Jue Festival

By Lu Tanrou Source:Global Times Published: 2014-2-18 17:38:01

Held simultaneously in Shanghai and Beijing, JUE Music + Art is an annual festival organized by music promoters Split Works. Returning for its sixth year in 2014, JUE aims to showcase the best of the local creative communities in these two cities, and will also bring artists from around the world to participate in 125 events taking place at 68 venues. This year, JUE runs from March 7 to March 23.


Split Works co-founder Archie Hamilton told the Global Times that the idea for JUE came from the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, where he was born. "It's similar to JUE with lots of different people doing lots of different things in lots of different types of venues. And you bring them all under one roof. It's pretty good. So I kind of figured out that it might suit Shanghai and Beijing so we started JUE in 2009," Hamilton said.

JUE events are divided into seven categories: music, art, film, literary events, performance, talks and community. "We have these three people including our festival director all year working with the local creative communities in Shanghai and Beijing. The idea is to be creative. It reflects the best in the Chinese creative industry and also some international music," Hamilton said.

Xi'an electro punk band The Fuzz Photos: Courtesy of Split Works

According to Hamilton, the core of JUE is creativity, especially Chinese creativity. He has promoted music in three big, emerging markets, France, Spain and China. "I hate the music industry. I like places where we can innovate. It's exciting. This is the place where people are creating a music pattern from nothing," he told us.

This year, JUE will bring a diverse group of musical acts from around the world, including Colorado-based electronic musician Pictureplane (March 7 at Arkham), Japanese psychedelic quartet Acid Mothers Temple (March 8 at On Stage), 70s power pop kings Paul Collins' Beat (March 8 at Yuyintang), Northern Irish rockers And So I Watch You From Afar (March 11 at Mao Livehouse), Norwegian indie pop outfit Young Dreams (March 13 at Yuyintang), Xi'an electro punk band The Fuzz (March 15 at Yuyintang) and British rapper Blak Twang (March 22 at The Shelter).

Among the literary events this year are performances by Jesse Brand, the winner of last year's Australia Poetry Slam Championship (March 18), and Taiwan-born storyteller Jenevieve Chang, who will share her experience of growing up in Australia (March 9). Both events are free and will be held at Yuncai Café.

Also on the program is Asian Cinema Week, which opens with a screening of musical documentary Yangon Calling - Punk in Myanmar on March 12 at Minsheng Art Museum, accompanied by a talk from director Alexander Dluzak. The week closes with North Korea's first "girl power" movie Comrade Kim Goes Flying on March 23. Director Nick Bonner, who has been organizing trips to the North Korea with his Beijing-based travel company Koryo Tours since 1993, will attend the screening at the Shanghai Film Museum to talk about the movie.

Norwegian indie pop outfit Young Dreams

Those looking to actively participate in JUE events can attend a workshop, such as the photography seminar where professional photographer Thomas Rippe will demonstrate how to shoot a singer on a dimly lit stage. The 300 yuan ($49.46) class fee covers two workshop sessions (March 5 and 26) and entry to two festival shows where participants can practice their newly acquired skills.

Local dance studio GH5 will host free dance workshops at HUGE Lifestyle Plaza. Instructors from the studio will lead participants in salsa (March 15), musical theater jazz dancing (March 15) and hip-hop (March 22).

A film still from Yangon Calling - Punk in Myanmar

"No one can engage in all the events. It's just too much. But we do feel that it offers something for everybody. You can look through the program and find lots of different things to do and to discover. That's the key. Because ultimately this is about discovery. We don't do big headliners really. Occasionally we have bigger bands than usual, but we focus hard on promoting up-and-coming stuff, stuff you've never heard of," Hamilton said.

Visit http://www.juefestival.com/ for the full program.

Posted in: Metro Shanghai

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