The day dawned rather hazy on June 6th, the day of the Dragon Boat Festival holiday in China, and the second day of the first Kama LOVE Festival in Beijing. Produced by Beijing Lovinc Culture and held on the green south of the Olympic Park, the festival attracted big-name international talent including Eels, Nouvelle Vague and Cowboy Junkies as well as stalwarts of the Chinese scene such as Wu Bai, Convenience Store, Huang Yaoming and Super VC. China Music Radar was there to take in the latest entry into China’s ever-increasing music festival scene.
In terms of location, Kama LOVE Festival has been the most centrally located one so far this year. The area by the Olympic Park is close to the center of town and readily accessible by car, bike or public transportation. Unfortunately, that accessibility suffered once audience members came out of the subway. A lack of signage plagued the perimeter of the festival grounds, and we were turned away from multiple would-be entrances before finally finding the correct gate. Your Radar correspondents may have spent the majority of Nouvelle Vague’s set walking around the entire perimeter of the grounds, looking for the way in.
Nevertheless, once we bought our tickets and finally made it inside, the grounds were, dare we say it, pretty cool. There was a respectable distance between the stages, copious seating in the concessions area and plenty of open space for the brand displays. And Kama got one of the most important aspects of a successful music festival right: readily available cold draft beer. Sure, we quibbled over the cost (RMB 20 was a little steep…), but the fact that the organizers had managed to obtain all the relevant licenses for beer and mixed drinks where so many had been foiled before is certainly cause for recognition. In addition to the beer, the Kama folks scored a coup (at least in this correspondent’s estimation) in finding Cheers, a new-to-the-scene wine distributor who offered RMB 8 glasses of perfectly drinkable Spanish Temperanillo and RMB 50 bottles, with a special 6 bottles for the price of 5 deal at the end of the night. Suffice to say, Kama kept its audience members cool and happy through beverage concessions for both days of the festival.