Beijing Springs

Posted by Pete DeMola on 11. May 2009

Lovers of electronic music, alternative culture and fresh air rejoice: Beijing has joined the roster of first-tier cities worldwide in hosting the country's first-ever electronic music festival.

Organized by Acupuncture Records -- Beijing's distinguished underground DJ collective and record label -- the one-day festival is slated to feature 20 artists spread across three stages.

The festival, whose name is an acronym that stands for "Ideas Need to Reach Out," marks the fulfillment of the collective's biggest goal since their inception in 2007.

"Partying and dancing to electronic music under the open skies," said Acupuncture's Marketing Director Miao Wong, "has been one of our biggest dreams."

Inspiration came, in part, from the slew of massive electronic music festivals that regularly take place around the world, most notably Berlin's infamous, hedonistic Love Parade and Zurich's Street Parade, the latter of which Acupuncture crewmember Weng Weng attended in 2003 and considered the experience, with over 900,000 participants, to be "overwhelming."

"We don't see electronic music as just a side dish," Wong said, explaining that this country's white-hot electronic music community and related culture are vital elements to the country's continuing development, and deserve to take their rightful place alongside China's long-running rock festivals.

"Electronic festivals are what give cities an identity," she added.

To get pumped up, Acupuncture have been hosting a series of citywide warm-up events over the past month, including appearances at 798, NLGX and Wudaokou where, in addition to live DJ sets, complimentary mp3 files of the festival's theme track -- a slice of minimal techno produced and recorded by crewmember ELVIS.T -- were made available to upload directly onto one's iPod.

An additional warm-up party will take place on Sat, May 16 at White Rabbit, while We Call It Techno!, a documentary on Germany's early rave and techno scene, will be screened at Club Camp on the same day.

In addition to Intro 2009 acting as a platform both for the exchange of ideas and as a showcase for emerging music and digital art, dancers and performing artists will offer additional entertainment throughout the day (and night) to a crowd that the organizers anticipate to reach 10,000.

All attendees are encouraged to get involved if they have something to share.

"Everyone can be a star," Wong said. "And any individual can be a performer," explaining that the venue itself lends itself to creativity with its ample niches, corners, industrial pipes and open space that covers 46,000 square meters.

Acupuncture hopes to make the festival an annual event, preferably each May, Wong said, for the season's cool and dry conditions makes for optimal festival weather.

"We need to start somewhere," Wong said, adding that the global electronic music community has offered their support and encouragement in droves since their plans for the festival were made public online.

"And this is a start."

ESSENTIALS:

"Intro by Day" will kick off at 1pm sharp and will run until 11pm, where it will then move indoors and become "Intro by Night," which will keep bodies moving on the dance floor until 4am. (Make sure to hold onto your ticket stub for admittance.)

Familiar faces Ouyang, Zhiqi, Patrick Yu, Dave K, Flo Eysler and of course, the Acupuncture Crew, will perform; international acts include Germany's M.A.N.D.Y. Philipp and Chris Liebing, Italian minimal tech duo Italoboyz and well-known Japanese turntablist Shin Nishimura.

On the visual arts end, Swiss VJ pioneer Dimitri, Science of Sounds' MARULA and Beijing's own Yang Tao and Elixir are on deck.

TICKETS:

On site: 200 RMB at the door from 10am (cash only)
Pre sale: 150 RMB (until May 20) limit: 4000

They can be purchased online here and here, or at over a dozen locations throughout the city, including CBD (Mellow Tea, Muse, White Rabbit) Sanlitun (Ciro's Pomodoro, Serve the People, Luga's), Gulou (Luce, Passby Bar, Sevenekos) and Wudaokou (Bridge, Sculpting in Time, Kro's Nest).

For VIP table reservations, group tickets for parties of 30 or more and any other inquiries, call the following numbers:

13601182614 (中文)
13601182684 (English)
13501348785 (中文/FR)
15110001041 (中文/日本語)

FOOD:

Pizza, sandwiches and lamb skewers will be available.

GETTING THERE:

751 D-Park Plaza, 798 Art District
4 Juxianqiao Road, Chaoyang

The closest subway stations are (最近地铁站) Sanyuanqiao (三元桥) and Liangmaqiao (亮马桥). From Liangmaqiao, take Bus 909 to Dashanzi South (从亮马桥乘坐909路,大山子路口南下车).

Bus routes: 401, 405, 420, 909, 955, 988 and 991 (其他可到达场地公交线路).

By taxi: 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District. Enter 798 through the south gate -- you'll see 751 straight ahead.

Photo of the Acupuncture Records crew courtesy of Demone. From left: Ivan Zhang, ELVIS.T, Terry Tu, Pancake Lee, Weng Weng and X.L.F.

Invite your friends.




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