Midi Music Festival

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Logo of the Midi Festival 2006

Midi Music Festival, annual music festival organized by the Beijing Midi School of Music and Midi Productions


General Information

Time: usually at the 1st-May or 1st-October holidays in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities

Organizer: Beijing Midi School of Music 北京迷笛音乐学校 and Midi Productions 北京迷笛音乐演出公司

Website: www.midimidi.cn

All Midi festivals: Master List


In the beginning the music festival was hosted on the school's own ground, usually May 1st-3rd. But unfortunately SARS 2003 delayed the festival to October and in 2004 other reasons caused the hosts to postpone the festival. It is rumored that despite the official announcement of lacking security measures, the actual reason had been the potential competition to the Chaoyang festival.

With rising visitor figures every year in 2004 up to 15000 people were counted per day and in 2006 up to 30000 people. The location in which the festival is hosted switched regularly after SARS 2003 with 2004 having been hosted in the Beijing Sculpture Park. (see also {1} )

As a spin off of the Midi school as a showcase of their teacher's and student's skills the festival is now the attraction for Chinese rock fans with more than 60 bands performing all together.

In recent years (2005-2006), the festival also featured various stages (Dance stage, DJ stage, Guitarchina stage, etc.) and increased the amount and diversity of foreign bands at the festival. Foreign bands included German rock-metal Alev, Monokino, The Wombats, Bonk, etc.

History of the Midi Music Festival

Rock music history of China
Main Articles

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Timelines & Lists

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Special Articles

History of the Midi Music Festival | Research

Individual Years

2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 | 1990 | 1989 | 1988 | 1987 | 1986 | 1985 | 1984 | 1983 | 1982 | 1981 | 1980 | 1979

The Year in Review (Photos)

2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995

Midi 2007, Photo: (c) Jenny Wong, link
Midi 2007, Photo: (c) Jenny Wong, link

Starting in 2000, the first Midi Modern Music Festival was hold in the halls of the Beijing Midi School of Music, located at the foot of Fragrant Hill. It started out as a students' recital and the first two festivals (2000 and 2001) were held in the school auditorium during the May Day holidays and attracted some 40 bands and thousands of fans and would-be groupies. [1]

For the 2002 festival, the Midi school decided to move the festival out of the auditorium and onto the playground in 2002. Both the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation covered the event and the general media attention surprised the organizers. Around 8000 fans showed up every day and more than 50 bands from all over China performed.[1]

In 2003, the festival was cancelled in May due to the SARS outbreak and postponed to October. The festival's motto was "Rock n' Roll Supports Animal Protection".[1]

Also in 2004, rumours started to spread on April 28th[2] that the Midi festival was going to be cancelled, which unfortunately turned out to be true. It was therefore reinstated in October (1st to 4th) featuring over 43 bands from abroad and China on one stage. The festival was hold in the Beijing International Sculpture Park.[3]

In 2005, the Midi festival was hold from October 1st to 4th with 46 bands from China and around the world (Something to Burn, World on a String, ...) in the Haidian Park, Beijing. The Mini Midi stage was introduced for the first time in 2005.

The 2006 festival was hold in the Hai Dian Park, Beijing, from May 1st-4th with the John Lennon slogan "I hope someday you will join us.". It featured a Main stage, a Guitar China stage, a Mini Midi stage, a Yen Dance stage and an Apres Midi Music stage.[4]

In 2007, the festival featured for the first time a dedicated hip hop stage. Lasting from May 1st to May 4th/5th, this years festival was sponsored by Greenpeace.[5] According to some reports, up to 80000 fans visited the festival on the first day.[6]

In 2008, after numerous announcements, the initial plan was to host the festival in the HaiDian Park from May 1st to 4th and until April 18th this seemed realistic. International acts were invited and all necessary applications and permissions received.[7] However due to a shorthand government-related unwilligness of mandatory police officer presences, the confirmation of Midi seemed uncertain on April 22nd[8] and was confirmed cancelled on April 23rd[9]. Only a small-size festival could be reinstated called "Back to Utopia", which was scheduled to go on on the school campus.[10] However due to certain tragedies happening shortly before May 1st (train accident of ZiBo[11]), also this plan was cancelled and a spontaneous school party was organized. The official announcement was that the festival should happen in the October holidays. Modern Sky announced that they would support Midi in the festival.[10][12]

In October 2008, however, the former coalition plans seem divided. Midi and Modern Sky arrange two separate festivals, Modern Sky in the HaiDian Park, Midi in the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium. However government-related reasons (i.e. additional security costs to be born by the festival) resulted in a cancellation of the Midi festival on April 19th. The festival was postponed to October 10th-12th and possibly the weekend after as well.[13] But even this announcement had to be redone on September 25th and the festival rearranged to the October days of 1st to 5th and a move to the Midi school area, after the overseeing government have checked the park area regarding the leave of the Olympic Air Defense Security Team, that had been stationed there. [14][15]


The festival in 2009 was first rumoured on March 6th to move from Beijing to Shanghai[16], only to have announced a further festival in Zhenjiang on March 18th[17], which a few days later confirmed as the only happening festival of Midi in South China, as the original planned Shanghai one fails to receive a permit.[18][19]

Reviews of the Zhenjiang Festival

Es war ein echt geiles Wochenende. Man kann sich echt leicht daran gewöhnen jeden Tag zum Festivalgelände zu laufen, dort gute Musik zu hören und einfach viel Spaß zu haben. - Alex Mehring[20]

Since 2007, rumours about a Midi Shanghai Festival have spread.


Miserable Faith on May 4th at Midi 2010 performing an accoustic set, Photo: Beijing Daze

On January 5th, 2010, Midi 2010 has opened together with MySpace China an online registration and voting system for bands that want to participate in the Midi Music Festival 2010. On January 6th, the festival is honorably mentioned by MTV Iggy and their Top 10 Music Festivals 2010 list.[21] As of January 18th, over 500 bands of various genres (metal, rock, jazz, punk, electronic, rap, etc.) have already registered and thereby showed their interest and commitment to China's legendary rock festival.[22] February 1st, China Music Radar announces that it seems as if Midi 2010 is going to be held at Haidian Park in Beijing and not as in the past in Zhenjiang. Furthermore it is rumoured that Shan Wei, the 2 i/c at Rock for China (organizers of the Beijing Pop Festival from 2005 – 2007) has joined the team for Midi.[23] On April 2nd, the list of bands performing at Midi 2010 are announced as well as the official naming of the stages (Tang, Song, Ming, Yen).[24] On April 26th, it was announced that due to the recent closure of the Mao Livehouse in Beijing on the 16th[25], the bands scheduled for the upcoming days in Mao would be playing at a newly announced MAO Stage at the Midi 2010 Festival.[26] On May 3rd, MTV Iggy released their first review of the Midi Festival, entitling it China Rocks Out! and stating Midi 2010 is off with a bang., reconfirming their previous announcement of Midi being a festival to watch in 2010.[27] The 4th day of the Midi festival ends in a heavy thunderstorm, though nevertheless Miserable Faith are performing an unplugged-set that is titled Best Unplugged Show Ever by The Beijing Magazine.[28]

In addition to the May Midi festival in Beijing, the Zhenjiang festival is held from October 1st to 4th on the Shi Ye Island with foreign metal acts Soulfly, Shadows Fall, Finntroll and Loudness.


Suffocated performing at Midi 2011; Photo (c) Beijing Daze
Midi Shanghai 2011
Zhang Fan, Shan Wei, Liu Huan at the August 22nd press conference, photo (c) Midi

In 2011, in total 4 festivals were announced to happen with Beijing & Shanghai going to happen around the May holidays.[29] As the Haidian Park was not available, the Beijing festival moved to the Jinglangdao Park in western Beijing's Mentougou District.[29]

Day 1 of the Beijing Midi Music Festival 2011 featured numerous Chinese rock and metal acts alongside German Gammalux and legendary Suffocated. According to Beijing Daze[30]:

- Great job by the organizers on trying to get back on schedule after the rain caused over an hour of delay. They almost pulled it off. I would have cut the SUBS set shorter and given Voodoo Kungfu a few more songs, just out of respect.
- I would have put Suffocated on the big stage instead of Perdel.. that’s a no-contest in my book.
- The sound quality was beyond any criticism… I’d venture to say that it was much better than anything i heard elsewhere
- There was none of the reported problems elsewhere with alcohol sales or over-zealous security. It was business as usual!
- Lush has the monopoly on non-beer alcoholic beverages but I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Cocktails on day one were extremely watered down. Maybe a bit of competition next time as I’m sure there’s room for two cocktail vendors.
- The musicians were really cool with interruptions and shortened sets judging from their weibo streams. It’s cool that they were all mindful of each other.
- Again, a huge “big ups” to the crowd.. not as busy as the organizers would have liked with about 4000 or so that first day but definitely pulling their weight in!

On July 22nd, Midi announced that they had to cancel their Midi Zhenjiang festival this year in October as the local government decided to give the location to Modern Sky.[31] On August 22nd, Midi held a press conference explaining the background of the cancellation of the October Midi Festival in Zhenjiang.[32] As per press conference:

Back in 2009, Midi had signed a ten-year contract with Zhenjiang Wenguang, a government-owned group that oversees cultural events in the city, to organize an annual music festival. (Like many music festivals set outside of Beijing, Zhenjiang Midi is financially sponsored by the local government.) Ever since last year’s Zhenjiang Midi Festival, both Midi and local media had been promoting the 2011 Midi Festival as set to take place during the National Day holiday (i.e. the first week of October). The two sides made multiple verbal agreements about it; they signed side-contracts regarding transportation and accommodation for the bands. Midi and Zhenjiang had discussed expenses for the 2011 event and had a verbal agreement to sign a detailed contract in mid-July. (...) Midi proceeded to invite international bands for the festival lineup; they paid for the airfare and deposit for international bands such as Chimaira. On July 11, however, a Midi employee named Liu Chang began to hear disturbing rumors; a promoter for another band in their lineup, German metal band The Ocean, claimed that they had been invited to play another festival (i.e. Strawberry) at the same time in the same city. Subsequently, Liu began to hear similar information from other tour booking agents. Apparently, “that other music festival’s organizer” had sounded very confident when he assured the tour booking agents that there would not be a Midi Festival in Zhenjiang in October. (...) Zhenjiang Wenguang and Modern Sky (...) held a press conference on August 17, mainly to promote Zhenjiang Strawberry Music Festival 2011. Modern Sky is holding the event there after having been invited to do so from Zhenjiang Wenguang, who explained that their original contract with Midi had never specified exact dates for the Midi Festival.[32]


In 2013, the festival is scheduled for three cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. All three events are planned for May 2013, Beijing and Shanghai at the beginning, Shenzhen in the middle of May. On April 17th 2013, lineups and schedules for both Beijing and Shanghai were published.[33] In April, a longer discussion on the electronic stage of the Shanghai Midi festival started with several DJs pulling out of the event. Midi organizers travelled to Shanghai, spoke with respective DJs and clarified the situation.[34]

Locations of the Midi Festival

Photos of previous midi festivals

Have a look at Midi Photos of previous years:

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

About the Music

"The most important aspect of the Midi Festival is the music. We are the best place in China to see the world’s new music, and we work hard to keep it this way. We believe that with hard work and dedication we can keep the Midi Festival on the cutting edge of the global music world.

Just as the Music scene in China constantly re-invents itself, the Midi Festival does the same. Every Festival is a completely new and stimulating experience. Though we have no superstars, the music here at Midi has a vitality and freshness that always manages to surprise and delight the thousands of people a year who attend.

Because of the Festivals experimental spirit it is impossible to predict exactly how it will ever turn out, however, the joy of watching this experiment unfold is one of our great joys, and we invite you to share it with us." - Statement by Midi

Environmental Protection Policy

  • Use of Non-Recyclable Materials.
  • The Midi school will do its best to use environmentally friendly supplies whenever possible, while at the same time using only materials that are healthy for our patrons.
  • There will be preparations made to handle all recyclable bottles and/or containers at the festival.
  • Safety and Security.

"Although we plan to have safe and violence-free festival, there will be people at the festival to provide security if any event or action should warrant intervention.

Our ability to minimize the environmental impact our festival has grown stronger with each passing year. We appreciate your help with these matters and look forward to further minimizing any harm we might do." - Statement by Midi Music Festival

The Beginnings of our Environmental Protection Policy

The environmental protection group will guarantee the completion of all the tasks surrounding the duty of environmental protection.Each year we endeavor to provide an updated policy to respond to the ever-changing needs of our community.

Improving the Environmental Awareness of our Audience.

Most of the tourists protect the festival, but as the Festival grows larger and larger the problem of waste removal becomes an issue. We ask that people please place all garbage in the designated garbage receptacles.Our policies alone cannot protect the environment, we need your help.If possible, please take your garbage with you away from the festival.

Our Plans for the Future.

We will continue our efforts to protect the environment, and minimize the residual effects the Festival has on our community.

Garbage Removal Information

Garbage Cleaning:The Midi Festival makes a concerted effort to keep our venue clean and environmentally friendly. We offer extensive recycling facilities, in addition to our rigorous post-Festival cleanup efforts.

Keeping the Festival clean and Safe

For security and environmental reasons, we ask that our patrons bring no glass bottles, tin cans or plastic containers. Any containers of this nature found will be confiscated by security.

Policy on Noise Pollution

As our sound system improves, the Midi Festival is constantly reevaluating our policy on volume control.Our basic philosophy is to reduce the possibility of harm to either the people or our environment.

The Necessity of Volume Control

When is the volume of a live show too loud? In fact there is no clear level of volume at which a point becomes “too loud”, however, the inhabitants of the HaidianPark area are certainly entitled to protection by Beijing’s law of environmental protection. In Europe many festivals have volume limitations to protect the citizens of the surrounding areas. The law of Beijing prohibits the volume of the Midi Music festival to ever exceed 140db, with sustained volume levels not to exceed 107db.

How well does Midi Festival achieve these goals?

The first priority of the Midi Festival is that the volume should always be considered acceptable by the people of the surrounding area.

The engineer team at the MidiSchool will be on hand with the best test equipment to ensure that the aforementioned levels are maintained, and to ensure that everyone can enjoy the music safely. The Midi Festival will obey the aforementioned laws of international noise control throughout the duration of the Festival. This entitles people 400m away or further experience levels of exposure to the Festival to never exceed 65db during daytime hours, and 55db during the night. In addition to this workers and volunteers will never be exposed to sound in excess of 85db for more then eight hours per day.


What we expect of the audience

A member of the audience is expected to follow the safety rules posted at the concert venue. We also hope that people will communicate with each other well, and encourage their friends and neighbors to act appropriately. The problems of safety will be, if necessary, dealt with by a professional security group. Their job is to maintain everyone’s safety, and we hope their intervention is unnecessary. The security officers will be easily recognizable by their bright Yellow and Orange jackets.

The Golden Rule applies: Please do to others only as you would have them do to you.

We also ask our audience to please be responsible for those around you. If you witness anyone in trouble or otherwise in need of assistance, we ask you to either help them (when possible), or to please notify either a Beijing Midi volunteer or a security professional.

Listen --- for your own safety

To the side of the stage we will have a screen erected. In case of emergency we ask that you please either tell a Midi volunteer in this screen area, or a security professional wherever they may be. We will then notify the audience if the emergency so warrants.Please pay particular attention to any announcements you hear over the PA system. Any announcement regarding security will be made in simple and clear language by the head of our security team.

Locating a security guard

Our professional security staff will all be wearing bright Yellow and Orange jackets.If at anytime you need assistance please speak with one them for help.

Rules and Regulations regarding Dancing/Crown Surfing and Moshing

The Midi Festival employees are endowed with the power to intervene and stop any dancing, body movements or actions that they deem dangerous.

Emergency Office Information

If at anytime a person should need the assistance of a doctor, firefighter or policeman, they can make contact with any of those people from our Emergency Office.

The workers at the emergency office are intimately acquainted with the Festival venue, and are able to rectify a great number of situations by themselves.They will also coordinating the efforts of our various security forces, and therefore will be able to react quickly to any situation that would require it.

The emergency office will be open 24 hours a day during the Festival. The following resources are located at the emergency office.

  • Manager
  • Two Workers
  • Cooperators
  • Doctor
  • One policeman

During performance hours the doctor will be readily on duty.

Emergency Office

Due to size constraints, in order to keep the Emergency Office in smooth working condition we must limit the number of people in the emergency office at one time. Please speak with a security professional at the concert venue for details.

Security Professionals

The security professionals will immediately intervene in any violent situation. If they are unable to resolve the situation peacefully, the police will be informed. The security professionals will be patrolling the venue, and will be in close radio contact with the police. They’re job is to, for your safety, intervene or inform the police of any situation which is dangerous or illegal.


the Possession and use of drugs in the PRC is illegal. Taking drugs at the Festival could lead to unpredictable and hazardous situations. They are strictly forbidden.

If anyone is caught taking drugs at the Midi Festival, the police will be summarily informed, and the offending parties taken immediately in Police custody.

If you witness anyone exhibiting symptoms of drug or alcohol overdose, including stupor, inability to stand, walk or talk. Please notify a security professional.

Enjoy the Festival!

The Festivals

Read more about the individual festivals!

Festival Publications

Further Information

Official pages

Interviews & Articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Music Festival Strikes up the Bands in Beijing". Li Xiao (China.org.cn) (2005-09-30). Retrieved on 2008-10-08.
  2. "Midi Music Festival". Jon Campbell (PopMatters) (2005-04-06). Retrieved on 2008-10-08.
  3. "Music fans tune up for Beijing festival". China Daily (2004-09-28). Retrieved on 2008-09-24.
  4. "2006 MIDI Music Festival". CRIENGLISH.com (2006-04-25). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  5. "Midi Music Festival of China to Open in Beijing". Chinadaily.com.cn (2007-04-28). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  6. "Midi Music Festival 2007". Kaiser Kuo (Ich Bin Ein Beijinger) (2007-05-06). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  7. "Approved! Midi 2008 is on*!". Berwin Song & Paul Pennay (The Beijinger) (2008-04-18). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  8. "Midi 2008 is off!". Paul Pennay (The Beijinger) (2008-04-22). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  9. "Confirmed: Midi is off". Paul Pennay (The Beijinger) (2008-04-23). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Midi Update and other music news". Paul Pennay (The Beijing) (2008-04-28). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  11. "Four French injured in train collision confirmed to be one family, friend". People's Daily Online (2008-04-28). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  12. "迷笛延期 摩登天空音乐节将伸援手". Modern Sky Records. Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  13. "Midi Delayed Again". Paul Pennay & Victoria Yang (The Beijinger) (2008-04-19). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  14. "Rock on!". China Music Radar (2008-09-26). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  15. "Midi Update: Moved to Midi School October 1-5". Mandy Li & Paul Pennay (The Beijinger) (2008-09-27). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  16. Jake Newby (2009-03-06). "Midi Festival Coming to Shanghai". Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
  17. Xiaoxia Zhuang (2009-03-18). "New Midi Festival location: Zhenjiang, two hours away from Shanghai (UPDATED)". Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
  18. Jake Newby (2009-03-24). "Midi School: There will be a Shanghai festival". Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
  19. Andy Best (2009-03-25). "Midi rumours: if you can't beat 'em ...". Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
  20. Alex Mehring (2009-05-04). "Midi Festival 2009 - Zhenjiang". Retrieved on 2011-09-17.
  21. MTV Iggy (2010-01-06). "Top 10 Music Festivals Around the World (to Check Out in 2010!)". Retrieved on 2010-01-23.
  22. Blog post on Midi 2010 MySpace Page, dated January 18th 2010
  23. China Music Radar (2010-02-01). "Festival roundabout". Retrieved on 2010-02-02.
  24. Midi News (2010-04-02). "2010年北京迷笛音乐节演出全阵容公布". Retrieved on 2010-04-02.
  25. Alex Searson (Beijing Gig Guide) (2010-04-20). "Breaking News: Mao Livehouse Shut Down!". Retrieved on 2010-04-21.
  26. Beijing Gig Guide (2010-04-26). "Mao News: Mao Moves to MIDI 2010". Retrieved on 2010-04-26.
  27. MTV Iggy (2010-05-03). "China Rocks Out! MIDI Music Festival in Beijing: Day 1". Retrieved on 2010-05-04.
  28. James Tiscione (The Beijinger) (2010-05-07). "Best Unplugged Show Ever: Looking Back on Midi's Last Day". Retrieved on 2010-05-12.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Michelle Dai (2011-04-02). "Midi Music Festival "Confirmed"". Retrieved on 2011-04-04.
  30. Beijing Daze (2011-05-04). "MIDI 2011 day 1: Tales of Storms, Dust, Suffocated, SUBS and Rock". Retrieved on 2011-05-19.
  31. China Music Radar (2011-07-22). "No Midi Zhenjiang this year". Retrieved on 2011-07-22.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Michelle Dai (The Beijinger) (2011-09-06). "How Did Midi Festival Turn Into Strawberry Festival? Midi Speaks Out". Retrieved on 2011-09-06.
  33. Beijing Daze (2013-04-17). "FESTIVALS SEASON 2013: AN INTRO AND QUICK DATE TRACKER". Retrieved on 2013-04-17. o the original Weibo announcement
  34. Brian Offenther (2013-04-17). "Midi Electronic Lineup Sparks Controversy". Retrieved on 2013-04-19.