Festive hangover: MIDI, Strawberry and Other Music Notes from the weekend

Boy I am worn out!! It’s been a long weekend with tons of music, fun, dust, wind and random happenings, which i’ll hopefully share on the blog shortly. But for now, we’ll make do with a quick recap before I get down to full blown reviews of the festivals.

Midi on Saturday was a strange affair. Dust storms and rain really affected the festival and took a dent out of the audience, a few of which did scramble to get back to civilization before the end. Still, hats off to the organizers for keeping the ship steady. No Problem with logistics or alcohol sales over there. Just good fun and really good organization. only hiccup was headliners Voodoo Kungfu got to play 3 songs before being shut down.

Strawberry on Sunday got off to a shaky start with the Modern Sky shuttles nowhere to be found. Nightmares from last year were coming back quickly. Still overall, it was good if you were inside! other than the lack of booze of course! What a sorry sight it is to look at those empty Absolut tents.. Music was good and sound better than last year! I’m still not sold though.

Midi on Monday was a must see. From all i heard and seen, it’s been the only Festival that didn’t face some sort of regulatory problem. Beautiful day, nice temperature, good music and rocking performances by AK47 and Miserable Faith. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

I didn’t go to CMV but I heard they had their own seating issues on top of stopping alcohol sales… what the hell is up with that? could someone shed a nice light on the matter for me? Why was booze banned on the day of the festivals as opposed to an early warning that it would be dry land? I don’t buy this last minute ban on a saturday bullshit.

A bunch of bands are still all around Beijing playing. The White Eyes had an impromptu stop at 2 Kolegas saturday night with a new drummer and guitar player. New guitar sucks, new drummer is freaking ACE!

D-22 was celebrating their anniversary over the weekend and i took the opportunity to check it out for the first time in 3 years. Place is nicer than i remember it but I landed there on experimental night with Birdstriking , White and some other random bands. Wish I’d picked a better day.

More notes throughout the week about the festivals folks.. stay tuned!

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7 Responses

  1. Ruby says:

    Adding my weekend to the mix:

    Midi on Sat – still coughing up dust from that one! Not the best day of the weekend for me, but despite the loooong subway/shuttle bus trip and the dodgy weather this is a pretty cool venue, esp if camping is possible.

    Super Ningxia Day @ 2Kolegas on Sun – no music until around 8.30, but still a chilled afternoon playing frisbee and football on the lawn with the local musicians, kids & dogs; great chuanr & noodles being served up and plenty what the other festivals were missing – BEER!!!

    Strawberry on Mon – after hearing days 1 & 2 went OK, decided to give it a shot. Catching the free Ray Ban bus from Gongti direct to the gate made it the easiest of the bunch to get too! Highlight of the day chilled out tunes from Mono on the big stage.

  2. Chery says:

    We went to 2 kolegas on May 1. The wasabi cucumber is a killer! And there’s a very long nice driveway right outside of the bar where we set up a slalom course and skated for hours. My legs were so sore and yesterday we had to chill at home. This afternoon Hans Fenger arrived, officially, and let the fun of music begin!!!

  3. e-head says:

    Day 2 of MIDI was also very awesome. Mr Big was…. Mr Big, but the crowd lapped it up. Some great bands, fantastic location, and cheap drinks. The ONLY festival in town!!

  4. Jean-Marie Schloemer says:

    My two cents:

    @ MIDI on Saturday was great for the people – my impression is that there you get the people that are actually devoted to the music, unlike the fashionable posers at Strawberry or the music-interested, but rather uninspired crowds at CMV. The dust was a bit annoying, but gave the whole thing a unique atmosphere – and the grungier a music festival gets, the better, right?

    @ CMV on Sunday had the best bands – Ladytron and especially Editors were amazing. They had two stages right next to each other which played alternately, so that there was music continuously, which was great when you wanted to listen to music but unfortunate when you wanted to get a drink between two acts you liked.
    Talking about drinks, they had plenty of alcohol on the premises but apparently stopped selling them early Saturday afternoon (alternate rumor 1: started selling them in the evening again; alternate rumor 2: stopped selling them after a fight broke out). Not sure whether the artists got any booze, because everything before Ladytron looked rather lackluster, and the audience didn’t really get into it either.
    The audience area was divided between the two stages, and apparently on Saturday it was not possible to change sections for some acts, but we had no such trouble on Sunday. A minor downer were the rows of security lining the audience on both sides – that were just standing there pretty much the whole day. Nonetheless, I had a good time and actually enjoyed this day most – due to Ladytron and Editors!

    @ Strawberry on Monday: best overall festival feeling. I enjoy being able to walk around between different stages, and Tongzhou Park is quite a nice setting. Weather was excellent as well, and while the official ban on alcohol was still in effect, some enterprising vendors were selling cans of beer under the table (literally). Personal highlight was Queen Sea Big Shark’s show, which was amazingly well-received! I’ve rarely seen people having so much fun at a concert in Beijing.
    And second Ruby’s comment on the shuttle buses – it was a breeze getting there! Getting back by public transport wasn’t as convenient, but very straightforward too.

    Overall, I was very happy with my festival week-end, with all of the festivals shining in their own areas. I hope that all of them will stay around – and that some of them could move closer to the city center again…

  5. Jaime says:

    Happy Music Valley- just a concert not a festival… no booze and too many rules… doesn’t matter, we broke em and broke em good!

    Strawberry- heard fest probs… heard if they had beers it would have been great…. again, I would simply go and break the rules!

    Midi- Loud rock, cool site, and COLD 10 kuai beers! I’d camp there next year if they have it there… prob better for crowd numbers if it goes back to Haidian. Of course it’s geared toward the rock so my fav for sure!

    Chaoyang Park Pop??? — Did anyone go?

  6. Willis says:

    Exactly Jamie, let’s have a little imagination here…half the fun of strawberry was breaking the rules…aka getting the alcohol in (this bar wasn’t set particularly high — walk in nonchalant…wow that’s hard)

    Nevertheless, I was there for the music…the music period

    Luckily, I accidently discovered the gongti shuttle, so I suppose Im biased since I used that 5/6 trips to tongzhou — but the music was great, from hearing for the first time omnipotent youth society (love the trumpets), to having my buddies marveled at hedgehog’s atom and av okubo’s loud speaker, to running back and forth from mono to hanggai to queen sea bee shark — the music didn’t disappoint..and that’s all that matters to me at least (does it matter if people there are “posers” — just means they’re in for a bigger treat) …so yes, i went to strawberry three days straight and don’t regret a moment…beijing music, rock on….rock on

  1. May 12, 2011

    […] back, so we jumped in a city bus. (Note: several commenters at Beijing Daze noted that there was a free Ray Ban bus from Gongti that made transportation a piece of cake… though how they heard about it, […]