Fu Han, vocalist of Beijing-based Queen Sea Big Shark, performs at the 2007 Midi Modern Music Festival in Beijing on May 1, 2007. [File Photo: Xinhua]
Bad news for music fans in Beijing. China's largest annual rock music festival is leaving its hometown for another city little known for its rock music.
This year's Midi Modern Music Festival will be held from May 1 to 3 in Zhenjiang of eastern China's Jiangsu Province, the festival's organizer announced on Tuesday.
"With the sincere invitation from the Zhenjiang City Bureau of Culture and after two months of investigation on location, we today signed a cooperation contract to kick off the preparations for the Zhenjiang leg of the 2009 Midi Modern Music Festival," Beijing Midi School of Music said in a press release.
Although the school uses the term "Zhenjiang leg", the city is likely to be the major venue for this year's festival, reported Sina.com.cn.
A smaller-scale live music series is proposed as a sideline event in Shanghai, which is about two-hour rail ride from Zhenjiang.
The press release didn't mention the reason for the venue change.
Known as a Chinese version of the Woodstock festival in the U.S., the Midi festival usually features best-known Chinese rock musicians and bands, as well as a number of foreign performers.
The outdoor music bash has been gathering rock fans throughout China since 1997. The festival in 2007, held at Beijing's Haidian Park, saw a record number of 80,000 visitors in four days.
This year's line-up will consist of twenty Chinese and ten Western rock bands or musicians, who will include Cui Jian, Miserable Faith, Muma, The Reflector and Cold Fairyland.
(CRI March 18, 2009)