INTRO Electronic Music Festival: Interview With DJ Weng Weng
INTRO Music Festival, China's biggest electronic music festival, will be held this May 1st in Beijing's Chaoyang Park
In the context of Beijing's major May music festival cancellations, we were pleasantly suprised to get confirmation that INTRO Music Festival would be held on May 1st in Beijing (especially as it was cancelled last year). MusicDish first partnered with INTRO in 2010 and 2011, at the time held at 751 D-Park. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview DJ Weng Weng on the festival's return to Beijing and its evolution since the early days. Weng Weng, one of the captains leading INTRO Festival, Lantern Club and the now-defunct Acupuncture Records, has been part of the Beijing music scene since the 1990s before he started DJing in 1997.
What is INTRO? Can you introduce INTRO to those who are unfamiliar with the festival in a few sentences?
INTRO Music Festival was the first outdoor electro music festival in China. It was founded in 2009 by Acupuncture Records. It has since been successfully held for 5 years, actively accelerated the development of music festivals in China while providing a great opportunity for the world to get to know China's electronic scene.
What was the ideology behind the first INTRO festival in 2009? Six years later, has the ideology and style of the festival changed?
When we first established Acupuncture Records, we had set three goals for developing electro music: Label, Club and Festival.
On December 31st, 2008, after Acupuncture Records' New Year Countdown, a friend wanted to show me a place. As 2009's first dawn emerged, I discovered the 751 factory behind the 798 Art Zone, and the giant buildings looked amazing in the sunshine. A voice was telling me "we have to hold a music festival here!" 'INTRO' is short for introduction, an overture in musical terminology. We are trying to write a new chapter of electronic music culture in China as we put the idea of an outdoor electro music festival to practice. Meanwhile, we know the situation we face promoting electro music culture in China is tough, so we encourage ourselves by treating every INTRO Festival as an introduction.
It's been six years and our ideology to INTRO hasn't changed---- to turn good music into faith and necessity! The style of INTRO was not and will not be similar to those commercial EDM music festivals. We believe in internationalism, professionalism, and non-commercialism when promoting the local underground electro music.
Since the INTRO Festival was founded, there are more Chinese young people who have gotten the discover and fell in love with the culture of electro music. Some have devoted themselves to the career in the electronic music scene as more young people from other countries discover China's electro music culture.
How do you define a successful INTRO festival?
Everyone has a different definition of success. I think a successful music festival must leave people with beautiful memories. For example, expecting for a break, hardly tearing themselves away from the ending, the tears for a piece of sweet melody...
Why did last year's INTRO get canceled? Were there any other reasons other than site allocation? Is there anything special with this year's location?
Last year, we experienced a big problem with site allocation. We have been looking for industrial relics styled site since we left 751, and we finally settled on Shougang in the last two weeks. We were so cheerful for INTRO's new home. However, the situation suddenly changed last year. After anxious and disputed negotiations and delays, it turned out the festival couldn't be held there, and we couldn't find any other location to use in time.
On the surface, the difficulty seemed to be the site allocation, but actually the problems we were facing could only be expressed by "you know why". This year, INTRO has transferred to Beach Volleyball Court in Chaoyang Park. The site has a Beach Volleyball court in the center, and surrounded by three stages. Chaoyang Park is located in the city center of Beijing with a beautiful environment, convenient traffic, clean and spacious area, which makes it a great place for a music festival.
What is the line-up for this year's INTRO? Will there be any fun events worth mentioning?
As for the international DJs, we have invited Detroit's techno representative Octave One duo, and Patrick from M.A.N.D.Y. of the German elite record label Get Physical.
Christian and Blake, the Americans from FM3, Beijing's famous underground team, will bring their amazing live show; the talented DJ Juiana Lima from Brazil will perform her debut in INTRO.
Mickey Zhang, famous techno DJ in Beijing, the founder of "Yan" Party.
Weng Weng, the director of Lantern Club and INTRO electro music festival.
Elvis.T, former member of Acupuncture Records, electro music producer and DJ.
Yang Bing, director of underground electro music club "Rabbit" and "HAZE".
Ou Yang, director of Beijing "Yugong Yishan" club, a rocker and an electro musician.
Huang Weiwei, former member of Acupuncture Records, electro musician.
Syndicate, an electro music group in Beijing, and other Bass musicians
Jäger Dome Stage:
Numerous underground electro music groups, such as TOXIC and NB NOISE members will take turns on stage.
This time, we are collaborating with Jagermeister, promoting Jäger Dome Stage, and dancing in a giant inflatable room. Meanwhile, we will upgrade our sound system to enrich audiences' audio-visual sensation.
The stage will be designed by Fader, an American stage designer and visual designing master. We believe we will present a mind-blowing visual feast. Meanwhile, this year's main stage will adapt Turbosound, the British top-level stereo. Its strong power output and exquisite sound quality will perfect every detail of our electro music.
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