Last weekend saw the inaugural Tanglewood Great Wall festival. Supported in the main by the Tanglewood Music Complex and IDG Media Group and organized by Modern Sky, this festival was set amongst amazing scenery around an hour from Beijing.
All the reports and photos we have heard and seen from the festival are overwhelmingly good. Numbers a little sparse perhaps (further proof that it will be a while before Chinese festival goers will travel that extra mile to get their fix), but organization and setting and vibe were all exemplary. Honestly, this looks like a festival we would have liked to be at.
And so, Shanghai has two big shows this coming week. Based loosely around Zhangbei InMusic Festival, Panic at the Disco and CocoRosie are both coming to Mao Live House. Both shows are pretty expensive (300RMB and 120RMB presale), but while Shanghai is used to 120RMB at the upper end of the ticketing spectrum, 300 kuai hasn’t been seen for quite some time (if you disregard the stupid prices charged for “top 1″ DJs).
It will also be interesting to see if these two bands and Killing Joke will have the pulling power necessary to drag people out of Beijing and all the way to the Zhangbei Grasslands. The InMusic festival was a brave, brave effort in 2009, but are the Chinese masses ready to travel long distances for the music they don’t always yet love?
We always thought it was going to take a biiiiiiggggg headliner to get serious numbers in 2010, and while PATD! is certainly more than just a mid level emo band (we called them that a few weeks back and were asked to check our facts – PATD! actually has 1.3m Myspace friends and does indeed have significant pulling power in the USofA), they may not be the mega headliner that the festival needs. We hope they are because Inmusic is pioneering a type of out-of-city festival that Chinese kids will learn to enjoy.
Incidentally, there will be 3 out of town festivals around Beijing in the 4 weeks from 27 August (Tanglewood) to the 24th September (Dreamvalley).
Well, it isn’t really, but we have 3 more festivals to announce (and a further 2 on the cards that we aren’t in a position to announce just yet).
the Big Love Festival in Hangzhou
Organized by the InMusic posse, this will run in mid August (13-15). We have previewed this one about a week ago, but now we have a pretty picture and some artists: the Concretes (Sweden) / Little Dragon(Sweden) / Zuo Xiao Zu Zhou etc.
the Tanglewood Great Wall Festival
On August 27-29, Modern Sky are organizing a festival around 2 hours outside of Beijing. It seems like it is being underwritten by a combination of the Yanqing Government, a tourism company, and the IDG Media Foundation. Details of lineup are as yet unknown. Visit HERE for a description. The venue website is HERE.
NOTE: we will be on holiday as of Wednesday. There will be no updates until the 18th July.