And so, Shanghai has two big shows this coming week. Based loosely around Zhangbei InMusic Festival, Panic at the Disco and CocoRosie are both coming to Mao Live House. Both shows are pretty expensive (300RMB and 120RMB presale), but while Shanghai is used to 120RMB at the upper end of the ticketing spectrum, 300 kuai hasn’t been seen for quite some time (if you disregard the stupid prices charged for “top 1″ DJs).
It will also be interesting to see if these two bands and Killing Joke will have the pulling power necessary to drag people out of Beijing and all the way to the Zhangbei Grasslands. The InMusic festival was a brave, brave effort in 2009, but are the Chinese masses ready to travel long distances for the music they don’t always yet love?
We always thought it was going to take a biiiiiiggggg headliner to get serious numbers in 2010, and while PATD! is certainly more than just a mid level emo band (we called them that a few weeks back and were asked to check our facts – PATD! actually has 1.3m Myspace friends and does indeed have significant pulling power in the USofA), they may not be the mega headliner that the festival needs. We hope they are because Inmusic is pioneering a type of out-of-city festival that Chinese kids will learn to enjoy.
Incidentally, there will be 3 out of town festivals around Beijing in the 4 weeks from 27 August (Tanglewood) to the 24th September (Dreamvalley).
Things have been going crazy on the festival front in 2010. After our prediction at the beginning of the year that governments would take a much closer look at the possibilities of hosting their own music festivals, we have the following
The festival in Mongolia’s grasslands is back. It will be over the same weekend as Fuji Rock in Japan (30/7-1/8) and although there are just Chinese bands on the bill at the moment, rumor has it that Panic at the Disco! and CocoRosie will be appearing. After the problems last year (lack of grass/ facilities/ subpar treatment of bands) plus the 4-7 hours drive to get to the festival, it will be interesting to see how people react to the festival this year. It’s definitely a cool place, so if you haven’t already, you should check it out
Suzhou’s Huli Festival
This has definitely been an up and down affair. Artists have been left in the lurch for an incredible amount of time, and so the offers must have been good (we can attest to the fact that they were). In any case, full fees have been received in advance, so we will be seeing Sinead O’Connor and Simple plan, alongside a host of Chinese stars: 张震岳(Chang chen-yue); 张悬(Deserts Chang); 黄家强(Wong Ka Keung Steve/ bass of famous HK band-Beyond); 许巍( Xu wei); 汪峰( Wang Feng); 郑钧( Zheng Jun); 张楚( Zhang Chu); 熊宝贝( Bear Babes-Tai wan Indie/folk band) 脑浊( Brain failure) 瘦人乐队( thin man/hard rock) 谢天笑( x.t.x)
It seems that the Hangzhou government have earmarked Hangzhou to be China’s capital of culture. Added to the Xihu festival that happened 2 weekends ago (we are awaiting a review from a reluctant contributor), the organizers of Inmusic will be organizing a “Big Love” festival there, the day after Chinese Valentine’s day (August 15-16), plus there will be another festival during the October Golden Week.