Last year's Chengdu Zebra Festival was a bit of a let-down in terms of lineup, especially when stacked against the giant Big Love Festival. And this year's, the fifth and probably final (at least at this location) edition of Zebra, might not be a spectacular da capo for various reasons: The rock/folk stage (a.k.a. the "Sky Stage") seems to have fallen off the program entirely, the festival starts later and finishes earlier, and all in all it feels a bit more "compact" in its programming. Every cloud has its silver lining, though, and this one is that ticket prices have gone down slightly.
The second and third days start with a "Battle of the Bands" featuring local university acts, followed by the more prominent Chengdu bands like Ashura, Mosaic, and Proximity Butterfly. Zebra has scheduled two foreign bands for each late afternoon/early evening, and prime daytime and final hours go to the hordes of Canto/Mandopop and Chinese R'n'B stars. And as usual, electronic-music club Xiongmao will reincarnate itself in the form of a tent.
Finnish pop-ballad queen Saara Aalto kicks things off.
Punk rockers The on fires, from Australia, make their second appearance at the festival (the first was in 2011).
The Agency, French indie pop, will play the second day.
Probably the most aggresive band, at least according to its own claims, is Providence a hardcore band from Paris.
The rather quiet highlight of the foreign bands seems to be Sydney Valette, an electropop artist also from France (video below).
The last foreign act is Cold Cave, a US new wave/ synthpop combo.
Day 1: Monday, April 29
3.20 p.m. Crow's Feet (鱼尾纹) alternative rock
4.00 p.m. Wednesday Trip (星期三游行) triphop/ indie rock
4.40 p.m. Saara Aalto Finland ballade/ pop
5.25 p.m. The on fires Australia punk/ rock
6.10 p.m. Proximity Butterfly (变色蝴蝶) psychodelic rock
7.05 p.m. The Trouble (热招波) ska rock
8.00 p.m. Mosaic 莫塞克 dance rock
8.55 p.m. Ashura 阿修罗 pop/ rock
9.50 p.m Demon (李代沫) Canto/Mandopop
Day 2: Tuesday, April 30
4.00 p.m. Battle of the bands
6.00 p.m. Big Flip (大翻转乐队) skate punk
7.00 p.m. Natural Growth (自然而然) funk rock
7.20 p.m. The Agency France indie pop
7.40 p.m. Providence France hardcore
8.40 p.m. Yen-j 严爵
9.40 p.m. Dong Nan (东南) & Vae (许嵩) pop/ rnb
Day 3: Wednesday, May 1
4.40 p.m. Battle of the bands
5.25 p.m. Hi Person (海朋森) rock
6.10 p.m. Stolen (秘密行动 ) britpop
7.05 p.m. Sydney Valette
7.40 p.m. Cold Cave USA new wave/ synthpop
8.40 p.m. Old Songs Old Friends Combo 老歌老友组合 pop
9.40 p.m. Khalil Fong (万大同) pop/ soul
Official Web site
Tickets are RMB100 per day at the door. No multiple-day passes are being sold.
Pre-sale tickets are RMB80.
National ticket hotline 400-6103721 | 400-6228228
Internet booking Damai or Youngle Piao
Poly 198 Tulip Park 保利198郁金香花卉公园 (Baoli 198 Yujinxiang Huahui Gongyuan) on Shulong Lu near the Third Ring Road northeast section, Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, and Chengdu Zoo.
Transport (UPDATED 4/30/12)
Venue: Poly 198 Tulip Park
保利198郁金香花卉公园 (Baoli 198 Yujinxiang Huahui Gongyuan), on Shulong Lu near the northeast section of the Third Ring Road, in Xindu District. (Near the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, and Chengdu Zoo)
A metered taxi from the city proper costs RMB40 to 60 and can take 40 to 60 minutes depending on traffic. However, because the park is in the Xindu district, most drivers coming from Chengdu will be reluctant to use the meter and will ask for a minimum of RMB100.
From Renmin Nan Lu, take 99 to the Chengdu Zoo transit station. Walk 10 meters to the Chengdu Zoo Stop and get on the 198 (small wooden bus), which will take you all the way to the park. The total journey is around 1 hour and 40 minutes, according to Baidu Map.
Alternatively, take Metro Line 1 to the Renmin Bei Lu stop. Take Exit D and walk to the Renmin Bei Lu bus stop. Take bus line 32 to the Zhaojuesi Bei Lu Kou stop. Walk to the Third Ring Road Chuanshan Flyover South stop (Sanhuan Lu Chuanshan Lijiaoqiao Nan Zhan) and from there take the 198 to the park.
Bus No. 198 (6:30-22:30):
From the Zhaojuesi Temple bus stop to Poly 198 Tulip Park, it takes about 50 minutes according to Baidu.
While you wait for the festival to get started, you can review what Zebra Music Festival CEO Scarlett Li had to say about the festival in 2010.