Tag Archives: midi festival

Festival Action

There was a time that this humble blog was one of the only places to access English language information about festivals in China. No more!

There is some great and in depth information on the Beijing festivals over at Beijing Gig Guide (Midi | Strawberry) and one of the most comprehensive lineup analyses of any Chinese festival over at GoChengdoo covering the Zebra Festival.

Midi Festival, Beijing

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MIDI Festival

Over at Beijing Daze, there is a small amount of doubt lingering over MIDI Festival 2011. Certainly we’ve heard a couple of reports that the sensitive spring that we are having might be putting spanners in the various MIDI works (and those of Strawberry too, truth be told). Of course, there were issues with nationalistic Japanese flag burning last October, something that the NY Times somewhat sensationally covered. We predicted this coverage might have repercussions, literally

Music Festivals in China are in no way a fait accompli – just because the government has been involved increasingly in the last couple of years, a single missive from the centre could put paid to festivals entirely. The first page of the article basically highlights every single anti authoritarian element of Midi in particular and seems to be excessively sensationalist. It strikes us that coverage like this might be a double edged sword for China’s festival industry.

In these Jazzy Mine times, perhaps the risks of backfire are just too great.

Fingers and toes crossed that the authorities don’t mess with the Beijing festivals again. Cancellations play havoc with the reputation of Chinese festivals both domestically and internationally.

That Midi to Shanghai rumour

OK, so Midi Festival has been coming to Shanghai for, like, 5 years now. But 2011 promises to be different. According to some (perhaps premature) band microblogging, it seems that Midi will be taking place in Century Park, Shanghai on May 6-8. That’s the weekend at the back end of the May National holiday.

Anyone else heard the rumour?

Midi Festival to Shanghai

What do we all want for the Music Industry in 2011?

Inspired by our friends over at Hypebot (things I hope for in the new music industry in 2011), we decided to put our own list together, Things We Hope For the Chinese Music Industry in the Year of the Rabbit. Rather than do it all ourselves (and take all the subsequent glory/ wrath), we enlisted the help of several of our fellow industry colleagues, trying to blend a good mix of indie and big, Chinese and Laowai.

Radar Rabbit

This is what we came back with. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

SHAN WEI, COO of the iconic Midi Festival

呵呵,我的两个2011期待是——

1)希望听到更多国内乐队创作的好专辑(是专辑,不是单曲或者EP。。。这两年好唱片实在是太少了)。

2)CCTV-1开始播出中国摇滚乐/音乐节的节目和新闻。

1. Hopes more Chinese bands will record good full-length albums (not singles, not EPs). There have been too few good albums in recent years.

2. CCTV-1 begins to broadcast programming and news related to Chinese rock music and music festivals.

GOUZI, GM of Beijing’s most popular live house, Yugong Yishan

希望2011年看到更多不同音乐风格的高质量演出在中国。 也希望有更多的中国音乐人走出国门,有机会展示自己并与国际音乐人交流。

1. Hopes that in 2011 there is more variety in genres of high-quality live shows in China

2. Hopes that more Chinese bands have a chance to tour outside of China to exhibit themselves and interact with international musicians.

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China’s Music Festivals in the New York Times

2010′s explosion of music festivals in China hasn’t gone unnoticed internationally. The NY Times must have sent a reporter to the venerable Midi Festival in Zhenjiang, because in THIS article, they cover the 2010 edition on the ground. Further, they put together a video with some great footage. The words don’t add anything to the article.

A NYTimes article on China’s music festivals

While it is obviously great that China’s youth and the music industry in particular are getting column inches, does the article have to be so inflammatory? Music Festivals in China are in no way a fait accompli – just because the government has been involved increasingly in the last couple of years, a single missive from the centre could put paid to festivals entirely. The first page of the article basically highlights every single anti authoritarian element of Midi in particular and seems to be excessively sensationalist. It strikes us that coverage like this might be a double edged sword for China’s festival industry.

What do you think? Good or bad publicity??

Metallica @ Midi update

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…

Metallica for MIDI?

One out of leftfield.

Apparently rock Gods (and the biggest metal act ever) Metallica have confirmed a headline slot at MIDI festival in Beijing in October 2010. We have nothing confirmed on this yet (we will get to that tomorrow) but apparently it is all over Chinese TV – and the band are playing Japan 24.26 September, so it could all be true.

This would be a quite INCREDIBLE development for China’s music scene, to have a band of this stature headline China’s longest running festival. If it is true, then massive, massive props to Shan Wei and Zhang Fan and book your tickets for Haidian Park during the October holiday NOW.

Alternatively, this could just be post Fuji Rock hallucinations….

More May Festivals – from the Pet Conspiracy posse

Helen Feng from Pet Conspiracy and Free the Birds fame updated her Facebook with reviews of the 3 festivals that they played over May holiday. She kindly allowed us to use it here. Enjoy!  By the way, she hurt herself jumping off the 2m high stage at Strawberry, so send her fuzzy best wishes…

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Art vs Commerce – a review of the Beijing festival weekend

There were 11 festival stages operating in Beijing during the 4 day holiday, 1-4 May. This is how we felt it went down…

Westerners working in marketing in China often spout forth that Chinese kids do not mind branding. In fact, our research actually shows that youth in China actually feel safer about an event if there is some level of branding involved. Strawberry Festival organizers are certainly taking this philosophy to the limit.

Saturday morning broke blue-skied and cloudless in Beijing. Tongzhou is a suburb on the South Eastern edge of the city, and traditionally has been something of an artistic community. Recently though, it has been the recipient of large chunks of developer cash and has a whiff of new construction & new middle class about it. The Strawberry Festival has that same air, of developers that care less for the artistic community and more for their own financial gains.

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Modern Sky take their Strawberry Festival to Xi’an, and other fests

Modern Sky’s bid to become festival kings of China takes another significant step with the announcement that they will be heading to Xi’an with their Strawberry Festival concept.  Potential headliners will be Karen Mok, Zhang Zhenyue 张震岳, Khalil Fong 方大同, Zhou Yunpeng, Dang Dynasty. Nokia (and their comes with music program) are taking on a big sponsor position at this festival.

Strawberry Music Festival

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