Asia News: Supersonic Postpones, Other Festivals Go Digital

– Supersonic

Supersonic Postponed To 2021
As expected, the Supersonic rock music festival, slated for Tokyo and Osaka the weekend of Sept. 19, has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis. 
The festival promoter, Creativeman Productions, made the announcement on Aug. 11 via its home page. The chief reason for the postponement is the presumed difficulty of guaranteeing that the foreign artists who have been invited, which include the Black Eyed Peas, The 1975 and Liam Gallagher, would be able to enter Japan by the end of September. 
Apparently, Creativeman has received no such guarantee from the government. In addition, the announcement stated that it would also be difficult to guarantee the “health and safety” of performers, staff and concertgoers, especially given the fact that the number of confirmed cases of the disease in Japan has been growing over the course of the summer after the central government lifted a month-long state of emergency. 
Creativeman CEO Naoki Shimizu said in his own statement that the overseas artists scheduled for the festival had themselves voiced concern about travel to Japan, and combined with “fears about attending the festival from ticketholders,” he decided to call it off.
Supersonic is essentially a reconfigured version of Creativeman’s Summer Sonic festival, which is normally held in mid-August. 
Because the Olympics were supposed to take place in Tokyo this year and would be using one of the SS venues, Summer Sonic was cancelled for 2020 but replaced with Supersonic, which would take place a month later under reduced circumstances. 
As the coronavirus crisis developed, Supersonic was altered so that it would take place completely outdoors, and money was raised earlier in the summer to provide social distancing facilities. However, with a possible shutdown looming, it seems unlikely that the festival could have possibly taken place in September, even if the performers were limited to domestic artists.

Asian Festivals Go Digital
Two other Asian music festivals will take place soon as virtual events. Indonesia’s We The Fest, a celebration of music, arts, fashion and food, will present a Virtual Home Edition Sept. 26 and 27. 
There is no charge for anyone who registers on the festival’s website. The lineup has yet to be announced but the organizers promise “Indonesian and international musicians.” 
According to the Jakarta Post, We The Fest started in 2014 and has presented, among others, Dua Lipa, The 1975, SZA, Mark Ronson and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at past events. More than 60,000 people attended the fifth edition in 2018. Originally, the festival was going to present an online version Aug.14-16 from the JIExpo Kemayoran in Central Jakarta, but was cancelled.
A-nation, the annual showcase for acts laboring under Japan’s Avex Group banner, will take place as an online event this year. Normally, A-nation is a series of mini-festivals that take place every weekend in August at various venues throughout Japan. 
This year’s blowout will be one night only, August 29, and features J-pop and K-pop acts signed to Japan’s biggest independent record label, including SuperM, Sky-Hi, Da Pump, Red Velvet, ESO-SC, Super Junior and Ayumi Hamasaki. 
China’s Midi Music Festival, often referred to as China’s Woodstock, is scheduled to take place live in front of an audience in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Provice the weekend of Aug. 15-16, according to China Daily. 
The festival’s director told the media that it will be the first outdoor music festival in the country this year. The artists are mostly mainstream and indie Chinese rock acts. The festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The site of the festival is in the mountains about 220 kilometers from Beijing at a ski resort. Attendance will be limited to 5,000 people per day and social distancing guidelines will be in effect. Usually, 20-30,000 people attend the festival each day. Tickets sold out within 30 minutes.
As of this writing, Rush Ball 2020 remains the only Japanese summer rock festival still on the board to take place in person. The festival is scheduled to take place Aug. 29 and 30 at Izumiotsu Phoenix in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, will present about twenty major and minor Japanese rock acts in an outdoor setting. Social distancing measures will be in place and attendance will be limited. 
Taipei Music Center Set To Open
The new Taipei Music Center is slated to hold its opening ceremony on Sept. 5, according to an announcement in Focus Taiwan. The center, which covers an area of about 9 hectares, will be a venue for popular music that is expected to be one of the biggest in Asia. It will contain separate concert and exhibition halls, music classrooms, rehearsal rooms, offices and recording studios. 
At an Aug. 10 press conference, Taipei Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun said the vision for the center goes beyond its mission as a concert venue to include facilities as a “training center for music artists.”
The angular concert hall will accommodate up to 6,000 people, and the center’s exhibition hall will be the island’s first that is dedicated to popular music. The complex also contains four music clubs, or “live houses,” that can accommodate between 200 and 1,600 people. An attendant outdoor plaza can hold an additional 3,000 people. 
The center was first planned in 2008 as a “catalyst for the development of popular music in Taiwan.” 
The opening concert will feature Taiwanese singer-songwriters Waa Wei and Lala Hsu, as well as legendary Taiwanese band Sodagreen, which recently changed its name to Oaeen. There will also be a free concert on the afternoon of Sept. 5 for the general public.