Chuncheon Makguksu Dakgalbi Festival Report
“Isn’t this a crime?” Anger
Amid a series of controversies over “baggy fees” at local festivals across the country, reports have been made that the Makguksu Dakgalbi Festival in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, suffered similar damage this time.
Recently, various online communities have been spreading articles titled “Update on the Prices of Food at the Chuncheon Makguksu Festival.” Writer A posted a picture of the food with the article, “A potato pancake with a diameter of 10cm was 25,000 won for three sheets and the price for one serving of Dakgalbi was 14,000 won.”
Mr. A posted a photo of a palm-sized potato pancake and pointed out, “Isn’t this a crime to eat something, not a festival?” Potato pancakes cost 8,000 won per sheet, which is higher than the price of potato pancakes at other local festivals.
Netizens also responded, “It’s not a festival for citizens, it’s a festival for merchants,” “It’s wise to just enjoy the local festival with your eyes, and eat food at nearby restaurants,” “I don’t know why they don’t sanction it when it’s not a day or two that’s a problem with the change fees,” and “I can’t go to the local festival anymore.”
“Is this 17,000 won worth of sweet and sour chicken?”Repeated “Buckling Controversy”
This is not the first time that a rip-off controversy has erupted at a local festival. Last month, controversy arose over the rip-off at the Chunhyang Festival held in Namwon, Jeollabuk-do.
At that time, 40,000 won worth of whole pork barbecue sold at Chunhyangje was sold poorly compared to the price, which was criticized by Internet users. The same was true of sweet and sour chicken. When I ordered a 17,000 won chicken gangjeong, about 10 pieces came out, and it was controversial that even that was not chicken gangjeong, but sweet and sour pork.
In addition, a Japanese YouTuber who visited the Hampyeong Butterfly Festival in Hampyeong, Jeollanam-do, last month took a picture of himself surprised by the ridiculously expensive food prices. Initially, the YouTuber planned to buy food with a budget of 8,000 won, but the price of food at the festival site was 5,000 won for a cup of sea snail, 40,000 won for pork barbecue, and 10,000 won for a bowl of fish cake.
In particular, a YouTuber asked a merchant selling fish cakes, “Can’t you buy only 5,000 won?” but the merchant replied, “I don’t sell it like that.” He was surprised, saying, “Is Korean prices real?” and eventually bought a cup of pupa and a sausage, which are 4,000 won menus.
In response to the controversy, Hampyeong-gun said in a press release, “The place behind the recent controversial YouTuber video is the night market (street store) operated by renting privately owned land near the festival site, not the Expo Park where the Hampyeong Butterfly Festival was held.”
In addition, KBS entertainment program “One Night, Two Days” caused public outrage when a market merchant in Yeongyang-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do, was broadcast asking 70,000 won for a bag of snacks. In response, Yeongyang-gun issued an apology and said it would make efforts to prevent a recurrence.
Local governments preparing countermeasures against the polarity of ‘swag charges’
In this situation, local governments are trying to eradicate unfair practices such as rip-off charges. This is due to concerns that distrust and negative perceptions of rip-off tactics during the holiday season could lead to a decrease in tourists, adversely affecting the local economy.
Haeundae-gu, which operates Haeundae and Songjeong Beach, operates a price management guidance inspection team from the 1st of this month to August 31st to stabilize prices during the beach’s summer vacation season. It will focus on checking the prices of accommodations, restaurants, parking lots, and summer supplies, and promote price stability and provide on-site guidance.
In addition, Daejeon City, which is preparing for the “0-year-old festival,” reportedly sent an official letter to eight merchants’ associations in the original city center on the 7th regarding the “prohibition of unfair behavior.” During the festival, the merchant association will file a complaint with the law enforcement agency if unfair acts are found, such as selling event booths or involving merchants outside the region. Daejeon City plans to eradicate rip-off charges by blocking abnormal distribution systems.