“The government used to see rock fans as something akin to devastating flood or an invasion of savage beasts,”said Zang Fan, the music festival’s organizer.
A handful of whose events have been canceled by bureaucrats since he pioneered the Chinese Music festival in 2000. “Now we’re all part of the nation’s quest for a harmonious society.”
Through their music performers criticized the country’s leaders, students sold anti government t-shirts and unruly heavy metal fans torching a Japanese flag adorned with expletives.
The music festival organizer himself nor a number of musicians are not complaining who have a finally way of monetizing their talents.
The shift in official policy, among them are state backed companies who are paying to get their logos shown across such event that has led to proliferate more music festivals across China.
At the Midi Music Festival, China’s oldest and boldest assembly of rock, funk, punk and electronica has happened thus allowing musicians to perform their thing in China.
The event was a four day free for all of Budweiser camping and crowd surfing. It was sponsored by the local Communist Party, which spent US$ 2.10 million dollars to turn cornfields into festival grounds, pay the growling punk, rock bands and clean up the rubbish left by the 80,000 crowd.
In 2008, there were five multiday concerts, mostly all in Beijing. This year of 2010, there have already been more than sixty, from the northern grasslands of Inner Mongolia to the southern islands of Yunnan Province.
The festival have been staged with the sponsor of the local governments that have come to realize that the youth rockers are not interested in ending up one party rule which is China’s present form of government.
The government has seen that such youth’s interest is indeed in their favor and besides festivals can deliver something that even propagandists cannot, and that is its coolness.
However, to skeptics the government is trying to co-opt youth culture.