English. On the heels of PSY’s trailblazing introduction to the world, K-pop idols and groups began to slowly trickle into the mainstream Western consciousness. Groups like Girls Generation, 2NE1 and Big Bang began to get notice.

Then, as we all know, the international audience gravitated toward a then little-known septet known as BTS. The idol group exploded in popularity thanks to the passion and persistence of their i-fans. The rest, as they say, is history. Hallyu is now enjoying a level of popularity and viral notoriety that the second generation of K-pop paved the way for and BTS blasted into the stratosphere.

Now that the Hallyu has crested, the panel will dig into just how far the “wave,” now an unmistakable “tsunami,” will go in the next five to ten years. The panel will include representation from HiphopKR, Rock N’ Seoul and, of course, “MACG Magazine.” This diverse group of voices will be exploring this topic from various angles: pop, hip hop and indie.

At this point, “From a Wave to a Tsunami” is in the voting stage. From August 5 – August 23, the public will be able to vote for their favorite panels. Please, take some time (a matter of seconds) to cast your vote for “From a Wave to a Tsunami” at the PanelPicker website. Let’s continue the representation of Korean music at the world-renowned festival!

Cast your vote here for this and any other panel you’re interested in.

(SXSW, YouTube [1][2][3].)

About MACG Staff 138 Articles
MACG Magazine is a digital hub for media on Music, the Arts, Creativity, and Gaming of our generation. We are interested in sharing engaging content with our readers and encouraging them to explore the world around them.

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