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Music festivals find enthusiastic crowds in smaller cities

Updated: 2013-09-06 07:19
( China Daily)

Music festivals find enthusiastic crowds in smaller cities

Young people are thrilled by the live performances of the Border Town Music Festival in Fenghuang, Hunan province. Musicians from local ethnic groups perform on the festival's local stage, while the major stage features bands that are well known across the country. Photos by Wang Yan / For China Daily

Comment |

Mu Qian

A choir of boatmen from Hunan province sings rhythmic verses to accompany the towing of a boat. Their voices hit notes much higher than those of tenors in Western bel canto singing.

Next on stage is a death metal band from Guizhou, whose female lead singer hits the guitarist while bellowing in agony, before diving into the crowd.

It's an unusual combination, but this was the scene at the Border Town Music Festival in Fenghuang, western Hunan province. One of the two stages was reserved for music from the local area, traditional and contemporary.

Bordering Guizhou province and near Chongqing and Sichuan province, Fenghuang county and its surrounding area is dominated by ethnic groups, such as the Miao and Tujia peoples.

Musicians from these ethnic groups were given opportunities to perform on the festival's local stage, while the major stage featured bands that are well known across the country.

This is the first time I have seen such a juxtaposition at a music festival. The two stages formed an interesting contrast, as musicians not from the area got to see local acts, while local musicians had the chance to watch and learn from professional bands.

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