Photo of the Day: Strawberry Festival


China’s music festival market has exploded in recent years, with events encompassing rock, jazz, EDM, and more being held across the country almost every week of the year. The traditional period for festivals has always been the public holiday to mark International Labor Day however, and so this week’s photo theme is China Music Festivals. We’ll be bringing you shots from some of this season’s major music fests — traversing punk, jazz, pop, and electronic music.

Strawberry is the McDonald’s of China music festivals: it’s everywhere, it serves the same core menu of staples, and no one is really there because of taste. It’s the flagship festival product of Modern Sky, a company that’s done more than anyone to package music culture into an easily consumed identity marker for China’s young, aspiring class. Also, McDonald’s is one of its official vendors.

This year, Strawberry spread wide across the country, pitching their tents in Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing over the last few weeks, with stops in Wuhan and Changsha scheduled for the next few. For bands that are signed to Modern Sky, that means more than a month of solid work around this time of year, plus another wave when Modern Sky’s other, eponymous festival kicks off around the October Golden Week holiday.

We were happy to see that at Strawberry’s Shanghai festival this past weekend, rockabilly band Rolling Bowling (above) weren’t affected by the rumored tattoo ban, and could leave the Spider-Man costumes they donned on-stage in Hangzhou at home:

Cover photo: Rapper Tizzy T at Strawberry Shanghai (WeChat)


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Josh Feola
Josh Feola is a US-based writer and musician, and RADII's former Culture Editor. His coverage of Chinese music and art has appeared in The Wire, Dazed, MIT Technology Review, Artsy, Bandcamp Daily and more. He's been active in China's underground music scene since 2010 via his booking platform pangbianr.com, and is a former member of Beijing bands Chui Wan, SUBS, and Vagus Nerve.

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