When you think alternative punk and rock music, the first country you think of isn’tChina. However, according to a recent article in The Economist, these genres of music are the current rage. China now hosts a broad range of different music, similarly to anywhere situate in the West. However, unlike the UK or USA, rock and alternative bands are unable to make a living of their music, due to its limited audience, and that fact that there is such a high level of piracy. Therefore many have to have day time jobs in addition, for example the lead guitarist of a psychedelic band called Chui Wan, Liu Xinyu, earns his keep fixing self-service ticket machines in a Beijing railway station.
Seeing as the festival season is soon approaching in the United Kingdom, it appears no different in Beijing. Large crowds are taking advantage of the May 1st holiday sun to see the Midi and Strawberry music festivals, both held far out on the periphery. Chinese acts alongside international guests; an opening night saw a Chinese punk band, New Pants, which was formed in 1996. In addition to Chinese home grown bands, bands such as Travis perform, attracting many fans form near and far.
Later this month there are more festivals planned of entirely different genres. For example one is to be a folk festival, another electronic festival is being held at the unique location of a water park, and even one on the Great Wall. Maybe it’s about time we hosted a concert in a world famous tourist site such as Buckingham Palace, oh wait.