A rock & metal festival in China

May is the festival season in China! Particularly the long weekend of May 1st there are several music festivals going on in China. And since a couple of years ago, one of them happens to take place in Suzhou! It is called Taihu Midi and has two versions: rock & metal and electronic music. I had never been to the Suzhou edition (I did go to the one in Beijing many, many years ago) and since we were not traveling anywhere during the long weekend we decided to go. Yay! Last time I went to a festival was 3 years ago, when we went to Strawberry in Shanghai.

The festival in the afternoon.

The audience in the afternoon.

This year’s Taihu Midi was from April 30th to May 2nd. We only went on Saturday, April 30th, with a couple of friends who came from Shanghai. The festival takes place in a park next to Lake Tai and it is actually quite far from Suzhou. Considering the traffic jams and the road constructions in the middle of the way, it took us something like 1.5 hours to get there. The park is very nice but as it is in the middle of nowhere, no one was visiting it. The local government offered it to the company organizing the Midi festival so they would bring it back to life. And they did, even if it’s just a few days a year! The people from the surrounding villages had positioned themselves all around the place with carts selling fruit, pancakes, fried noodles, drinks, and even 39 RMB trousers. In case yours got dirty or broken!

The park was very big and had several European style houses scattered around. Some of them were the Midi offices and a few restaurants; there was a mini funfair with rides too, but I’m not sure if you could try them for free! That seemed to be a permanent part of the park. For the festival, they had also installed a rock wall to climb, trampolines, and even a hot-air balloon and a swimming pool!

Weird European style houses.

Weird European style houses.

The swimming pool! A pity we didn't bring a swimming costume, a towel, or a change of clothes...

The swimming pool! A pity we didn’t bring a swimming costume, a towel, or a change of clothes…

The day we went it was the one with the less famous bands so it was not very crowded, which was good. It also helped that the stages were spread apart, and there was even a small lake in the middle! There were three stages: the biggest one, for rock bands, the medium one, for more extreme metal bands, and a small stage for kids bands! I would have never thought there were so many children’s rock bands in China! But it is true that, at least in Suzhou, there are many music academies who teach kids how to play drums or electric guitar.

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The big stage. There was a band from Catalonia playing, they were called Els Catarres. Never heard of them before…

The medium stage.

The medium stage.

The kids stage! They knew how to rock!

The kids stage! They knew how to rock!

We saw several bands, walked around, ate some fried chicken and ice cream. The two biggest bands of the day were the latest to play, of course. They were Twisted Machine (扭曲的机器 or 扭机) and Miserable Faith (痛苦的信仰 or 痛仰). You can look them up online if you want to listen to their songs! Their shows were very entertaining, more because of the audience than because of them! People were jumping and dancing all the time, but I wasn’t pushed too much. There was even a wall of death! (I didn’t participate, I’m a sissy, haha). Many people were holding flags and at night there were so many I couldn’t actually see the stage. That was a big annoying.

Flag madness!

Flag madness!

But what I had never seen were those flares in the left side of the previous picture. At first I was scared that a flag or someone’s clothes would get on fire, but C. told me these things don’t burn. People would light them up and everybody around them would start dancing. It smelled like Chinese New Year.

It looked a bit apocalyptic.

It looked a bit apocalyptic.

 

It was a very nice day! I’m glad I went, I felt like I was back in my college years, hehe. But this time, if I went to a festival for several days, there’s no way I would stay in a tent. I’m too old for that.

The park had a nice small lake in the middle.

The park had a nice small lake in the middle.

 

Have you ever been to a music festival?

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