Looks like there will indeed be a direct time conflict between Beijing’s Midi and Modern Sky festivals, with the former scheduled for Sept 29 – October 2, and the latter confirmed to start one day later and wrap on the 2nd as well. We wonder if concert goers will choose to hop between Haidian Park and the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, rather than committing to Midi with the RMB 150 4-day ticket (day passes to the festivals cost just RMB 50 for Midi and 60 for Modern Sky). Midi hasn’t gotten a license yet, much less confirmed its line-up, but Modern Sky has scheduled 40-odd acts (not including 25 DJs), among them Re-TROS, New Pants, Carsick Cars, Queen Sea Big Shark, and Joyside.
This could be music to the ears of those who plan to spend the October Golden Week holiday in Beijing: double the noise, double the moshing, double the porta-potties. But will the overlap of the festivals, combined with the fact that neither Midi nor Modern Sky are booking any international acts this year, lead to a tug of war between the two events? DJ/promoter Michael Ohlsson, who’s booking DJs for both festivals, tells us that “there’s a lot of drama around [Midi and Modern Sky]…and a bit of a debate over exclusivity.” Though neither festival has a formal exclusivity requirement, apparently one of the Midi organisers has demanded that none of the acts he’s booking play Modern Sky.
As Ohlsson points out, it’s a reasonable concern; both festivals no doubt want to maintain their separate identities, and make sure there’s something to distinguish them from the event going on across town (otherwise, they might have run with the combined mega-festival idea that’s been tossed around over the past few months). But will the demand for exclusivity mean that the local talent pool of bands and DJs will be spread too thin? What’s more, is Midi putting artists in a tough spot by asking them to choose, given that it doesn’t even have a permit yet?
On the Shanghai music fest tip, we’re sad to report that Yue won’t be reprising its role as Shanghai’s main international alternative music festival this year. But there’s no shortage of live outdoor loveliness to be had in our fair city these next few weeks, with the China Now Festival going on this weekend in Huahai Park, the JZ fest to look forward to next weekend, and the Nordic-Chinese Notch fest October 2-4 out in Caohejing Development Park.