Fri, Mar 29, 2002 - Page 7 News List

Kenting: party town Taiwan

Promoters of this year's Moonlight Party -- which will coincide with Spring Scream -- intend to make Taiwan a Very Important Party destination

By Jules Quartly  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

David Jr DJs Channel V's Christmas party.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ROCK CANDY

Add electronic music to beach and a splash of moonlight, then mix with Taiwan's biggest rock festival to enjoy the largest outdoor party of the year in Kenting. The fast-evolving seaside resort on the southern tip of the island will host a number of music events, with the second Moonlight Party, eighth Spring Scream and a rave sponsored by Dreamfield all beginning next week.

Combined, the parties will likely pull in at least 2,500 people a night, with more than 6,000 rolling up on Saturday, according to estimates provided by the festival's organizers.

David Jr of Rock Candy nightclub and one of the people behind Moonlight Party said he expects more people at this year's event, not only because it coincides with Spring Scream Horse but because "it's bigger and better."

While lesser minds might have perceived a threat, Wade Davis and Jimi Moe of Spring Scream have taken a laissez-faire attitude toward Moonlight and the Dreamfield rave. Davis said, "I think it's great, it turns the whole of Kenting into a big party for that weekend."

The seaside town will profit mightily. Every year the place fills up with more restaurants and shops to cater to the tourists, surfers and fallout from the Spring Scream festival.

Partying, it seems, is a growth industry and destinations like Thailand, with its Ko Phangan Full Moon parties, attract tens of thousands of people all year round. Spain has Ibiza and the Balearic sound, there is garage on Greece's Aya Napa, while the Philippines has Bora Bora. Around 200,000 people are expected to descend on the 32-year-old grandaddy of festivals at Glastonbury, England, in June.

This year, David Jr says, Taiwan will get its name on the list of Very Important Party destinations. "You don't need a ticket to Spain or Thailand to party, just go to Kenting."

He said an outdoor party could help change stereotypical perceptions of electronic music, like it must be played in dark basement firetraps run by gangsters for ecstatic head-bobbing youths.

"Some places are run by gangsters," David Jr said, "but we want to promote something different. We want a Mediterranean feel. With the sea, sand, sunset and sunrise we can do that. It will be quite a new thing for Taiwan, a Cafe Del Mar feel, a groovy style."

Moonlight Party has grabbed the choice location of Dawan Beach (大灣), which will be organized into three zones.

The main dance arena will have a special guest act each night, with DJ Dig Doug from the Houston, Texas record label Sound Pressure entering the ring first on Thursday with his bouncy brand of progressive trance. The night after David Jr will preview his tribal-latin album Another Green World with drummer Nogera from Japan. On Saturday, Sonic Fusion from Germany turns up the UK-energy heat with a techno trance set. The live acts will be backed up by DJs such as the ubiquitous DJ @llen, Dark, JJ, Zero and others.

Also plying the decks will be Zeus (vocal house), King of the Party (派對王), Shadow and Maddog from Kaohsiung (techno house), Taichung's Akira Cat (tribal beats), with Taipei's Chono (Rock Candy) and Bobo (deep house). VJs Bobby and Chuanlai Longshi (川瀨隆士) will be mixing up the visuals.

The "Hippy House" zone is for mellowness, chillout music, lounging around in wigwams, barbeques, other snacks with an international flavor and "special" juices.

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