Music Festivals in China

15 May

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. 




4 Responses to “Music Festivals in China”

  1. jpt1g11 May 15, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Possibly the most light-hearted post on this blog so far, but in a good way!

    It’s nice to see the de-politicization of cultures in China as a move towards progress. While i’m sure some of the songs have a vague political message, not every piece of art or media has to be seen as a political attack on the government or its philosophy. It’s possibly a mark of how far China has come on in this respect since the era of the Cultural Revolution.

    You could argue it’s part of China’s liberalisation, gradual progress in what is allowed by the CCP. It also seems like a move closer to Western ideals since music plays such a huge role in our culture, and festivals have been hugely popular since the 60s.

  2. sb2g10 May 15, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    The Great Wall Music Festival in particular has started gaining some international recognition, with big DJs like the UKs Andy C and France’s David Guetta both playing on this years lineup. However, one rather amusing story from this year’s event inolved two festival goers deciding to go on an improtu hike in the surrounding mountatins, and unsurprisingly got lost. Attempts to get help were somehwat thwarted by the fact that neither of the festival goers could speak Chinese. Fortunately authorities were able to trace their phone signal and they were soon rescued.

  3. zk1e11 May 15, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    China has improved a lot when the large-scale music festivals have turned into a theme in big cities for the greater part. But music festivals in China always be cancelled in the last minute, unreliable teams, changing location in last minute, too many polices, very early end time, no sufficient of alcoholic drinking and so on.
    However, despite the exasperations, please be objective that China has no experiences for the big music concert comparing to the West. The situation is still in the initial stage, therefore we have to allow some times so China can improve or even reform the way of doing music. At the moment, I highly suggest that you should ignore the comparison between China and the West, and just stay at home and enjoy the music festivals in China, because in 2013, it is a big music festival year in the Mainland China, and personally China may shock and change your traditional view of thinking Chinese music.

  4. se2g10 May 15, 2013 at 10:58 pm #


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