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.”


  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to