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A Guide To Strawberry Festival Shanghai 2016

All you need to know about this weekend's three-day indie / rock / electronic fest in Expo Park.
By Apr 28, 2016 Nightlife
The Basics

Strawberry is this big annual indie, electro, and pop music festival organized and hosted by China's biggest independent music label, Beijing's Modern Sky Records. It's a huge company, with a lot of loot, over 300 employees, dozens of festivals all over China, America, and Europe, a live house in Beijing with another coming to Shanghai soon (Hongkou, in case you're wondering), a digital media operation, and who knows what else. Self-driving cars? Assisted-evolution coral? Nanodrones? A secret robot army? A doomsday weather machine? The mind reels.

Shanghai Strawberry always happens in the lush Expo Park during the May holiday, drawing a huge (20-40k people?), young crowd. Not a raging, shit-kicking punk rocker mob -- it's a sweeter crowd that probably enjoys cats, pastel colors, and food pictures just as much as indie rock. The pogoing is strictly straight up-and-down. Strawberry always has a few big-ish, alt-ish international acts, mixed in with bigger domestic bands (generally from the Modern Sky label), and a few crossover acts / pop shits to get more people through the gates. For example, the 2015 iteration included both Dinosaur Jr. and Carly Rae Jepsen. This year is a bit different, with three electronic headliners (two weeks before MYTH, Modern Sky's first electronic festival, at the same venue, incidentally...) and no huge international rock act.

These are electronic music times, y'all. The kids are alright.

Strawberry Festival -- it's a good, unchallenging time. The park is beautiful, the F&B is... ehhh, a bit lackluster, but you get a big sampling of what's going on in the Chinese music scene (read: Beijing music scene. Not a lot of representation with Shanghai bands, oddly enough). Sure, it's worth checking out. This year's theme is "The world is virtual, you are the reality."

Which is... just as baffling as it always is. Thumbs up.

A Lil' FAQ

How do I get there? Take Metro Line 8 to the China Art Museum station, go out Exit 4, and walk west down Shibo Da Dao. Follow the crowds. If you're taking a cab from downtown, you can tell siji to take you to Shibo Da Dao / Changqing Bei Lu. Don't count on the driver knowing what Shibo Gongyuan is. A cab from downtown should cost around 50rmb.

Getting back, of course, is a bit trickier. In years previous, it's always been a black cab sort of situation if you don't want to deal with the subway. Of course, these are the days of Uber and taxi cab APPs. Best to stick with some friends you can split with.

How much are tickets? SmartTicket is done ticketing for this event, but you can get tickets on site for 300rmb per day.

Is there alcohol: Yes, but it's not strong. In the interest of public health and safety, they can't sell hard liquor there, so even the Ballantine's tent is selling cans of pre-mixed drink, something like a Ballantine's Breezer. For beer, you've got the same as last year – T-T-T-Tuborg, a Danish beer weighing in at around 4% (possibly less). That is 15rmb for a cup.

In previous years, a small black market beer trade pops up around the dudes selling the tie-dye shirts and Guns 'n' Roses CDs. Head for that if you're in a bind. Cans of warm beer gets traded like gold.

Pro Tip: You'll pass a convenience store on the walk from the metro station to the fest. Hit that up if you're looking to pre-game.

Out of control youths at last year's fest

Is there food?: Strawberry is not known for stellar F&B offerings. Unless you like a good ole mystery on a stick. You can probably find some BBQ, noodles, hot dogs, or something. Maybe Melrose pizza?

Can you bring your dog? No, you cannot. Your dog thinks Disclosure is way overrated anyways.

Can you bring your child? Sure, why not. People bring kids every year. It's a family-friendly affair. Bring a blanket, bring a Frisbee... wait, why are we telling you this, you're probably an excellent parent. Good job.

What's the bathroom status? Pretty decent. The Expo Park ayis and shushus do a fine job.

How's the security? Judging from past years, strict enough to find your Asahi tall boys but not as intense as festival in the West.

That said... our photographer got TWO lenses stolen last year. Watch your belongings.

Is there an after-party? Yep, the official after-party is at Arkham on Sunday, May 1. No word on lineup yet, but probably Shanghai DJs holding it down. Wouldn't be surprised to see some "special guests" performing as well. Last year, Bruce Springsteen showed up an did a secret DnB set.

(No, he most certainly did not.)


The Schedule...

OMG OMG OMG, K-Pop act EXID are performing on the Love Stage on Sunday

Finding detailed info about who's playing -- and when -- has been a difficult task. There is no official schedule in English, so we went through the Chinese version, translated the whole thing, and added links to Douban, Xiami, and other streaming platforms. We also highlighted some artists we think you might like.

April 30

Finnish melodic death metal band Insomnium play the Hard Rock Stage at 7pm

Main Stage | 草莓舞台 
2.20-3.10pm:  Tongue (舌头)
3.40-4.40pm:  Hyukoh (赫吴)
5.20-6.20pm: Hudefu (胡德夫)
7-8pm: Queen Sea Big Shark
8.30-9.20pm: Modestep

Love Stage | 爱舞台  
12.30-1.10pm:  Le Villejuif Underground
1.30-2pm: Anti Dogs
2.20-2.50pm:  Da Bang
3.20-4pm:  废墟
4.30-5.30pm: Pissed Jeans(US)
6-7pm:  艾斯卡尔
7.40-8.40pm:  Su Yang (苏阳)
Hard Rock / Planet Stage | 星球舞台
2-2.30pm: Beta Zinq (IL)
3-3.40pm:  I am Dive (ES)
4.20-5pm: Fuzeta (FR)
5.30-6.10pm: Shtuby
7-7.40pm:  Insomnium
8.20-9pm: Tides From Nebula (PL)
"Being Stage" | 正在舞台
12.40-1.10pm:  宿舍之星 (待定)
1.30-2pm: The Cleft
2.30-3pm:  钟声
3.40-4.10pm:  MAMAHUHU
5-5.30pm: Linctus
6.10-6.40pm:  Wu Jia Lin (吴佳琳)
7.40-8.10pm: Big Fresh ( 大新鲜)
RELEASE Electronic Stage | 电子舞台
1.30-2.30pm: Will A (Shanghai)
2.30-3.30pm: Terence C
3.30-4.30pm: Mike Ravelli (NLD)
4.30-5.30pm: Ivan B2B X.L.F   
5.30-6.30pm: Ben Huang (Shanghai)
6.30-7.30pm: BB Deng (Beijing)
7.30-8.30pm: Secret Cinema (NLD)  
8.30-9.30pm: Shen Yue 
May 1

UK house duo Disclosure are doing a DJ set at 8.30pm on the Main Stage

Main Stage | 草莓舞台
2.20-3.10pm  LongShenDao (龙神道)
3.40-4.40pm:  Rebuilding the Rights of Statues (RE-Tros / 重塑雕像的权利)
5.20-6.20pm: 宋冬野 & 马頔
7-8pm: Zuoxiao Zuzhou (左小祖咒)
8.30-9.20pm:  Disclosure (DJ Set)
Love Stage | 爱舞台
12.30-1.10pm: Trad.Attack! (EE)
1.30-2pm: Monamour (尧十三)
2.20-2.50pm: Low Wormwood (低苦艾)
3.20-4pm: Little Tree (许钧&树 )
4.30-5.30pm: EXID (K-POP OMG!!)
6-7pm: Pet Conspiracy (宠物同谋)
7.40-8.40pm: Yaksa (夜叉)
Hard Rock / Planet Stage | 星球舞台
2-2.30pm: KO KO MO (FR)
3-3.40pm: Lower (DK)
4.20-5pm: The Big Wave (大波浪)
5.30-6.10pm:  Octopuss (IT)
7-7.40pm: Fabryka (IT)
8.20-9pm: Ocellot (ES)
"Being Stage" | 正在舞台
12.40-1.10pm: 宿舍之星(待定)
1.30-2pm: 木丽妍
2.30-3pm: 寻路者
3.40-4.10: Blinde (吴维纯和乐队)
5-5.30pm: Sugarbubble (方糖泡泡)
6.10-6.40pm:  En Route
7.40-8.10pm:  Runaway Snail (暴走蜗牛)
RELEASE Electronic Stage | 电子舞台
1.30-2.30pm: Visudy (Shanghai)
2.30-3.30pm: Chase (Shanghai)
3.30-4.30pm: Shackup (Beijing)
4.30-5.10pm: Al Rocco & Blow Fever Live (Shanghai)
5.10-6.30pm: Tsunano (Shanghai) 
6.30-7.30pm: Oshi (Beijing) 
7.30-8.30pm: Conrank (Shanghai)   
8.30-9.30pm: Cavia (Shanghai) 
May 2

Seminal '90s UK rave act The Prodigy are playing LIVE at 8.05pm on the main stage

Main Stage | 草莓舞台
2.20-3.20pm: Mr. Seaturtle (海龟先生)
3.50-4.30pm: MATZKA
5-6pm: New Pants (新裤子)
6.30-7.30pm: Second Hand Rose (二手玫瑰)
8.05-9.20pm: The Prodigy(UK)
Love Stage | 爱舞台
12.30-1.10pm: Apollo 18 (KR)
1.30-2pm: Rolling Bowling (旋转保龄)
2.20-2.50pm: Casino Demon (赌鬼)
3.20-4pm: 阿肆
4.30-5.30pm: Sissey Chou (赵一豪)
6-7pm: Peng Tan (彭坦)
7.40-8.40pm: 战斧
Hard Rock / Planet Stage | 星球舞台
2-2.30pm: Rock N Roll Radio (KR)
3-3.40pm: The Fallacy (疯医)
4.20-5pm: Buttering Trio
5.30-6.10pm: Egopusher
7-7.40pm: Supermarket (超级市场)
8.20-9pm:  JoyCut (IT)
"Being Stage" | 正在舞台
12.40-3.10pm: 浪漫集团
1.30-2pm: T.R.I.B.A.D
2.30-3pm: Lazy Fun
3.40-4.10pm: Quark (夸克)
5-5.30pm: Less Than One (小于一)
6.10-6.40pm:  Little License (孙大肆)
7.40-8.10pm: Plastic Chocolate (塑料巧克力)
RELEASE Electronic Stage | 电子舞台 
1.30-2.30pm: Punx (Nantong) 
2.30-3.30pm: Misloop (Shanghai) 
3.30-4.30pm: Donn (Shanghai)   
4.30-5.30pm: Verse@ille (Shanghai) 
5.30-6.30pm: Greg Katona (Beijing)
6.30-7.30pm: Dexter King (Shanghai)
7.30-8.30pm: Basestring (Beijing) 
8.30-9.30pm: Giftback 
MC Dan James (UK)


Have a good time, kids. Stay safe. Have a great holiday!



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  • 4 years ago Catwalk

    Pissed Jeans - Rumble!

  • 4 years ago Iv Unverified User

    Prodigy cancelled, was there just for them, no apology, no make up from organizers. My last visit here, terrible

  • 4 years ago Kitty King

    when will the next festival be held?

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