Zebra Music Festival 2011

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    Zebra is on us again! The first day of the festival is tomorrow, Saturday the 30th of April. If you haven’t been to Zebra before I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out, since it’s probably the biggest annual cultural event in the city.

    The festival spans three days, from Saturday until Monday, and features dozens of bands, honestly most of which you have probably never heard of. And then local bands that have been playing in local venues for years like The Trouble, Ashura, Proximity Butterfly, etc. This year there’s no Xiong Mao electronic stage but the second stage (called the Sky stage, like the previous two years) is featuring DJ’s in the evening. Check below for the full line. I’m inclined to mention that I’m DJ’ing on May 2nd at sunset on the second stage, also!

    Performers on April 30th

    Proximity Butterfly (????) (Chengdu, psychedelic rock)

    Gemini (???) (France/China, Pop-rock)

    Your favorite enemies (Canada) (Indie-Rock)

    Bigger Bang (Guangzhou, Dance-rock)

    Convenience Store (????) (Beijing, Brit-pop)

    Yida Huang (???) (Singapore, Pop)

    Success (France, electro rock)

    Chenchu Sheng (???)


    Performers on May 1st

    The Trouble (???)

    Good for Nothing (Japan, pop punk)

    Mosaic (???) (Chengdu, dance rock)

    Soundtoy (????) (Chengdu, Brit-pop)

    Xiaokun Wang (???) (Singapore, pop)

    Xu Wei (??) (Xi’an, pop rock)


    Performers on May 2nd

    The Amazing Insurance Salesmen (??????) (Beijing, experimental rock)

    Tongdang (??) (Chengdu, emo rock)

    Mr. Turtle aka Mr. Chelonian (????) (Chengdu, ska, reggae)

    The on Fires (Australia, punk/rock)

    Ashura (?????) (Chengdu, pop rock)

    Brainfailure (??) (Beijing, punk rock)

    Edison Chen (???) (Hong Kong, Cantopop/hip hop)

    Although I’m not familiar with 85% of this lineup, I’m looking forward to seeing Ashura and The On Fires from Australia. Edison Chen is the festival headliner (yes, the sex scandal guy) and he closes out the festival on the third and final day.

    Location and Ticket Information

    Once again Zebra is being held at Poly 198 Park on the outskirts of Chengdu. If you take a taxi from the city, expect to pay 40-60 yuan depending on traffic and where you’re coming from. Best to carpool with others, or take the subway to the North Train Station (????) and take a taxi or bus from there. If you’re taking a bus, you’ll be looking for #384. It won’t be a quick trip though (about 30-40 minutes), so a taxi might be better to save time.

    Location: Poly 198 Tulip Park ??198??????? (Baoli 198 Yujinxiang Huahui Gongyuan) on Shulong Lu near the Third Ring Road northeast section, Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, and Chengdu Zoo.

    Tickets: Tickets are RMB80 for a single-day pass (no three-day passes this year)

    National ticket hotline 400-810-1887 | Chengdu booking hotline: 028-65920088 or 65920088

    Internet booking 228.com.cn or ticketone

    Zebra Music Festival website: http://www.myzmf.com

    Are you going?

    I’ll most likely be at Zebra for all three days. Are you going? If so, it’d be cool to meet up with anyone on here who I haven’t met yet.


    If I’m not at Hua Shan, I’ll definitely be there at least one of the days. Saturday or Sunday probably.


    The first day of Zebra was well attended! In the evening there was a massive crowd of people at the main stage. I took many photos and will publish them all in a post on the blog, but here’s a preview.





    have to say that the music was not as good as i thought.

    i can’t even understand the lyrics even i speak perfect chinese lol

    and people were acting hysterical, throwing beer to me, and pretending they can understand what the songs are about.

    however it’s been a nice day.

    nice atmosphere, nice people ,nice festival


    oh and btw, the bathrooms are beyond gross lol

    have to say that the music was not as good as i thought.

    i can’t even understand the lyrics even i speak perfect chinese lol

    and people were acting hysterical, throwing beer to me, and pretending they can understand what the songs are about.

    Agree completely. The best music I’ve heard so far were Proximity Butterfly and The Trouble, both local bands. Not overly impressed with the music but that’s nothing new if you’ve been to Zebra before. It’s not known for attracting the best musical acts, it’s more a platform for pop stars and local bands than anything else. The best part is the atmosphere and enjoying nice weather outside with friends.

    The Chengdu Living frisbee got a lot of action and actually ended up breaking! We had an enormous 15-person frisbee circle going yesterday afternoon.


    I think Mr. Turtle, Ashura, Proximity Butterfly, Soundtoy are all good bands (actually, P.B. are absolutely world- class) but I’ve seen them all 6 or 7 times. I know Zebra is only a few years old, but what’s gonna happen in the future? Are these just the automatic default bands? Is the Chengdu scene so limited? I had a great time last year but gave it a miss this year cos the line-up was pretty dismal (no surprises like Reptile and Retard last year). Anyway, like you said, its a good day to sit in the sun, on the grass (pretty elusive in Chengdu!)and hang out with friends. Hope you guys all had a great time!


    I hear you. The claim that Zebra hasn’t been bringing compelling lineups is legitimate, but I question their commitment to keeping it interesting when huge crowds seem to show up no matter what. It’s good that prominent local bands were given slots on the main stage this year (unlike previous years) but generally speaking the lineup was lackluster. Since local performers aren’t compensated, it seems like most of the money collected from ticket sales are going straight to the headliners for each day of the festival. Even for those though, they don’t bring a really big show at all. Last night Edison Chen’s performance was like 6-7 songs in total, about 35 minutes, and half of the songs weren’t even his (he brought MC Yen (sp?) and some other HK MC with him). As soon as he left the stage at 10:20pm and everything began to shut down, he headed straight for Muse Club where he performed for another hour for what was surely a small mountain of cash.

    Obviously we’re all aware of the hardships that China’s modern music and culture have had to endure. But it’s hard to realistically expect things at Zebra to change considering the third annual festival is still plagued by these huge problems.


    Oh man, i had no idea that the local bands are not paid! That’s scandalous! Yeah, as a foreigner here, Zebra is one of those things that puts me in two minds; on the one hand, you wanna be positive and thankful for it. On the other, in only it’s 2nd(?) or 3rd year, its already disappointing people in a number of areas. i guess we need to keep in mind that its basically a festival aimed at Chinese teenagers. So while i might bitch about the awesome musical ability and artistic cred of Edison Chen, i bet alot of young local girls (and heaven forbid, even boys) probably dug it, had a blast and have been talking about it all day at school today. Man, my dream line-up would be commercial suicide at Zebra and you’d have a field of confused-looking locals and then an exodus to the gates. Who knows, next year they might surprise us with an awesome line-up….


    I’ve heard Proximity Butterfly before at the new year festival in kuanzhai valley and they were all kinds of awesome. but i only went to the 2rd day of zedra so sorta missed them. I think Mosaic is definitely the most popular one among chengdu locals.

    and maybe the weather was a little bit too good. my friends who went there on the first day told me that there was hot as hell so i perfectly equiped myself for that what they called the hotness… followed by raining.windy.freezing. now here comes me laying in bed feeling like crap.

    and dear tigerkuma, yes heaven forbid we love edison chen.


    The full post for Zebra Music Festival has been published with 60+ photos from the event, check it out on the blog here: https://www.chengduliving.com/chengdu-zebra-music-festival-2011/

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