Qingyuan 清遠: Niuyuzui music festival (2 of 2)

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On the second day of our mini-trip to Qingyuan (see part one), we took a taxi to the natural park of Niuyuzui, a scenic location 30 minutes from Qingyuan City to attend the 2010 Niuyuzui music festival on July 18th, 2010.

Niuyuzui Music Festival in Guangdong 牛鱼嘴音乐节
2010 Niuyuzui Music Festival in Guangdong 牛鱼嘴音乐节

WangWen at Niuyuzui
WangWen 惘闻 (Dalian)

It was a hot day
It was a hot day in South China…

Zhaoze at Niuyuzui
Zhaoze 沼澤 (Guangzhou)

Ourself Beside Me at Niuyuzui 2010
Ourself Beside Me (Beijing) (This is Yangfan, lead singer of OBM)

People attending the Niuyuzui festival

The previous night, we stayed in the city because of the heavy rain, and did not see many of the bands scheduled to play. The good thing is that all the bigger acts of Saturday, which included WangWen, Hedgehog, and American band Caspian, were all squeezed in on Sunday night! At RMB80 (CAD12) for the day pass, we had at least 6-7 major bands on the Chinese indie scene!

It rained the night before, so it was just a slightly fresher summer day in South China. People didn’t really start showing up until the late afternoon, after two post-rock bands, along girl-fronted Ourself Beside Me played. Go Chic from Taiwan literally lit up the place, but that was already after I stood up previously for two entire sets, especially for Ourself Beside Me, who I saw in Beijing in 2008. They were missing a band member, and had a new one (a guy) on keyboards.

Toddler drinking Pepsi
Toddler drinking Pepsi

Go Chic at Niuyuzui
Go Chic (Taipei)

Niuyuzui Music Festival in Guangdong 牛鱼嘴音乐节
Night falling on festival-goers


Caspian at Niuyuzui 2010
Caspian (USA)

Niuyuzui: La fille du fan club de Caspian avait son iPad au show
Caspian fan club girl flashing her iPad

Caspian had their local fan club at the festival. They wore red t-shirts emblazoned with the band’s name, and even carried an iPad with an app that displays banner announcements… And now I wonder when the day will come when we get digital displays malleable enough to be built in your clothing, say.

Hedgehog at Niuyuzui 2010

Hedgehog at Niuyuzui 2010
Hedgehog (Beijing)

Hedgehog at Niuyuzui 2010


I had to catch a bus, so left Niuyuzui at around 9:30PM. It was a Sunday night, and I had to work early the next morning, and about 4 hours (which turned into 5 because of traffic in GZ) separated us from Hong Kong.

The last band was Hedgehog, a indie rock “noisepop” trio that I had been listening to a lot in the past few months. They played right after Caspian (post-rock), and was another band that definitely woke the crowd up, as you could see in the pictures here above (and there was a mosh pit too). Their tiny drummer girl was hitting away, while her two band mates stood coolly while the crowd did most of the moving.

We left, and our friends stayed behind for the bands that they wanted to see, Pet Conspiracy. Unfortunately, I was told that they played about three songs and had to leave (the organizers had to squeeze in all of Saturday’s bands). There was Brain Failure and the Subs too, but one of them cancelled, and I forgot which it was.

The last part of the evening was Carsick Cars, perhaps the biggest name in Chinese rock right now. But they played at 1:30AM, two hours and a half after they were normally scheduled for… My friend said that they were a bit underwhelming, as the crowd was then dead tired at this point. But they did sing their hit Zhongnanhai

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