Lately we’ve been observing the rapidly evolving Chinese music market with a tabloid-like fascination at the intensity of change in the industry here, so we thought it was high-time to take a step back and expound on the host of positives that are emerging post-Olympics. There are no less than seven music festivals taking place in China over this busy autumn period, including the oft-discussed Beijing double-header of Midi and Modern Sky; Shanghai’s surprisingly diverse and excellent offerings; and the Snow Mountain Festival in Lijiang, which has grown to accommodate arena sized international artists (and arena sized pricing, which will be interesting).
And let’s not forget the incredible art festivals descending upon Shanghai this month, particularly the Shanghai EArts festival featuring dance music extremists Autechre. Throw in the Taiwanese invasion across alternative genres, including the possible return of MC Hotdog for Shanghai’s Iron Mic competition and a Chaoyang Gymnasium show from the hotly tipped Sodagreen, plus the multiple arena tours for Linkin Park and Avril Lavigne (the former in support of the Sichuan earthquake), and it’s plain to see: the music scene is blowing up in 2008.
This weekend brought the China Now Festival, two days of free music loveliness in Huaihai Park, organised by the hugely influential local Shanghai band hangout 288 on Taikang Rd. Follow that with the most ambitious iteration of the JZ jazz festival next weekend in a centrally located park. The following weekend, we can look forward to the Midi-Modern Sky extravaganza in Beijing, and manage to get back down to Shanghai for the intriguing Notch festival, which promises to be held in a massive greenhouse that’s been donated to the cause by the increasingly supportive local government, and featuring the excellent Efterklang and the remixer-du-jour, Disjokke.