What’s going on? Suzhou Strawberry canceled…

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UPDATE: There has been an official update on Douban. Apparently,

because of the recent thunderstorms, the basic facilities (at the Wujiang site) have been badly damaged, and can’t be fixed in a short time. so the festival has to be postponed, the new dates to be announced

It seems like the Gods of Chinese Music are conspiring against us on the eve of another landmark May Holiday where music festivals are slated to take over the country

First, Midi Festival in Beijing is forced to leave its spiritual Haidian Park home

Second, a spate of closures and cancellations in Beijing.

Third, and most seriously, it seems like the inaugural Strawberry Festival in Wujiang near Suzhou has been cancelled. Details are sketchy at present. We have picked up the following though:

  • mlive has stopped selling presale tickets
  • all volunteers have been informed that training is cancelled
  • the site setup has been stopped
  • Zuoxiao Zuzhou was taken to the local police station straight from the airport yesterday. He is out now, but he mentioned on Weibo that the festival organizers should not use the microblog broadcast on big screens: too risky
  • some bands such as Sound Fragment have confirmed the cancellation

This is all really bad for our industry. Part of an increasing cyclical trend away from freed0m of expressi0n?

UPDATE 2: courtesy of @mightyboom (this is the most believable for us)

Suzhou Strawberry Fest has been cancelled due to an unexpected uproar at Zhouzhuang Folk fest last weekend.

Last weekend’s Zhouzhuang Folk Festival, someone sent a message containing “Aye Way Way (sic.)” to the public tweet channel, which has been shown on the big screen. Aye Way Way, the famous Chinese dis-a-dent artist, was ‘kidnapped’ by police at Beijing Airport early this April. The message was deleted immediately, however, it did not stop people from tweeting more. Shortly ahead of Zuo Xiao Zu Zhou, a famous underground folk musician, came up on stage, young folks started yelling “Aye Way Way”. The whole ‘accident’ wasn’t planned at all, but it was one of the greatest reactions within China regarding the authority detaining Aye Way Way.

Until now, Aye Way Way has been missing for almost a month.

“Modern Sky”, known as the most influential Chinese indie label, was the host of both Zhouzhuang & Strawberry Fests.

  • Whoa. Whoa. That sucks for everyone involved in this festival. Hopefully nothing terrible will come of Zebra music festival which is this weekend in Chengdu.

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  • Wei-Wei

    The artist’s name is probably “AWW”, and he’s been known to cause political uproars with his art. I love that he shares my name (literally, my name is Wei-Wei), but I’m a little disappointed that he may be the cause behind the cancelling of live music. I support him, though – the govtt is cracking down lately and I don’t like it one bit.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry WW

    We are purposefully not including actual names on the site here – we’re pretty sure that the govtt is on the look out for these words and we want to try and avoid being blocked. Hope you understand

  • Mbweed

    In similar news, Nuts Club in Chongqing was visited by the authorities last week after a performance by Danish Jazz singer Sinne Eeg. There were plain clothed officers at the show which also featured Chengdu based Jazz band Boss Ma, which is made up of mostly foreigners as well. In all, members of both bands, one of Nuts’ owners, the manager, resident photographer, and the post show (French) DJ were taken in for questioning. According to one of the owners of Nuts, the problem had to do with the artists being payed without the proper visas. And I was told by the DJ who has a work visa as a teacher, he was made to sign a document stating that he would never again receive money for anything but his current teaching job.
    The management at Nuts is still in discussions with the authorities about how to proceed with such events in the future. With the Morlocks set for an appearance next wee, let’s hope things get sorted out sooner than later.

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