Friday, August 17, 2012

Qingdao Rocks

Today I attended the opening day of the Qingdao InterCity Music Festival. It's in a sort-of beach resort, so quite a nice setting, two big stages, so-so line-up (the only act I'd heard of is Peaches), seems well organized... but, as is so often the case with Chinese rocks fests, not many people. Still, it's Day 1, a working day, and the organizers seem pretty confident it will pick up over the weekend.
We've loaned them our Rockarchive exhibition for the duration. They're put it in a big tent. I was worried that it would look crap, but they've done a good job: built proper walls and spotlights for each of the photographs and a whopping great big title panel. I had to give an opening speech timed to take place inbetween bands so I'd actually be heard, and then guided a Party official through the exhibition: "This one's the Rolling Stones when they were quite rebellious... This one's the Sex Pistols... Here's Wham!, the first Western band to perform in China... and this is Amy Winehouse who died last year of a drug overdose..." So, lots of positive messages about British rock culture then. But she seemed to like it and it was pretty packed with young 'uns, including a guy in a Joy Division shirt who couldn't stop saying thank you. I then did an interview with China's Q Magazine in a hotel which didn't have a cafe and didn't serve coffee, before enjoying the delights of a Chinese Heavy Metal act. What a strange job I have...

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