Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - Page 13 News List

Ho-Hai-Yan: bigger and better?

Tens of thousands are expected to flock to Fulong Beach this weekend for the Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival, which turns 10 this year. While indie bands make up most of the bill, this year’s festival touts several mainstream acts

By David Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

VIEW THIS PAGE

Ten years since its inception, the Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival (台北縣貢寮國際海洋音樂祭), which starts tomorrow, looks as big as ever.

What began as a modest gathering of a handful of local indie bands has grown into a mammoth annual outdoor event at Taipei County’s Fulong Beach (福隆海灘).

The free three-day festival is known these days as a summer mecca for Taiwanese teenagers and college students celebrating the beginning of the school holidays.

And the crowds keep growing. The number of visitors to Ho-Hai-Yan has increased every year, according to the Taipei County Government, the festival sponsor. A spokesperson said attendance is expected to reach 600,000 people over three days, building on last year’s record number of 510,000.

Needless to say, the event will be anything but a quiet beach escape, with an imposing, stadium-grade stage plopped along the oceanside, hundreds of stalls selling food and beverages, and beach games.

This year’s Ho-Hai-Yan, the theme of which is “The Rock Age,” boasts its most high-profile mainstream acts ever, with R ’n’ B and hip-hop artist Stanley Huang (黃立行) performing tomorrow night and pop diva A-mei (阿妹) closing the festival on Sunday night as her alter-ego, A-mit (阿密特).

It would have been difficult to imagine such headliners several years ago, when festival founder Taiwan Colors Music (TCM,角頭音樂), a long-running indie label, was co-organizing the event. Handling this year’s event is Transworld TV Production Co (映畫製作).

TCM, which failed to win this year’s open-bid contract to organize and run the festival, has organized nearly all of the past Ho-Hai-Yan festivals, and helped book performers like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in 2004 and Chinese rock legend Cui Jian (崔健) in 2007.

FESTIVAL NOTES:

What: Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival (福隆海灘)

When: Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday

Where: Fulong Beach, Taipei County

Admission: Free

On the Net: www.hohaiyan.tw

Main stage schedule

Tomorrow

4:20pm Wonfu (旺福)

5pm Soler (Macao)

5:55pm Estranged (Malaysia)

6:50pm The Super VC (果味VC, China)

7:45pm Electrico (Singapore)

8:40pm My Little Airport (Hong Kong)

9:35pm Stanley Huang (黃立行)

Saturday (Taiwan Indie Music Awards Competition)

3:10pm Buyi (布衣樂團, China

*non-competitor)

3:40pm Daximen (大囍門)

4:40pm Miss Dessy

5:10pm Soundboss (騷包)

5:40pm Overdose

6:10pm PB33 (陪伴珊珊, China,

*non-competitor)

6:40pm Miaoji Gongdehui (喵濟功德會)

7:10pm La Petit Nurse (小護士)

7:40pm Iron Banana (鐵香蕉)

8:10pm Neon

8:40pm Matzka and DeHot

9:15pm The White Eyes (白目樂團, last year’s

winner)

9:45pm Announcement of winners

10pm Encore performance from winner

Taiwan Indie Music Awards competitors: Neon, Full House, Matzka and DeHot, Iron Banana (鐵香蕉), Daximen (大囍門), La Petit Nurse (小護士), Miss Dessy, Overdose, and Soundboss (騷包) and Miaoji Gongdehui (喵濟功德會)

Sunday

4:30pm Zenkwun (神棍樂團)

5:10pm Pa Pun (怕胖樂團)

5:55pm VHS or Beta (US)

6:45pm Fumido (風味堂, Japan)

7:30pm Tahiti 80 (France)

8:20pm Classiquai (酷賴之味, South Korea)

9:10pm Amit (阿密特, Taiwan)

For a list of the bands on the smaller stage, visit the festival Web site at www.hohaiyan.tw


But the label still played a small role in this year’s event. It worked on behalf of the Taipei County Government to bring several bands from China, chosen in a battle of the bands competition in Beijing.

Two winners from the competition take

to the stage on Saturday: PB33 (陪伴珊珊)

mixes punk and electronica, and Buyi Band (布衣樂隊) is a rock group that uses Chinese

classical instruments.

Ho-Hai-Yan is keeping the spotlight on up-and-coming groups with its battle of the bands competition on Saturday. Ten out of 30 Taiwan-based bands qualified in tryouts last month, and perform Saturday for a panel of judges on the main stage. The winner receives a check for NT$200,000, while second and third-place bands each receive NT$50,000. Winners of past competitions include popular indie groups Tizzy Bac, 88 Balaz (88顆芭樂籽) and Sodagreen (蘇打綠).

Sunday’s lineup features the festival’s A-list performers. One standout is VHS or Beta, a band from Louisville, Kentucky, that combines disco, new wave and rock.

The other groups also complement the beachside setting: France’s Tahiti 80 plays upbeat neo-60s pop; Japan’s Fumida plays J-pop mixed with rock and soul; South Korea’s Clazziquai are an acid-jazz and soul group not unlike their namesake, Jamiroquai.

Of course, many are going to Ho-Hai-Yan just for the beach party atmosphere, which Taipei County appears to be trying to tone down. There was a minor media hullabaloo last week as rumors swirled that alcohol and C-strings, a type of thong bikini, were going to be banned.

But at a press conference, Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) said authorities would “not bug people” about

This story has been viewed 5127 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top