Thanks to John "Nevada" Lundemo for filling me in on the latest kunming outdoor music festival, held on April 18,19. John heads up a multinational blues rock band called the Tribal Moons, which plays gigs around China's southwestern capital of Kunming. Some 20 bands played the second installment of the Kunming Outdoor Music Festival took place over the weekend in Taiping Town outside of Kunming - 600 people and a wider variety of music than at the previous edition: Gouride, Tribal Moons and Heiyu. "We rocked the crowd," says Lundemo. "But there were too many "death metal bands" for my taste, so we were, as usual, a "welcome relief".
Maybe he was referring to No Answer, whose Chinese name means 'beat me to death and I still won't talk', are fronted by self styled punk-slut styled Bai Cai. Go Kunming reported that rock/reggae hybrid Made in Dali proved the consensus favorite among fans.
An excellent English-language blog to the region, Go Kunming reported that there was a sizeable military presence at the festival, "with dozens of (officially) off-duty soldiers checking out the variety of musical offerings under a nearly full moon." On Saturday night two personnel carriers entered the festival site with sirens blaring - the soldiers aboard however, seemed only interested in taking in a set by Rap Republic.
The Tribal Moonsband may be lucky that its base is Yunnan province, a balmy, hippy-friendly region bordering Laos and Burma. Certainly it's all gigs for the band, which headlines an all night festival party in the picturesque old town of Dali on on May 1st. "We also have a "fly out' (we're flying to another city) on may 8th for a big "private party". paying us a ton of money, but we're not sure what the exact deal is yet. It sounds exciting..."
2003 - Witnness 2003, a comprehensive review by Brian Kelly of the 2 days of what transpired to be the last ever Witnness festival (in 2004 it was rebranded as Oxegen when Heineken stepped into the sponsor shoes).