Once we heard that there will be a big music-festival close to Zhengzhou it was clear that we will go to see what it was like. It surely should be a good possibility to meet some interesting people. Especially if we stay there over night there should be a lot of people coming together making music, chat about everything and nothing and just having fun together.
It was the first big rock music-festival for Zhengzhou so probably it is not comparable to what happens at the Strawberry-festivals in other, more modern cities here in China. This one surely was different to what I expected of a big music-festival.
As the date got closer we still could not figure out if it was possible to camp there or not. But can’t be, no festival without camping. So we at least brought our sleeping bags, ready for a crazy weekend and a lot of crazy things to happen.
When we got there we first had to realize, that there was no camping-site. Everybody on the festival will either go home or stay in one of the hotels around the festival. Then we entered the festival area. To do so we had to pass three different controls where we were checked for bottles. Ok, in Germany they also often try to take peoples stuff so they would spend more money on the festival area.
The area itself was actually perfect for a festival. It was a waterpark which already had closed for this season and the two main stages were just in front of a massive white sand beach. The sun was shining and the sky, for Zhengzhou standards, was amazingly blue.
Then, to relax and settle down and as we did not really bring anything we went to get a beer. The good thing was, that we did not have to wait for the beer because there were hardly any people buying beer. The bad things were, and maybe some of the reasons why, the beer was expensive, 15 RMB a little bottle, tasted like water and did not really have any alcohol.
In the daytime the majority was some Chinese pop music and the crowd in front of the stage was busy taking their smartphones to film the screen of the smartphone in front which was filming the screen of an other smartphone which eventually would get some real shots from the stage.
Some people built tents on the sand, but only to hide from the sun once in a while.
There was an electronic stage as well, but it seems like electronic music is still not so popular here in Zhengzhou, because most of the time there were only a few lost souls in front of the stage watching, not even moving. Only the second night, when there was a Chinese DJ there were quite a few people and actually dancing.
And nothing to drink but this horrible beer. Even non-alcoholic beverages were hard to find. Some publicity stands sold some Ice-tea and some kind of nut-milk. But that was it.
In the night the music got better but it also got colder, why Hudie decided not to sty with us for the night. So it was Brian, Sheng and me who had to find some kind of shelter for the night. We ended up sleeping in this abandoned train at the entrance of the festival.
My favourite acts were Suyang (苏阳）and XieTianXiao（谢天笑）. The latter also was the last act of the festival. They were the only ones that really managed to get the crowd go crazy for a while. But also only for 5 songs and then their gig was over.
In general it was a nice little holiday on the beach with a lot of sun and some good music. But me as a European I felt it a quite strange atmosphere and it made me realize how much I miss to attend a good German music-festival like “Open Ohr”, “Summerjam” and “Bingen Open air” the last ones I visited before I came to China.