I’m not even back 4 hours and already I’m making plans for the next trip.
It turns out that a gigantic festival that my friend has been trying to organize for years is finally coming to fruition. It’s called The Lake Festival and it takes place outside of Chongqing (one of the most populated cities in the world, also in Sichuan province) between the 29th of this month and the first of next month. In the festival tradition, it’s a tent or nearby hotel scenario with multiple stages and different kinds of music. Plus a ridiculous mess of people (10,000+). The only way organizing this many people is possible in China is with government support which they have gained). Among the headliners is Cui Jian, the undisputed godfather of Chinese rock and roll, who I’ve heard a lot about and I’d really like to see. So the priority for me is primarily going to check it out, see the bands, check out what it’s like. It’ll be nice to play some music but I’m among a list of like 9 DJs or something, only two of which (Christopher Lawrence and Donald Glaude, who are world famous) made the actual headlining list which is mostly rock bands. So my name is buried under a list of Chinese heavyweight rock bands. Which isn’t a problem but unfortunately it looks like I’m going to have to skip out on a big commercial club gig to play at this festival for free.
- edit (6 hours later): Maybe not after all – turns out that Kafei and I (the Chinese MC that I live with) are scheduled on the second day in the middle of a stack of rock/metal bands. Six bands before us, seven after. The schedule looks really funny – it’s filled with 13 rock bands all written completely in Chinese and then in the middle a completely lowercase and all English “charlie and coffee”. We had a good laugh at that when it occurred to me that the other 13 bands must be looking at the list wonder what bad ass rock band we are from overseas. In the end we talked it over and decided that unless the scheduling could be changed we would skip out on playing the show but still go for the first two days. This way we can have fun and check it out, which is something I really want to do, and not have to worry about being the awkward two-person hip hop interlude that no one can understand between screaming Chinese metal bands. And in the end I can do the other show.
I’m in talks to do another tour starting in October, ending in January of next year with a big alcohol label. It’s a standard commercial club run which would essentially be a glorified cash grab unless I can intertwine some interesting kind of project, whether musical or otherwise. I have a lot of ideas on how to maximize the tour experience which I learned from the last time around the Coors. Still I’m reluctant to commit since it means I can’t do any other shows and I have to be on the road for months at a time (which I’m pretty sure I won’t enjoy as much this time around since I’ve been to most of those places already). I’m asking for twice as much money as I got paid on the last 3 month tour – if they accept I think I might just have to do it. At least I won’t be VJ’ing – HA!