Modern Sky Festival: the Chinese-based Music Festival

Miserable Faith, Rock Band from Beijing

For those people who only listen to pop songs in China, they probably do not know this festival. Different from going to a concert, sitting on a seat while watching the show for 2 to 3 hours, involving in music festivals is a way unique experience. Rather than listen to it, we participate in the music with other audiences and there are no seats at all.

Modern Sky festival is the biggest music festival throughout China. Every year it is held in all kinds of venues in more than 20 cities. For instance, the Shanghai Modern Sky Festival 2015 was arranged in Shanghai Expo park with 5 stages, each with its specific name that identifies its music style (metal, hardcore punk, rock, folk and electronic).

New Pants, Rock Band from Beijing

I am a super fan of Chinese rock and folk music. Since I play guitar myself, I like to follow those musicians who play guitar and write their own songs. Most of them were unknown to the public before music festival became popular, but they kept on doing what they were eager for to wait the time that Chinese rock and folk prospered. The public choice did not let them down. After more than ten years of waiting from 1990’s, the dominance of pop music in China finally shivered when rock and folk music started to move to the center on 2009. Modern Sky Festival was introduced at that time.

Gaohu, Lead Singer of Miserable Faith

After 6 years of competing with pop music, Modern Sky music festival has an influential effect on Chinese music style and culture. While the majority is still preferring pop songs, increasingly high numbers of music fans are grabbed attention by rock, punk, heavy metal and folk music that basically had no spot on the market back then. The unique culture has also been brought up. Pogoing, circle pits, moshing, stage diving and surfing are picked up by more and more people among young generations in China.

On October 4th, 2015, Modern Sky festival came to Central Park, New York. Thousands of Chinese music festival fans went to Central Park to watch this historic musical event in a country other than China. The crowd was enthusiastic and excited and I was one of them. We moshed, pogoed and danced while our mother language was amplified through speakers which delivered a culture of our own, on this continent more than 5000 miles from home.

WE love this spirit and what I mean by the word “WE” is this whole generation who have the power and courage to challenge the old. And the word “Music” is also written differently.

A Chinese soft rock song, After Party by New Pants


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Can Altuglu says:

    How exciting that you got the chance to see Chinese bands in NY! Sounds like you had a great time!

    1. Thanks Can! I do have a great time! I uploaded the photos and video if you are interested please check it out!

  2. Teresa says:

    I saw a lot about this event in Wechat Moments. A hilarious event!~

  3. Kewen Chen says:

    Do you hear of Hong Kong’s Beyond group, a rock band?
    I like their songs so much.

    1. Yes, Beyond is the milestone of Chinese rock music. They first set up the structure of Chinese rock culture.

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