Shanghai Fall Music Festival Guide

By Andrew Chin, September 18, 2015

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It's the season of music festivals with everything from world music to jazz to EDM to The Voice of China being celebrated. We take a look at 11 (well 10 and a half) upcoming offerings. And if you hadn't had a chance yet, catch our August issue, where we talked with the brains behind JZ, Echo Park, STORM, MIDI and Modern Sky about the industry.

Sep 18-20: Bandu Music Festival

Bandu Music Festival

Music meets art at this m50 music festival dedicated to folk, traditional sounds and new age. A number of top instrumentalists like Singapore’s Tan Su-Min, Hong Kong’s Li Jiali and Sichuan Conservatory of Music’s Shen Fei will perform.
// Sep 18-20, 10am-9.30pm, RMB150-220. M50, tickets.

Sep 19: Yoho 10th Anniversary Party


While technically not a festival, fashion magazine Yoho is celebrating a decade in the game in style, by taking over three Shanghai clubs. At Arkham, ghetto gothik favourite Venus X (pictured above) is joined by KOHH, Watapachi Lisa Chris, AR and AD08. Meanwhile, The Shelter welcomes rising French producer Gener8tion, Boiler Room architect Trist Tian, Kiri, Guillaume Berg and Detto K. Arcade hosts top Shanghai based acts like Linfeng, Fader One and Damacha.
// Sep 19, 10pm-late, RMB100-150 (with access to all venues). The ShelterArkham and Arcade, tickets.

Sept 19-20: Echo Park

Echo Park

Four years after organizing the massive Black Rabbit Festival, Splitworks is back in the outdoor festival game. Echo Park may have a new name and a new look, but it boasts the same beloved and varied lineup that the promoters supply every year with the JUE Festival (check out a video playlist of the lineup here). The line-up has been released and features hip hop stalwarts Black Star (aka. Yasiin Bey [aka. the former Mos Def] and Talib Kweli – pictured above), the 'Milkshake' singer Kelis, punk icons Pennywise, former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, last year’s Mercury Prize Award winners Young Fathers, Australian acoustic guitar god Jeff Lang, Night Slugs impresario Bok Bok and really way too much to recap. There’s an impressive mix of indie acts from Australasia ranging from South Korean ska to New Zealand dance-pop. The domestic acts involved are stellar, featuring the likes of Nova Heart, Howie Lee, The Big Wave, Duck Fight Goose, Chengdu buzz band Stolen, and the indescribable art-pop of Kunming’s South Acid Mimi Dance Team.
// Sep 19-20, 11am-11pm, RMB200-260 (one day), RMB300-400 (two-day pass). Shanghai Rugby Football Club, see event listing here, tickets.

Sep 25-27: Shalanaya Festival

Shalanaya Festival

Over 40 DJs will converge just outside of Zhujiajiao for the third annual electronic music festival. There will be three stages, dedicated to psytrance, psyambient and tech/house. On-site camping is available and there will be all the funky festival trappings from indie marketplaces to fire performances. Shuttle buses from downtown Shanghai will be available.
// Sep 25-27, 5.30pm-late, RMB220-300. Zhujiajiao, website.

Oct 1-2: Voice of China Festival

The Voice of China Festival (with Momo Wu)

The mega-hit show has spawned a music festival, featuring some of their most beloved participants including Momo Wu. Other notable acts include Della Ding and Li Qi. Expect group performances from the singers. For more Momo, check out our feature on her super producers, Mr. Fantastic.
// Oct 1-2, 2-10pm, RMB120-180 (per day). Xuhui Riverside, tickets.

Oct 1-2: Spring Wave Music and Art Festival

Spring Wave Music and Art Festival

The Taiwan festival takes over Chongming Island with a mixed line-up that includes Mainland indie favorites like Queen Sea Big Shark (pictured above), New Pants and Long Shen Dao, as well as other respected artists like Zhang Zhenyue, Khalil Fong and Jam Hsiao. For more, check out our feature on Queen Sea Big Shark in the studio.
// Oct 1-2, noon-10pm, RMB300. Chongming Island.

Oct 1-3: MIDI Electronic and Rock Festival

MIDI (Dr. Elektroluv)

The Mainland festival perennial is back in Taihu for a late-summer edition of their mega-fest. There will be six different stages with five international electronic headliners – Dr Lektroluv (pictured above), Sulumi, Jozef K, Thomas Schumacher and Ralf Kollmann. There’s an additional 80 local DJs and producers including pretty much all your Shanghai favorites. There will also be rocking acts with Voodoo Kungfu performing on Oct 1, New York hardcore favorites Sick of It All on Oct 2 and Finnish metal act Children of Bodom on Oct 3. Camping is allowed in the park.
// Oct 1-3, 9am-late, RMB100-150 (per day), RMB200-250 (two-days), RMB300-350 (three day pass). Taihu MIDI Park, tickets.

Oct 3-4 Budweiser STORM Electronic Music Festival

Budweiser STORM Electronic Music Festival (w/Tiesto)

It’s been an amazing ascent for the Shanghai EDM megafest. Paris Hilton was among the 24,000 people who partied hard during the inaugural 2013 edition, while last year’s attracted 35,000 people. This year looks even bigger with a star-studded line-up. While Avicci has once again pulled out, the line-up still includes three-time DJ Magazine’s No. 1 DJ Tiesto, Skrillex, Paul Oakenfold, A-Trak, Laidback Luke, Blasterjaxx, DVBSS and so much more. Also, expect an announcement soon as organizers are lining up a headliner to replace the Swedish tease. The organizers will also be hosting the first International Music Summit on October 2.
// Oct 3-4, 2-11pm, RMB380-480 (RMB480-1,180 for two-day pass). Xuhui Riversidetickets.

Oct 4-6 Simple Life Festival

Simple Life Festival

Originating from Taiwan, this music festival packed Expo Park last year in its inaugural Shanghai edition. Now, it’s back again with Taiwanese pop star Zhang Zhenyue (pictured above) and indie-folk Mainland acts like Wu Tiao Ren on the bill. Last year’s edition featured pop-reggae icons UB40, post-punk pioneers Television and Mando-pop star Hebe from SHE, so expect a few more big names to come up over the next couple of weeks. 
// Oct 4-6, 11am-10pm, RMB230-280 (per day), RMB590 (weekend pass). Expo Park, tickets.

Oct 17-18: JZ Festival

JZ Festival

With 11 years in the game, the JZ Festival has consistently been one of the city’s top music events. Sprawling over nine stages at picturesque Expo Park, it’s a celebration of jazz in all its different forms. This year’s headliners include funk legends Earth, Wind & Fire Experience featuring the Al Mackay All-Stars, multi-platinum UK singer Joss Stone, bass god Victor Wooten, multi-instrumentalist Lord Echo, Taiwanese singer-songwriter Crowd Lu and Shunza, who is teaming up with hometown 10-piece funk group Red Groove Project. Also don't forget to catch standout Shanghai-based acts like Jonas Seetoh, RTM and other JZ Club favorites getting their time on the big stage. 
// Oct 17-18, 2-11pm, RMB180-230 per day. Expo Park, tickets.

October 17-18: 2015 Motour Live

Motour Festival (with Top Floor Circus)

One of Shanghai’s most famed singer-songwriters Wang Hao has organized this two-day festival that celebrates music and vintage cars. Expect to see a showcase of some exotic vehicles while top acts like Taiwan’s rap god MC Hot Dog, Shanghai rock legends Top Floor Circus (pictured above), Singaporean troubadour Chen Huanren and former Beyond member Steve Wong will perform.
// Oct 17-18, 1-8pm, RMB158-288. Shanghai Aviator Theme Park, 311 Guozhan Lu, by Shangnan Lu 国展路311号, 近上南路. Tickets.

// For more Shanghai event guides, get them sent directly to your phone (along with restaurant reviews, giveaways and other goodies) by adding Thats_Shanghai on WeChat and liking us on Facebook.

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