Chinese Music: April 2011 Archives
Since I posted about Strawberry being cancelled yesterday morning, a number of other sites have put up some more detailed information about what's happened. In summary, Modern Sky have blamed a thunderstorm effecting their power set up and said that the festival is 'postponed' not cancelled, though until when it's not clear. A far more likely explanation, and the one doing the rounds on Weibo and Douban before it gets deleted, is that the festival has been harmonised due to the mention of a certain
outspoken artist who's still missing economic criminal at last weekend's Zhouzhuang folk festival, also organised by Modern Sky. Finally, the organisers of the electronic stage at Strawberry, STD, have relocated their line-up to MAO Livehouse on Saturday and LUNE on Monday and Tuesday.
Organisers of the Nanjing Blossom Festival and Midi Shanghai must be a tad worried right about now, but they're still going ahead at the moment. Don't expect there to be any 'text your message to the big screen' initiatives going on though or anything that might even remotely encourage freedom of speech.
If you were planning on heading to the Strawberry Festival Suzhou this weekend, think again. There are rumours all over Douban that the festival has been cancelled and various sources have confirmed that this is the case, with the decision apparently taken late last night. The festival, whose slogan of 'You say hello, I say goodbye' now seems rather unfortunate, has yet to make an official announcement, but it seems that will follow later today once they've managed to inform everyone on the organiser side - as of this morning, news was still filtering through to the various parties involved. No reason has yet been given for the cancellation. More news as and when it comes through.
In case you haven't noticed, festival season is nearly upon us. May 6th sees Midi Festival come to Shanghai for the first time, with a three day event in Pudong's Century Park. Although it's notable for being Midi's first appearance in Shanghai (after years of trying), it's also worth highlighting that they've teamed up Animals Asia Foundation to promote awareness of the appalling practice of 'bear farming' in China - hence the bear on their posters.
Midi are aiming to raise awareness of the issue, which sees caged, diseased and dying bears subjected to horrific processes to extract their bile, which is subsequently used in a range of products in the country. Under the slogan 'Protect the Moon Bear, oppose live bear bile products', Midi is backing the AAF's anti bear farming initiative, which you can read more about here.
In addition to the rocking bear on their posters, Midi will be educating festival goers on the issue with the aim that public outcry against the practice will mean the government is forced to act to ban it. On a broader level, it's great to see Midi using their music festival platform to support such an important cause and hopefully it'll strike a chord with the festival audience over the next few weeks and help contribute to a more widespread awareness of animal welfare in this country.
Not content with organising Strawberry in Beijing and Suzhou this May, Modern Sky are putting on a folk and poetry festival in the water town of Zhouzhuang (about 90 minutes from Shanghai) on the weekend of 23-24 of April. There'll be two stages and performers will include Xiao He, Zhou Yunpeng, Hanggai, Zhang Weiwei and Zuoxiao Zuzhou.
Here's the full line-up: