China Music Radar has just finished 3 days of Beijing festival-ing, visiting the two festivals running concurrently in Beijing over the week-long Golden Week for China national day.
Modern Sky Festival and Inter City Music Festival both kicked-off on Saturday with Modern Sky favoring a solid indie line-up (Blonde Redhead, Camera Obscura and others featuring alongside popular Taiwanese indie artists Zhang Xuan and Joanna Wang) while Inter City went with a more mainstream line-up of Mandarin pop-rock artists (Qi Qin, Zheng Jun and Paul Wong as headliners over 3 days).
We visited Modern Sky on an sunny but then blustery, chilly and briefly rainy Saturday. The main attraction turned out to be the DIY market where everyone was scouring the goods for something warm to wear. With a mix of four stages the festival got off to a rocky start with none of the acts putting on very inspired performances, IOHO. Sound Fragment played a decent set despite the rain followed by Camera Obscura on the main stage, who despite having all their own gear confiscated by China Customs, managed to turn in a very touching but short performance. Queen Sea Big Shark followed with a disappointing and listless set which resulted in our early exit to find warmth and home. The headliner, The Big Pink, apparently had multiple technical problems and played a truncated set of 5-6 songs before giving up as well.