From Friday to Saturday in the first week of September, KAIST students enjoyed a variety of performances, booths, and refreshments at the 2019 KAIST Art and Music Festival (KAMF). The KAIST Herald interviewed the Head Director of the 2019 KAMF Special Planning Committee, DongJae Kang.
Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I entered in Spring 2018 and I’m currently double majoring in Business and Technology Management (BTM) and Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISysE). Since Spring 2019, I have been a member of the KAIST Undergraduate Association (UA).
Can you tell us more about KAMF?
KAMF is a music festival with four main features: artist performances, busking stage for students, booths, and food trucks. It was first held in 2012. What sets KAMF apart from another big festival in KAIST, the TaeWoolSeokLimJae, is the feature of indie bands. Up until last year, the KAMF committee always invited indie artists and acoustic bands. However, this year, we surveyed the students beforehand, and then we invited the artists that the students wanted.
How was the Special Planning Committee formed, and how did it work to plan the KAMF?
At first, the UA gathered 16 people for the KAMF Special Planning Committee in the Spring semester. There are four divisions: the stage, booths, design, and administration team, as well as the general managers — me and the vice director. There [is] a big difference from last years’ KAMF because this year, there are committee members who are not members of the UA. We did our preliminary meeting on April 29 and had discussions every week from May 6 to May 27. After that, we continued our meetings in the summer vacation. To contact the artists, we used [the help of] an agency because we felt it had more negotiation skills regarding budgeting and dealing with the artists.
What are some of the problems that you had to overcome while organizing KAMF?
The biggest problem was the typhoon. On Sunday, we checked the weather forecast and it only said [there would be] rain, not a typhoon. So, we bought 1,000 raincoats and also planned to buy another 1,500 by reducing [our meal] budget. However, on Monday, it turned out to be a typhoon and we realized it would be a big problem, [so we started to make] alternative plans for KAMF. We invited the stage company to KAIST and decided to change the venue to the Lyu Keun-Chul Sports Complex (N3). However, it was a big deal to move to [the] Sports Complex as there were student reservations. We had to ask the students to cancel their reservations from Thursday midnight, and could only start setting the stage from [then]. The stage workers, the head of the stage team, and I had to stay up overnight. We also had to cancel all programs from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday because we were concerned about the safety of the students, as they had to [walk] to the Sports Complex. For that reason, we had to wait until the typhoon was gone.
What are some of the most memorable behind-the-scenes moments from this year’s KAMF?
There was a post on KaDaejeon thanking the KAMF Special Planning Committee for [an] excellent job despite the typhoon problem. We were very touched by it. Our main cause of planning the festival is the students, so seeing that the students liked it makes us very satisfied.
Finally, do you have any message for our readers?
I would like to say thanks to the students for their understanding. There were many restrictions in Sport Complex — we could not bring food inside, there was only one main door, etc — but they accepted it. It was with the help of the students that we could conduct this festival. Lastly, I also want to thank the [members of the] Special Committee for their hard work in preparing this year’s KAMF.