Crowds in Kenting last weekend were smaller than normal for the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, often considered to be Taiwan’s spring break. Police expected 250,000 vacationers and partiers to descend on the beaches and music festivals at the far south of Taiwan, but at the end of the weekend only about 200,000 people had made the trip. Bad weather was a major factor. Late Friday night saw torrential downpours, and by Saturday at noon campers were hanging soaked sleeping bags in trees to dry. Temperatures were unseasonably cool and rainy — not at all the tropical, beachy weather normal for south Taiwan in late spring.
Attendance at the Spring Scream music festival was down 30 percent on the previous year, according to organizer Jimi Moe. The Saturday crowds may have been the smallest the festival has seen since its early years of the late 90s.
Most media reports focused on the pervier aspects of the weekend. The Moonlight Bikini Foam party made for ready headlines, as did the heavily pixilated photo of a naked dude dancing at one of the raves. It appears to have originated as a blurry cell phone photo, and no one knows if the photo was real. But it circulated heavily first on Facebook and then in the major media. At times during the four-day holiday, it was warm enough for bikinis, and for the rest the girls bravely toughed it out. An editorial on the entertainment Web site ETtoday declared that the weekend “is fast becoming synonymous with sexual promiscuity.” If that were really the case, why would the crowds be dwindling?
My critique of Spring Scream published last week in this column met with both offers of congratulations for something that “should have been said sooner,” while others took umbrage at my blasphemy of a cherished event. The nicest praise came in person, with handshakes. The harshest derision came, predictably, via social media.
This weekend, Spring Scream is followed up by the After the Scream party at Revolver, featuring a lineup of mostly expat bands. Kid Millionaire, Collider and Dr. Reniculous Lipz and the Skallyunz (one of at least three bands featuring Spring Scream co-founder Wade Davis) will play with the Taiwanese Chili-Pepper-esque funk band Coach. Capping the night will be DJ Marcus Aurelius.
After the Scream takes place tomorrow from 10pm until late at Revolver, No.1-2, Sec. 1, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei City (中正區羅斯福路一段1-2號). Admission is NT$300, with a drink included.