Fri, Mar 26, 2004 - Page 17 News List

2004 Spring Screan

The arts-music festival has morphed into a 10-day event this year to celebrate its 10th birthday, as the madness that is Spring Scream weekend beckons

By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

``Something to do with anus.''

PHOTO COURTESY OF SPRING SCREAM

The 10th Spring Scream could be one for the purists, as founders Jimi Moe and Wade Davis stage a 10-day festival that aims to recover the spirit of the event's early years. It will also build up to what's become known as Spring Scream weekend, which has sprouted into a massive jamboree of other art festivals, raves on the beach, and hotel or club parties in and around Kenting.

The festival started today at its usual location, nestled in a few of Kenting National Park's fields near Liou Fu San Juang, and will have music every day until it kicks into high gear next weekend.

"Some people confuse Spring Scream with all the other stuff [dance music events] that goes on. Nobody's gone out to call their event Spring Scream, though there've been variations of it. But the name's stuck, I think, because it's a catchy phrase and looks good on a headline. Some people who've never been to Spring Scream think they've been because they went to a party on the beach at the same time," Davis said.

Moe and Davis started the festival in 1995 when a few musicians and artists set up the first arts-music festival at Magic Studios, near the Kenting National Park entrance. After being held in different places, the weekend settled six years ago on its current site and grew over the years to its present size: 10 days, three stages, 205 bands scheduled (125 bands on standby), an art and film festival, stalls, workshops, and more.

Separate dance music events got in on the act four years ago and the crowds have multiplied, along with the media presence, which has painted the whole scene in terms of general bacchanalian abandon.

As a result of this not entirely undeserved image (and a drowning death two years ago), there has been increased police attention. Officers swooped on five out of seven parties on one night last year, citing suspicion of drugs on the "premises" as the reason for the raids.

Taoshan:

"The demo was shining, light hip hop and a boyz band. It was very good, very sharp."

Cia Cia:

"They've put out six independent albums as pop artists, maybe they're not embraced by the mainstream industry, or they don't embrace it, but they have a great following."

Dynamite Club (from New York):

"They're three highly skilled musicians.They're pretty quirky. They do one number, Kung Fu Fighting, which is pretty mad. I think the lead singer and the drummer run around actually fighting and kicking each other, on the stage and in the audience, for about 15 minutes, or something,

before they bow to each other and everyone

applauds."

DDDAO (from Japan):

"The A's something to do with anus, I dunno, but it's electronic music, great stage show, freak-noise."

Friends (from Hong Kong and Taiwan):

A superband made up of musicians from the province of China and the country of Taiwan, featuring Reggae Patrick, MJ J4, MC MC and others.

LTK

"One of Taiwan's biggest bands, always popular."

Hakaihayabusa and J.A.M.S.

"They play really fast, really tight punk-pop ska. Made in Japan."

Roman

"A Canadian who makes incredible masks. He will be doing a monkey mask work shop and would like to see every one at Spring Scream in a monkey mask. That would be pretty in tense [sic]."

Ah-Gen

"He is quite famous in Taiwan and will build a bamboo mansion to house 12 giant monkey puppets. He will also be doing a performance that involves these puppets, drama, music, monologues, and dancing. He calls it Underwater Cave Sounds."

Jimi Moe's guide to the best (and some of the rest) who will be appearing at the 10th Annual Spring Scream, from today. The Spring Scream long-weekend is Friday, April 3 to Sunday, April 4. Contact Web site for further inform-ation: www: springscream.com


ISOLATION POLICY

Spring Scream has kept itself largely isolated from this madness by virtue of its longstanding reliability, being further away from the town center, closing down at 12pm, and because of the relationships it has cultivated with the authorities and local residents. It has also strongly disassociated itself from the other parties.

"It's two different crowds, maybe 3 percent to 8 percent of the crowd that comes down for the dancing will come to Scream, but I reckon the figures are more like 6,000 to 10,000 of them, and 2,000 rockers. Their influence is much larger than ours, they're a different demographic to us. The more people I talk to, the more I realize that we don't have the same crowds," Moe said.

"For the last four years I've just hated the dance music thing, I just despised it, putting a needle on plastic and calling it music. I guess I always appreciated scratch. Now I'm impressed with some electronica ... It's come a long way and that's why we've started putting it on."

As for the drugs that have plagued the party weekend, Davis said they weren't a problem for Spring Scream. "We've never been raided. The first year at the beach there was a noise complaint, so we moved it and took it off the beach and that was it. We've never been raided, there have been no arrests or anything in six years."

INEVITABLE CHANGE

Both Moe and Davis said, in separate telephone interviews, that they recognized the Spring Scream weekend has changed and accept they will have to adapt too. They are considering sponsorship, but are worried about their principles.

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