Hot on the heels of the recent announcement that “the man who ruined dubstep” was coming to Shanghai and tickets were being charged out at nearly US$100 presale (580RMB) and over US$100 (RMB680) on the door, come the wonderful Justice, tickets priced at the most reasonable level of RMB380 (limited early bird), RMB420 presale and RMB500 on the door. We do understand that these artists are pretty big names in Europe and the US (in the case of Skrillex, the biggest name in EDM over the last 18 months), but the sad thing about an artist like Justice coming to China and playing a venue like Bar Rouge at such a ridiculous price premium is that the Chinese music fan (who has likely never really heard of Justice before) will assume that they are just another overhyped, overpaid DJ to grace the decks of one of Shanghai’s expat haunts. The fact is, they are also a huge (semi) live festival act.
Editor’s Note: Department of Shameless Self-Promotion, Population: Us. As many of the readers of the blog know, as Split Works we are co-producing Black Rabbit Music Festival.
After the smashing success of last year’s Black Rabbit Music Festival, event co-producers Taihe Live and Split Works are incredibly excited to formally announce that the festival will be returning for a second year. Happening in October in Shanghai, we can’t reveal the artists coming for Black Rabbit Music Festival 2012 just yet, but rest assured that they are even bigger than last year’s lineup of Ludacris, 30 Seconds to Mars, Hebe, PK 14, Yellowcard and more. We’ll leave it up to you to contemplate the possibilities.
In the meantime, re-live the magic with the official 2011 Black Rabbit Music Festival wrap video, and follow Black Rabbit on Facebook, Twitter, Douban and Weibo for all the latest updates, lineup announcements, ticketing, venue, prizes and much much more.
Once more, our apologies for slow posting. We are 75% through our JUE | Music + Art Festival which is consuming a lot of our time, but all the while, there is festival information filtering in. We thought we would try and summarize what has come over our desk in the last few weeks.
First, we owe another apology to Modern Sky and Strawberry Festival. We had it on very good authority that the festival would be moving from Tongzhou. Strawberry has announced dates and also locations and the festival will indeed be returning to Tongzhou for the 4th year <the Radar hangs head in shame>. Strawberry will also be coming to Shanghai to the same Expo-side venue that JZ christened in 2011.
According to the press release, there will be 160 bands over 8 stages including 50 international bands. The theme is “Great Escape on Doomsday”
Finally, SMG have managed to get in on the act. In exchange for a lot of coverage (we imagine) the Shanghai Media Group are co-organizers of Strawberry Shanghai.
We’ve heard some of the international bands that will be playing, but we’re not sure they are out in public yet, so best not to say
Midi have actually put out their lineup for Shanghai already. They will be heading back to Century Park a full week before Strawberry and the May holiday. Midi is once more supporting a cause (remember last year’s bear bile?). In 2012, it’s the turn of clean air to come under the Midi microscope
Not much to shout about on the lineup – Marky Ramone will be back after his (relatively) successful outing at Beijing Pop Festival in 2007. Then it’s the usual collection of cultural exchange students.
CHINA MUSIC VALLEY
Remember this one? In Pinggu near Beijing, the Mayor put on a big Livenation partnered jamboree last year with the likes of Avril Lavigne, KT Tunstall and Ladytron.
There have been rumours abounding – we have heard some fairly concrete names – expect flamboyant hip hop, pretty English pop and a high ticket price.
Beijing is a hard place to do a festival these days. From beer bans to PSB frolics, China’s capital city is increasingly intolerant of music festivals. And so it is that Modern Sky move their signature festival out of Beijing for the first time. Modern Sky Festival 2011 will be held at the Huairou Ski Resort 3-5 October. It seems that the local government there has incentivised the move.
It seems that Beijing is going through a prohibition style dry period. After alcohol bans at Strawberry and Pinggu over the May holiday, China’s (only?) electronic festival have decided to move away from their planned Tongzhou Canal Park location and back to the old gaff at D-Park 751. Why they can sell booze there and not at the Canal Park is a mystery to us, but it does seem like a bizarre contradiction. Still, there’s nothing as illogical as the BJPSB.
We’ve also heard rumblings that KAMA Love Fest might also be facing venue issues. Beijing seems to be both the hottest and coldest place on earth for music festivals right now.
If you’ve been reading this site for 12 months or so, you might remember the mysterious case of the Suzhou Holisland Festival. Rumours abounded, but in the end Sinead O’Connor came, Simple Plan came, and most Suzhou taxi drivers couldn’t find the enigmatic Holisland. About 3,000 people attended what was apparently a pretty well produced festival.
Anyway, we’ve just seen on their website that the 2011 edition has been cancelled. The news flash was pretty short. Apparently
In light of the decision rendered by the Xiangcheng District of Suzhou, the 2011 annual Holisland Rock Festival has been suspended.
We have been wondering how long it was going to be before government and real estate investors get bored of losing money. This is likely the first of many.
Music Festival Madness: May Holiday Festival Weekend 2011
Perhaps to make up for a dearth of musical festivities elsewhere, Beijing municipality – because let’s be honest, most of these festivals were in locations much closer to Hebei than Tiananmen – managed to outdo itself with five major music festivals this May Holiday season, of which your intrepid Radar correspondents attended the “Big Three:” China Music Valley, MIDI, and Strawberry.
The newcomer to scene this year is China Music Valley, which featured a heavy-hitting, Western-music-centric lineup in the wild hinterlands of Pinggu District east of Beijing. Produced by Gehua-LiveNation and funded in large part by various levels of local and municipal governments, it resembled the first year of a festival. The two stages were set up right next to each other, so that performances were staggered between the two all day. Windstorms buffeted the valley venue which functions as a ski resort in the winter months. Day One of the festival featured Avril Lavigne, and she was obviously the main attraction to the festival-goers, approximately 90% of whom were locals. We met 14-year old girls who were dropped off by their parents, metal-and-Avril-loving young gentlemen from Changchun and many, many police and baoan, who ringed the perimeter of the festival grounds like menacing, confused tentpoles.
Mongolian band Hanggai are organizing their own mini festival just outside of the capital on the 18th September. Timeout Beijing have described it in more detail than we possibly could. Read all about it HERE.
Shanghai’s JZ Festival takes another leap forward. Added to the 2 day outdoor extravaganza in Century Park will be a 5 day Master Series in the Shanghai Grand Theatre and also a 13 day series at Expo. Wow, that’s a LOT of JZ goodness in Shanghai in October. See the official festival website HERE.
Finally, Midi Zhenjiang is happening during the October holiday as well. Midi is heavily on the metal side here, featuring Soulfly and Shadows Fall from the US, Loudness from Japan and Finntroll from, you guessed it, Finland. This is a beast of a lineup from the Midi crew, but might be a little niche for your average punter.
OK folks. Sorry for the false information. Metallica will NOT be appearing at Midi.
However, we (and our sources) were not all caught up in hallucinatory excess. In fact, there was an announcement that Midi would be hosting the mighty rock Gods. The story is told much better that us by Jon Campbell, who solved the riddle in a wholly tangential manner. We had asked Jon to report on the “Midi Music Series” that has been happening over the summer in Zhenjiang. Jon has written a most impressive tome that we will publish later today, but in it, he reports thus:
The HiFi Xijindu series is part of Zhenjiang Music Season – “China Mobile Zhenjiang Music Season” to be exact – that includes Chang Jiang Midi and a range of other events. But not Metallica. It was in the Season’s announcement that the rumor of Metallica’s appearance was first mentioned. Midi will tell you that there certainly was a ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have Metallica play at the festival?’ moment in the festival’s planning stages (which festival hasn’t had similar daydreams?). But daydream turned to silliness when someone on the local government’s press-release-writing team thought, ‘What a perfect way to wind up the HiFi Xijindu Series announcement’. In the May release they tossed a quick line in about how the festival will feature different kinds of music, oh, and American band Metallica HERE. Nobody told Midi that they’d be writing that into the announcement and nobody wondered why a town looking to be put on the map didn’t mention Metallica in the first – and every subsequent – line of the release. That a release would end with a whisper of Metallica appearance and open with a product placement might have clued one in to the veracity of the former, so let’s give them a few points in the PR team’s ‘bad’ column.
So there we are. More from Jon very shortly…
This time last year, Acupuncture Records (profiled HERE) launched their inaugural Intro Festival. We reviewed it HERE. Despite a disturbing lack of variety in the music and a few problems with local authorities cutting short the festivities, the day out was a welcome addition to Beijing’s festival scene. Unperturbed, the Acupuncture crew are back with the second installment – Intro 2010. Respect…