If you are a big music fan and planning a China tour you should definitely check to see if your visit coincides with a music festival. There are a variety of music festivals every year all over China (particularly if you travel to Shanghai or Beijing) with many genres having a place on the stage. I attended the Black Rabbit Festival this weekend which is a new festival for 2011 playing in Beijing and Shanghai. There was a mix of international and local talent including Yellowcard, PK 14, Ludacris and 30 Seconds to Mars.

 

Ticket were a fraction of the cost expected in the west, with prices at 210RMB for the full day event. Generally a ticket to see just one of these bands would cost that price. The festival itself was an interesting mix, where indie, rock and hip hop fans all came together to experience their favourite acts performing.

 

 

The festival in Beijing was located at Chaoyang Sports Park on the outskirts of the city, it was only a 32RMB cab ride there, however the journey back was a little difficult as taxi’s were not willing to stop and pick anyone up! So we resulted to hopping on the 350 bus back to Tuanjiehu (Sanlintun area) and continuing our travels by subway.

 

The grounds of the festival had a variety of entertainment, with a Chinese style market, food vendors and a bouncy castle. We were lucky enough to acquire some freebies of t-shirts and rabbit ears which helped us blend in to the festival crowd further!

 

Here is a short selection of some other popular festivals across China you may wish to check out!

 

MIDI Festival

Midi is China’s largest and longest running festival and usually runs for four consecutive days. It runs every year at the beginning of May in Beijing and the bands are usually within the Rock, Punk and Metal genres. Tickets cost around 200RMB for the weekend, and there is usually a combination of Chinese and International artists.

 

Strawberry Festival

Strawberry is another big rock festival held annually in Beijing (alongside other cities). It appears to be competition against Midi festival as they generally schedule to run at the same time, in the same city, just an hour apart from one another.

 

Zebra Festival

Zebra music festival is held each year in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Again it is a rock festival and tickets are 80RMB (for a day pass as weekend tickets aren’t available) with the festival running for three days.

 

Beijing Pop Festival

This festival, contrary to the name, is infact another rock festival! It was held every year (until 2007) in Beijing’s Chaoyang Park and features a combination of local and international bands. Notable acts that have performed there include Nine Inch Nails,  Public Enemy and New York Dolls. However, there haven’t been any performances over the past few years meaning it possibly could be extinct, considering Black Rabbit Festival has popped up in the month this festival usually takes place.

 

Other festivals to look into are Modern Sky Festival, China Music Valley Festival and Blossom Festival. However, festivals throughout China seem to be disappearing as fast as they begin, so it is best to continually check the line up and stability before planning any China Travel around this!

 

 

Jack Li

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