May is one of the two main seasons for outdoor festivals, and as such, we are expecting imminent announcements for Midi and Strawberry Fests. Apparently Deerhoof will be back for Strawberry, playing alongside 90′s Scottish “post britpop” (according to their Wiki ) band, plus Lenka, Immanu El and the usual slew of domestic headliners (Xie Tian Xiao, Omnipotent Youth Hotel). Nothing from Midi yet, but that’s as to be expected. They rarely announce anything before mid April. There is also the heavily rumored return of the Great Wall Music Festival, but we’ve been here before, so let’s wait a while before we get too excited about seeing David Guetta and Andy C hit the Wall.
One festival that we haven’t heard much about is the big joint venture between LiveNation and Pinggu local government, China Music Valley. Timeout Beijing report that it’s been postponed until the autumn this year, and we tend to believe them. The festival that gave us Friendly Fires, Jesus and Mary Chain and Joss Stone in 2012 will be “back shortly”.
And so, this weekend sees the second edition of China Music Valley Festival in Pinggu, the joint venture between the Pinggu local government and LiveNation Gehua. The lineup is big and bold and should be worth a visit – we put forward our opinion a few weeks back here. Ticket price is at the top end of the festival spectrum at 580RMB for a three day pass and 350RMB for a single day.
And so it was at the back end of last week, the organizers (famous for being the main reason that beer/ alcohol is a rare commodity at Beijing festivals since May last year and also pioneers of the innovative and arbitrary 2 crowd sectioning method) have taken it one step further. Full priced tickets having been on sale for a few weeks and many 1,000′s of tickets having been sold, a 3 day duration group ticket buy went on sale on May 11: a 3 day ticket for 150RMB. Of course, netizens went crazy.
Rumor has it that Livenation were powerless to stop this most recent eccentricity by the Pinggu local government/ festival entrepreneurs, but it shows such a healthy disrespect for the consumers that bought tickets in good faith up front, and such fundamental misunderstanding of the group buy system, you have to wonder why they didn’t put up more resistance. It will be interesting to see if the consumer elements of the festival have actually improved come this weekend.