You're doing it wrong.
Because the trip from Gwangju to Muju took three-and-a-half hours, it was more like a bus tour of southern Jeollabuk-do. Like I said the town was cute, but I was kind of disappointed by the lack of fireflies. I'd like to hear what others thought about it. I found one review from the festival last year, from a guy who says "Under no circumstances should the photos or text be used without the express permission of the Author." So here you go:
We also found a little dark tent, where they were keeping a few fireflies. They were the only 3 fireflies we saw the whole weekend!
The Joongang Ilbo had a preview about it back in February. An excerpt:
The highlight of the festival is an arcade decorated with thousands of sparkling fireflies, which you can stroll under at night. There’s also a special somber session held to pray for the prosperity of the firefly and an environmental speech contest for children.
The arcade doesn't consist of fireflies, though, but instead appears, from photos, to be made out of electric lights. We never did find it, and I haven't seen any pictures from this year that feature it. Let's just play it safe and blame the lack of fireflies on the Japanese like poet Ron Slate:
He is waiting to be seen.
In this world I hardly matter.
What goes into the dark
to be seen? Nothing like me.
There is a festival of fireflies
in Muju-gun in August
where people pray for firefly prosperity,
in Korea, since the Japanese
exterminated their fireflies
experimenting with insecticides.
So anyway my plan was to steal some good photos off the internet, but I couldn't find many of those, either. Here's what I could dig up, and you can find more from this year and years gone by via a Naver search:
Instead of fireflies they strung sparkler-things across the river. The bridge in the background looks new, and perhaps that has replaced the one that used to be the photogenic one strung with lights in previous years.
There was also a narrow, earthen bridge that was kind of treacherous to walk across as there were two lanes of traffic. Nevertheless, they had parades and, it looks like, a wedding ceremony go across it regularly.
We did see these guys. LMFAO at the guy on the right.
It was kind of a cute festival, but nothing you won't find in any other county throughout the country. I also don't think I'd go this far:
As fireflies have a unique identity as an environmental messenger, we believe the Muju Firefly Festival is an unrivaled environmental event in the global market. Therefore will make it a one-stop shop meeting multicultural and multinational needs themed on the environment, culture, and tourism. The more the times and the climate change with worldwide informatization, the more people want the sustenance of cultural and tourism entertainment. The Muju Firefly Festival indeed has a rich fund of resources in its regional culture and natural surroundings. We expect that it will bring about the harmonious well-being of people and nature in the coming eco-conscious times of the new millennium.