Chinese Music: July 2009 Archives

Midi moving to Chengdu?

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Click here for more Midi Zhenjiang photosUPDATE, July 28: Those Midi rumour machines are spluttering into action early. The latest story? Midi will hold a festival in Anhui province in 2010. Don't hold your breath.

There's been some mutterings on Douban for a while about Midi Festival heading to Chengdu for the October holiday and now China Music Radar has heard some whispers that have led them to post on it too. Midi of course upped sticks from Beijing earlier this year in favour of Zhenjiang and it seems that the success of that festival has emboldened them to look even further afield. The Zebra Festival in Chengdu, which was also held in May and featured a pretty impressive line-up, went down well over there and Midi would expect a similar response. Nothing official has been announced yet, but organiser Zhang Fan has spoken before about a desire to take Midi on the road and stated back in May that "for the 11th Midi we'll go to another important city".

On the Douban thread there's a few upset Beijingers moaning about Midi not being in the capital again. But I kind of like the idea of a Midi on tour, hitting different cities and provinces. Maybe that's because I can afford to get to most of them without too much hassle, but it's also because Midi is really the only festival in China with the sort of reputation that Glastonbury enjoys in the UK - i.e. people will go just because it's Midi. As one commenter on the thread said, "where Midi goes, I go". This sort of name recognition means exposure for bands that people might not have otherwise gone to see and hopefully benefits the local scene wherever Midi decides to put on a festival.

I'm not suggesting that Midi will revolutionise the music scenes in Chengdu or particularly in Zhenjiang, but it can't hurt. Chengdu's music scene is pretty small at present, even smaller than Shanghai's. The excellent 声音与玩具 are from there and there's a venue which I love called The Little Bar (effectively Chengdu's Yuyintang), but not an awful lot else. At least, not that I'm aware of. Feel free to point out my Shanghai-based ignorance in the comments below if you have better information on Chengdu.