Organizers for the annual four-day music festival Spring Scream, now in its ninth year and one of Taiwan's largest concerts, declared that it will take place from April 3 to April 6 at the Liufu Ranch (六福山莊), the same site at which it was held last year.
Last year's Spring Scream included performances by 160 local and foreign bands -- most of them far from mainstream -- on four stages for four days of music, drawing an estimated crowd of 3,000, according to organizer Wade Davis. This year's event will see only minor changes to that format, with the number of bands possibly slightly reduced to make for less hectic scheduling, he said. Band registration deadlines have also been moved up, with the final deadline set for two days from now, Sunday, March 10. According to Davis, at least 140 bands have registered so far, with all registration taking place through the Spring Scream Web site (http://www.springscream.com). Returning foreign acts will include Mimie Chan from Japan, King Lychee from Hong Kong and 40 Minutes of Hell and Q from the US.
The biggest difference this year will probably be in the event's awareness of interest directed towards it as well as the scene that has sprung up around it. Last year, at least three large raves were held in Kenting on the same weekend, one of which received widespread negative publicity after police raided it for drugs. So far Spring Scream has only alluded to this through a FAQ on its Web site posted earlier this week. The FAQ's second entry simply reads: "Is Spring Scream a rave? No." However Davis said that the event may comment further in upcoming weeks, likely issuing its first ever press release to local Chinese media in order to clarify differences between it and the concurrently held raves.
In addition to bands, Spring Scream will again include a half pipe for skateboarders and events related to visual arts and film. Ticket prices have not yet been announced, but four day passes have cost NT$1,000 each year since 1999. Last year in an effort to boost advanced sales, four day passes were only sold in advance and on-site day passes cost NT$500. To make sales simpler and more accessible this year, Davis said they are considering selling tickets through a system that would involve banks' automated teller machines and the Internet.