Fri, Jul 12, 2002 - Page 17 News List

Taipei pumps up Mando-pop

The city has joined forces with MTV to help put together this year's Taipei Pop Music Festival

By Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTER

Don't give up the day job. Mayor Ma croons with members of Mayday.

PHOTO: WEI CHIA-CHI, TAIPEI TIMES

Taipei City Government and MTV joined hands yesterday to distribute awards to the best Mando-pop artists of the year in anticipation of the Taipei Pop Music Festival set to take place tomorrow in front of City Hall.

Six awards were given out with the categories ranging from the predictable: artist of the year, best new artist, to the quirky: most adorable artist and Taipei City Honor award.

"The popular music festival is one of many performance events organized by the city government aimed at creating a vibrant, healthy and artistic city," Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said, before bestowing the Taipei City Honor award to the pop-rock band Mayday (五月天).

This year is the second annual music awards and festival hosted by the city government. Last year's event attracted over 20,000 and organizers expect even more this year to jam the square in front of City Hall, where a massive stage has already been set up.

At yesterday's ceremony, several hundred die-hard fans, as well as civil servants taking a long coffee break, crowded the building's entrance hoping to catch a glimpse of the handful of stars that showed up to collect their awards and promote tomorrow's concert.

In a repeat of the Golden Melody Awards in early May, Jay Chou (周杰倫) coolly snagged the artist of the year award, while Jeffrey Kong (孔令奇) was honored as the best new artist.

Harlem Yu's (庾澄慶) hit song Qingfei Deyi (情非得已) picked up the most popular KTV request, which in the realm of Mando-pop is as strong an indicator of an artist's popularity as his or her album sales. Because the awards are co-organized by MTV, there was the necessary recognition for a music video, which went to Guang Liang (光良) for his song First Time (第一次). Finally, the most adorable artist award was given to the pint-sized rising star Stella Huang (黃湘怡).

With the exception of Jay Chou, all the artists who received awards will hit the stage tomorrow night in front of City Hall for a full evening of pop music, choreographed dance routines and pyrotechnics.

Also showing up for performances will be Karen Mok, Eason Chan (陳奕迅), Nicholas Tse, B.A.D., WEWE, Jordan Chan (陳小春), Chris Yu (游鴻明), Jasmine Leong (梁靜茹), eVonne (許慧欣), Edison Chen (陳冠希), Shin (信樂團) and special J-Pop star Hyde.

The music kicks off at 7pm, but the crowd is likely to begin gathering several hours earlier. The area directly in front of the stage will be roped off for people with tickets. Tickets are free but obtaining them entails either collecting three labels from Daily C drink bottles and exchanging them for tickets at MTV's offices at 3F, 87 Kuangfu N. Rd., Taipei (臺北市光復北路873), or going straight to the Bureau of Information on the second floor of City Hall to pick them up. Drink labels are not needed to pick up tickets at City Hall. There will also be plenty of viewing space outside the area reserved for ticket holders.

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