Spring is here and so begins music festival season. While Woodstock made music festivals a rite of passage in the West, China’s versions are a much tamer and more family-friendly affair. However, the good vibes remain, so here are the May holiday choices.
This celebration of all things jazz takes over Jing’an. While international stalwarts like Jesse Harris and Petra Haden will perform Master Hall concerts at Shanghai Centre Theatre, free stages will be set up across venues from Jing’an Temple Square to Jing An Kerry Centre, featuring a wide range of the city’s finest act.
Kid performers will rock the Jing’an Park stage from morning to noon while a family bazaar will feature a wide range of community goods.
Apr 30-May 2, 10.30am-7pm, free entry. 1) Jing’an Park, 2) Jing’an Temple Square, 3) Jing an Kerry Centre, (www.jzmg.net), 4) Master Hall Concerts: Apr 30-May 2, 8-10pm, rmB180-380. Shanghai Centre Theatre,(www.smartshanghai.com/smartticket)
Strawberry Music Festival
Created by China’s biggest independent music company Modern Sky, Strawberry features five stages stretching across the spacious Expo Park. So far, British electronic rockers The Prodigy and Modestep have been the only acts announced, but past festivals have included Carly Rae Jepsen, Explosions in the Sky, Dinosaur Jr and The Hives.
With the other stages filled with some of China’s most popular indie acts, Strawberry routinely attracts 30,000 visitors. However, the stages are spaced apart and there are big community areas full of local pop-ups peddling everything from clothes and accessories to music. This fun festival may be better suited for you and your teens than with the young ones in tow. Still only five years old, there’s a refreshingly non-jaded feel at the festival, perfect for teens in China wanting to get a slice of a Western style music festival. Modern Sky is getting really good at these things too. For the past two years, they’ve staged music festivals in New York’s Central Park.
> Apr 30-May 2, 1-9.30pm, RMBTBA. Expo Park, (buy.modernsky.com)
Taihu MIDI Festival
China’s oldest music festival returns to their campgrounds in nearby Taihu, providing the rare opportunity for festival-goers to stay overnight for an authentic festival experience.
While headliners haven’t been announced, past festivals have featured the likes of Britpop stalwarts Suede, as well as top Chinese acts like Nova Heart. This year, there will be two rock stages, providing many of the acts coming out of the Beijing MIDI School of Music a chance to rock more than 10,000 people.
There will also be a MIDI Kids Stage that promotes their new program designed to provide musical training to China’s youth throughout the country with instructional books and the only musical certification program approved by the Ministry of Education.
> Apr 30-May 2, 2-10pm, RMBTBA. Taihu MIDI Park,