Fri, Sep 14, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Nevermind the mooncakes, ring in mid-Autumn with reggae

By Ron Brownlow  /  STAFF REPORTER

Bunun singer Biung will join Asian reggae musicians for the three-day East Coast Music Festival.


On Monday, Sept. 24, reggae bands from Taiwan, Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines will gather on a Taitung County beach for what organizers say is the world's first international but exclusively Asian reggae concert.

The Love Concert (愛臺東音樂會) is part of three days of live music at the Taitung 2007 East Coast Music Festival (2007東海岸音樂季), which runs through Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the East Coast Jialulan (伽路蘭) Recreation Area, just south of Dulan (都蘭) off Highway 11 (台11線公路).

"I never have the chance to be somewhere where the Asian reggae scene is in one place at one time," said Patrick Chen, also known as Red-I, who helped book the festival's international bands and who will perform at the show with his band the Riddim Outlawz. "When I go to Japan, I'll be the only band from abroad that's Asian. This is the first time this has happened in Asia. Not just in Asia. This is the first time period."

The festival started earlier this month with a series of music workshops and is the new incarnation of what was previously called the Dulan Mountain festival. It ends Sept. 25 with a nakashi revival featuring the Fa-Li band (法力樂團), and the Leo Shiao Cha Kaan band (留笑茶看樂團).

Sunday, Sept. 23 will feature many of Taiwan's best-known Aboriginal singers. Scheduled to perform are Puyuma musician Pur-dur, (陳建年), winner of a Golden Melody in 2000 for Best Male Performer and again this year for Best Instrumental Album Producer; Bunun singer Biung (王宏恩), who in 2002 won a Golden Melody for Best Non-Mandarin Male Singer and received five nominations for his Mandarin-language album in 2004; popular Puyuma pub duo Hao-en (昊恩) and Jiajia (家家), who won this year's Golden Melody for Best Singing Group; Atayal musician Tseng Shu-chin (曾淑勤); and 2005 Ho-Hai-Yan Battle of the Bands winners Totem (圖騰).

Festival Notes:

What: East Coast Music Festival (2007東海岸音樂季)

Where: East Coast Jialulan (伽路蘭) Recreation Area, located off Highway 11 (台11線公路), south of Dulan (都蘭), Taitung County and north of Taitung City, near the 157.5km marker

When: 3pm to 9:30pm Sunday; 4pm to 9:30pm Monday; 4pm to 9:30pm Tuesday

Tickets: Admission is free

Getting there: A shuttle bus will run from Taitung Train Station to the venue. The bus will run every 70 minutes during festival hours and will also stop at the Fugang Elementary School (富岡國小) parking lot, according to the Taitung County Cultural Affairs Bureau

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Phoebe Chen (陳怜燕), director of Taitung County Cultural Affairs Bureau, said the festival is a homecoming party for these musicians: "So many famous singers are from Taitung. The people here are born to make great music."

Red-I, who sees it as his mission to help popularize what he calls "island music" in Taiwan, has booked Japanese reggae legend Papa-U-Gee and the Stoned Rockers Band, Coco Tabo from Okinawa and Filipino act Papa Dom and the Tropical Depression Band for the Sept. 24 Love Concert. Red-I and the Riddim Outlawz will also perform, as will indie-rock group Relax One (輕鬆玩樂團) and Aboriginal musician Mama Panai (巴奈).

Chen said she expects crowds of around 2,000 people per night. There will be a market selling local musical instruments, music-related handicrafts and music, barbeques, and space for camping near the beach. To minimize the festival's impact on the environment, visitors must bring their own eating utensils and are encouraged to take a shuttle bus from Taitung Train Station instead of driving directly to the site.

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