Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pandemic claims one of Seoul’s oldest nightclubs

Pandemic claims one of Seoul’s oldest nightclubs

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Club MWG was known for indie band performances and popular DJs, as well as LGBT party events. AFP

Pandemic claims one of Seoul’s oldest nightclubs

Tucked away in the dazzling neon lights of Seoul’s nightlife district, Club MWG, one of the capital’s oldest underground music venues, closed its doors last weekend as the pandemic crunch begins to bite South Korean nightclubs.

Founded in 1994, Club MWG enjoyed its heyday in the 1990s when underground clubs were rare in the South’s capital.

An intimate space with room to host 200 people, the club in Hongdae district was known for indie band performances and popular DJs, as well as LGBT party events.

But in the past decade, the venue struggled with increasing competition as the district became more commercialised.

Then the pandemic broke out – since May, Seoul’s nightclubs have been faced with repeated closure orders, hammering the final nail in Club MWG’s coffin.

“It feels as if my limbs are being torn,” the club’s owner Kim Eun-hui told AFP about the closure.

Kim had even taken up multiple jobs – construction worker, tutor, and part-time cleaner to name a few – to try and keep the business running.

But since the virus restrictions, she has not been able to earn enough money to pay the rent for the venue.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kim Eun-hui, owner of the underground music club MWG, sits in front of the club during a farewell party. AFP

“I didn’t want to give up . . . but ended up succumbing to the coronavirus,” she said.

Culture critics say the club was instrumental in creating Hongdae’s unique scene in the 1990s, when it was known for its underground music performances – from indie to hip hop to heavy metal – and youthful exuberance.

“We have lost a symbol that represented Hongdae,” said critic Kim Seong-su.

For the club’s long-time regulars, the news was devastating.

“I was so sad, I felt very down to a point where I couldn’t really say anything,” said Kim Jong-chun, a 40-year-old who was a regular for almost two decades.

“I loved that vibe which was very different from other venues,” he said.

“I’ve been to a number of other places, but I have to say no place can ever replace Club MWG.”


  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused