By most indicators, Chengdu's budding music-festival scene died a sudden death last year. After the 2009 inauguration of the Zebra Music Festival, it seemed the festival frenzy was only on an upswing, with repeat Zebras and new competitors coming to the game every year.
But the madness seemed to peak in 2012 with the spectacular financial failure that was the gigantic Big Love Festival. The following year, Zebra Music Festival was post-poned after the Ya'an quake until October, at which time it was rather quietly rescheduled to this year's May holidays.
This year, a revival of sorts is on the table. For 2014, the fifth Chengdu edition of Zebra promises World Cup-themed areas and four stages — the main Earth Stage for rock and pop acts, and the smaller Sky Stage for upcoming bands, the Xiongmao Stage for electronic acts, and a Sunshine Stage "for those talented children."
The actual lineup and even headliners are yet to be announced, but it's likely to feature some of the same artists from last year's original lineup.
Update The Zebra Festival has been officially canceled after this article was written.
"SNS life is rubbish, get a real life"
That's the (perhaps unintentionally) ironic slogan of this year's Strawberry Festival, the music event organized by China's biggest rock label Modern Sky. The festival, which was formerly held only in a few of China's biggest cities is expanding to ten cities this year, including Chengdu. The Strawberry Festival is scheduled during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday from May 31 to June 2 on several live music and electronic stages. The Beijing and Shanghai festivals feature big international acts like Justice, Cut Copy or HIM as well as Chinese singers like Maggie Cheung. Fingers crossed we'll see at least one of these superstars in Chengdu, so although details haven't been announced, we're expecting ticket prices higher than Zebra's.