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In Photos: Taihu MIDI Festival

By May 5, 2015 SmSh
MIDI — China's longest-running outdoor music festival — was hit the hardest by this season's de facto ban on large-scale public gatherings. 2015 was the first year since the festival was launched by the Beijing Midi School of Music in 1997 that it wasn't held on its home turf. They couldn't sort a permit for Shanghai, either.

Luckily, they had a fallback: Camp Midi, a theme park located next to the massive Taihu Lake near Suzhou. I went to the festival this year expecting "Camp Midi" to be a euphemistic name for a huge plot of grass, but no: it's a bona fide amusement park. Tilt-a-whirls, merry-go-rounds, miniature mock-European villas, an "American Barbecue Restaurant", the whole nine yards.

For this ad hoc festival, Midi constructed their standard four-stage spread, and the music lovers came, and the music lovers camped, and there was plenty of rock'n'roll and mud for all. Here are some photos we've culled from the deep archives of "social medias we can't ignore anyway" in case you missed out*:

The Mud:

Day 2 of Midi saw heavy rain, which led to heavy mud, which led to heavy mudpitting. Last year's Midi Shanghai ate my shoes so this year I brought galoshes, but most were not so prepared. Or fortunate. I personally saw no fewer than 7 people involuntarily thrown into the massive mud lake functioning as a moat separating the audience from the main "Nissan Tang" stage. Nova Heart's Helen Feng embraced the mess, swandiving herself into the pit before being hoisted aloft the great sea of Midi fans.









The Weddings:

MIDI is a popular place for young rock'n'rollers to get engaged/married, evidently! Mixing that in with the salacious fashion decisions of some festival-goers, and the big-arena-sports-style Kiss Cam that kept going around and coercing adjacent audience members to smooch before a demanding public, there were all sorts of love flying through the air at Taihu Midi. The highlight of which? Two words: "crowdsurfing bride." Close second: "same-sex Bad Brains makeout."











The Subs:

Full disclosure here: I was at Midi because the band I drum in, Subs, was one of the Day 3 headliners. Subs has played every Midi festival since 2004, and this was their 18th time on the big stage. (I only joined the band last year.) As ever, fearless front-woman Kang Mao gave her adoring audience the show they came to see.





The Rest of the Fest:

Those were just some of the highlights... There were also: mad tents, hot air balloons, fireworks, road flares, fantastic haircuts, multiple deep-fried-squid-on-a-stick vendors, more good vibes than could be counted. Here are a few more snaps capturing the spirit of Taihu Midi:















Not so bad for a last-minute backup. If you're curious to check out Camp Midi for yourself, your next chance is coming up pretty soon: they're hosting the less rock, more dance-oriented Midi Electronic Music Festival next weekend, from May 15-17. Find more info on that one here.

* Disclaimer: In case it wasn't obvious, none of these pictures are by us. They were all ganked off the internet, with the watermarks to prove it.

TELL EVERYONE

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  • The Central Scrutinizer

    Now that looks like a party! Damn!!!

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