Big Apple site for Chinese music fest

By Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-08-25 07:24:20

Big Apple site for Chinese music fest

Strawberry Music Festival, held by China's independent label Modern Sky, has attracted more than 250,000 fans in Beijing and Shanghai this year. Li Lewei / China Daily

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Shen Lihui, founder of China's biggest independent music label Modern Sky, has successfully run outdoor music festivals in the country for years. Now, the ambitious man is setting his sights on the United States.

The Modern Sky Music Festival will make its debut at New York City's Central Park on Oct 4 and 5. As the first Chinese outdoor music festival to be held in the US, the two-day event will feature around 15 acts from China and the US, including the Chinese rock bands Second Hand Rose, Queen Sea Big Shark and Rebuilding the Rights of Statues.

"The American audiences will see cool Chinese bands performing at the iconic place for the first time rather than the traditional lion dancing at Chinatown," says Shen, the 46-year-old singer-turned-entrepreneur, who began preparing for the festival earlier this year. "I still cannot believe it's happening."

Shen founded Modern Sky after graduating from Beijing Arts and Crafts Institute in 1997. Initially, there were just three bands under the label: New Pants, The Super VC and Shen's own band, Sober.

Now his company is home to more than 100 indie acts and maintains the largest market share for Chinese rock music content. The Strawberry Music Festival, which was first held six years ago, has become one of the biggest outdoor music festivals in China, touring nearly 20 cities.

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