'China's Woodstock' ends on upbeat note

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Lijiang, China - The founding father of Chinese rock music, Cui Jian, provided a rousing finale to "China's Woodstock" in the early hours of yesterday, as the country's first-ever outdoor music festival confounded initial fears by proving a success.

As Cui belted out some of his most politically charged songs before an audience including local Communist Party officials, the Snow Mountain Music Festival was hailed by organizers, fans and local press as a triumph.

The event was held halfway up the isolated 5,596-metre Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the southwestern province of Yunnan, the scenic venue for the self-styled "world's highest" music festival. Up to 10,000 fans turned up, although many left early as periodic rainstorms, cold weather and the high altitude tested concertgoers' endurance, organizers said.

The festival boasted some of China's top pop stars, including Sun Nan, Luo Zhongxu, Dou Wei and Zhu Zheqin, while also billing some of the nation's growing army of heavy metal, hip-hop and punk bands such as Brain Failure, Wild Children and Confucious Says.