Korea’s Busan to boost Culture Capital status with new entertainment venues
Principal Korean port city Busan is set to further expand its arts and entertainment facilities over the next three years in response to growing demand for the coastal metropolis as a domestic and international cultural events destination. Scheduled for arrival across the city by 2022, the Busan International Art Center, Busan Opera House, and Busan Lotte Town Complex are all expected to boost the city’s diverse cultural venue offerings regularly utilized for a busy calendar of global events.
Expected to open in 2021, the Busan International Art Center will become a new addition to the popular Busan Citizens Park area. The site will encompass an area of 29,408m² while the three-floor complex itself will offer floor space of 20,290m² for a range of multipurpose cultural events. In addition to exhibition halls and meeting rooms, the complex will provide a 2,000-seat concert hall.
Following in 2022, the much-anticipated Busan Opera House forms part of a major city waterfront land-reclamation project near the Busan Port International Passenger Terminal, a key stopping point for cruise passengers. Designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, the large, open-plan building has been designed for widespread utilization inside and out its five floors – totalling 51,617m² – and will include an 1,800-seat Grand Theater, 300-seat Small Theater, exhibition hall, and rooftop space.
Also set to open in 2022, the ultramodern Busan Lotte Town, located in the city’s central Nampo district, forms part of the already-existing Lotte shopping and entertainment complex. Rising 380m and spanning 30 floors, the multipurpose harborside skyscraper complex will include a range of shopping, dining, and entertainment facilities such as open gardens, rock climbing facilities, a theme park, and more.
The forthcoming venues follow an ongoing healthy spate of growth for Busan’s cultural events infrastructure. April 2019 saw the recent arrival of the Dream Theater, billed as Busan’s first musical theatre, opening its doors with a production of The Lion King, while new exhibition space, the Busan Museum of Contemporary Art, opened in 2018.
An active contributor to Korea’s arts and entertainment scene, Busan regularly hosts the Busan One Asia Festival, Art Busan, and the Busan International Film Festival, among various others, attracting large annual global audiences. A total of 2,473,520 people visited Busan in 2018, up from 2,396,237 in 2017. The figure is expected to hit 3 million by the end of this year.