Tickets for Spring Scream, the annual all-island rock concert that will take place from April 4 to April 7, went on sale earlier this week, with four-day advance passes costing NT$1,100. Again, the festival is using grassroots channels such as pubs, live houses and cafes for distribution. Single-day passes will also be available at the door for NT$500.
By the deadline for band registration on Wednesday, at least 280 groups had applied for stage slots, according to the Spring Scream Web site. Overwhelmed by entrees, the festival first refused bands for its 2000 festival (the sixth Spring Scream), and has continued to do so as interest in the event grows. Last year, 160 bands played for Spring Scream Snake.
This year's major festival debut is likely to be Labor Exchange, a local Hakka band that has represented Taiwan internationally at folk and ethnic music festivals and twice received awards from Taiwan's music industry (in non-pop categories) at the annual Golden Melody awards. As such, the group will be the first Golden Melody winner to ever play Spring Scream. At least five bands coming from overseas, all Spring Scream veterans, will play the concert, including the bluegrass-klezmer synthesis group Q from the US, the Seattle-based electric banjo trio Guardian Alien (and their alter ego Banjovi), the cute punk Hong Kong group Dzap Dau Dau, and two bands from Japan, Mimie-chan and Miracle Saru. The remainder of the acts will be local, including well-known acts like Air Dolphin, Anarchy, Chthonic, Milk, the Clippers and Wonfu. Dribdas, the band which includes festival organizers Jimi Moe and Wade Davis, will also play.
At least two dance parties will also take place in Kenting over the Spring Scream weekend. Rock Candy II will run a Moonlight Party on the beach of Kenting's Chateau Resort Hotel from April 4 to April 6, with admission costing NT$500 a night or NT$1,200 for three nights. Just down the road, Dreamfield will run its own rave behind the Kenting McDonald's on April 5 and April 6, with tickets costing NT$800. Now back to Spring Scream. In order to facilitate transport from Kenting to the festival entrance, a walk of 20 to 30 minutes, the organizers will try to introduce a bicycle shuttle program. For "a small fee" that will soon be announced, festival goers will be able to borrow bicycles from stations at either end of the short commute.
Last year for Spring Scream SnakeThe festival also hopes to develop other art forms and activities. For the third year, there will be a skate ramp. Further development areas include a film fest, art exhibitions and sports activities such as beach volleyball.
As in years past, there will be buses running one way to Spring Scream from Taipei and Taichung. Buses will leave late on the evening of Wednesday, April 3 from Zeitgeist in Taipei and Russel's Cafe in Taichung, where advance tickets will be available (see listings for addresses). Bus tickets cost NT$500.