Shanghai Jinshan Zebra Music Festival Part 2 – What We Can Learn From This


Wow, almost 500 people read that review! Big thank you to all the readers and commentators. Turns out there is an audience for objective criticism in Shanghai. Sadly, a few people can’t handle that, because Shanghai is SOFT like Lawson’s ice cream. I appreciate their comments anyway though.

Come on ya’ll, don’t take the internet so seriously. People write shit like this every day in places like NYC, London, and LA.

I went to London in February, and after hearing the warmup DJs at Corsica Studios I thought to myself, “damn, I ain’t shit.” I knew I needed to seriously step my game up if I ever wanted to rock a spot like Corsica or Plastic People. Well, Shanghai needs to step its game up in many areas, and criticism and competition plays a huge role in this. Shanghai is too soft yo! The underground is pretty good. Some great people like SVBKVLT, Acid Pony Club, Split-Works, MHP, VOID, JZ Club, PAIRS, Death To Giants, and many more coming out of here, but as for the mainstream? It’s pretty bad yo. I’ve seen good Top 40 DJs before, and that’s not what we’re dealing with 99% of the time out here.  What about the middle ground?

***Criticism and competition pushes the scene forward*** Come on ya’ll, you can’t tell me that brand tents at a music festival blasting Gangnam Style is a good look.

I’m puzzled about why one reader accused me of racism. I suspect they’re affiliated with the DJ stage mentioned in the article, and I guess I would ask them why at a three-day festival they only booked one Chinese DJ (Mia). Why not book Ceezy, Cavia, hBd, Jasmine Li, Ben Huang, Doggy, MHP, or any of the other talented Chinese DJs? Enough said. I think this commentator has some reading comprehension problems because my article mainly attacked brands, most of which come from America or some other foreign country.

Anyway, here’s what we can learn from all this. Lessons for music festivals around the world, not just Shanghai.

1) Seriously limit the number of booths/stages playing loud music. Don’t point speakers at eachother or place them in the same line of sound. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. Soundsystems trainwrecking is a bad look. Don’t let each brand booth have their own soundsystem! They already get to sell product and target ads, and they’re not about music – they’re about their product.

2)  Book interesting DJs who have a sound/style and don’t just give people what they’re comfortable with. It’s not H&M. Some people make a living playing shitty music, fact of life, but they shouldn’t be booked for festivals. Investigate what’s going on in the scene – there’s people in Shanghai doing good, original stuff. People like Downstate, Tzu Sing, MHP, Cavia, Death To Giants, and loads more. Wouldn’t hurt to book one somewhat famous and talented act from abroad too.

3) Turn the lights down, and don’t point them directly into the audience’s eyes. So many clubs and events blast hot lights right in people’s eyes – no one is feeling that.

4) A real music festival should be about the music, not brands or some escapist bullshit like reading an iPad while having fish eat the bacteria off your feet. Obviously brands and festivals can work together but without oversight or coordination this turns into an absolute mess.

5) Fuck Skull Candy and other shit #fashion brands.

6) In general, chairs should be free, especially when people pay admission.

Ok that’s all for now. Feel free to drop your love or hate in the comments! Let’s push things forward.


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