From the land of Pandas comes the new wave of Chinese Rock

Move aside Midi and Strawberry, just in time for the May Holiday, here comes the Zebra Music Festival tucked away on the outskirst of Chengdu !  Just like last summer, tens of thousands of youngs, erlderly’s and families attended the ZMF.


Weeks before the release of the ZMF 2010 lineup, thousands were already sharing their excitment and attendance on Douba, among other social networks. And they weren’t lying… Tattooed rockers were mixing up with professionals and families on the grounds of the Tulip Park.

We were live backstage at the second annual edition and we have to say : Chengdu’s ‘little’ festival is growing ! But as everything else in China, ‘little’ is always a matter of perspective : almost 300 hundred thousand people were drawn to the three day festival regardless of the heat and the humidity.

While kids were eating their chicken feet snacks on the grass, the young public was actually running from one stage to another, avoiding to loose one minute of this excellent festival.

The commercial-sponsor presence (Hello, Carlsberg !) was very noticeable and with that, far more activity tents had been set up, including body painting, public art and extrême sports. Kids were not left aside with a trampoline and drawing station.

Attending this year were some of the biggest names in Chinese pop music. Wer’re talking about pop icon Chang Chen-yue and indie rock group Sodagreen. When asked what the unique point of the festival are, Beijing reggae band Longshendao said : ‘well, the toilets are cleaner than at other festivals’.

Several taiwanese acts were also invited to Chengdu this year, one of which the Taiwanese rapper MC Hot Dog, a crowd pleaser for the young-uns who is currently banned from broadcast on the Mainland due to his excessive use of fould language but nonethless, was awarded the 18th Golden Melody Award for Best Chinese/mandarin album.

Of course, some of us are too cool for them so the choices were Manchester rockers Exile Parade, disco-punk band Does it Offend you, Yeah ? and  Israeli folk rock Asaf Avidan & the Mojos. Our Beijing heores included Xiao He and Pet Conspiracy, who’s female singers tantalized the crowd with their kittenish sexuality.

However, the successful strategy behind the event recieved a handful of tweaks, including fewer bands than last year in general and noticeably fewer Beijing bands since most were playing at the coincide and Beijing-based Strawberry and Midi festivals.

The increasing interest, both commercial and popular in Zebra virtually ensures the money and the crowds will be thrown at the main stage, while the other ones, the african drum performance, were all but ignored by the audience and the organisers – sound cut out regularly at the Sky Stage all throughout the first night-.

The Zebra Music Festival concluded on Monday evening with a sea of tired but happy festivalgoers, their heads full of memories for the year to come.  As for us, we declare the festival a milestone event for Chengdu and a general success for the contemporary culture and art scenes in the region.

More pictures by Francesco Gregori at China Files Photo Galleries (

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I am really interested to know more about Chinese. Thanks for posting this one. I am admiring them a lot. I wanted to know more about their lifestyle and everything. I would like to share another good articles about chinese lifestyle. You can visit this at
Thanks for your article! After living nearly three years in Chengdu, I believe that today, in China it is the place for cool people to be!
Music!!!! make China Free!!!!
Une autre vision très intéressante de la Chine avec des articles qui sortent des sentiers battus.

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