硬地音樂展都會嘉年華 UBU 2004

Last night was the start of the UBU 2004 Music Festival, around the corner from the lawn party 華山創意文化園區 Huashan and all the action of the Co4 Documenta. So by the time we got there, it was mostly over, but with perfect timing we arrived just as 六甲 Six Plus and 潑猴 Monkey Insane went fully sick. Kinda like Rage Against the Machine and the Chilli Peppers, only better, and really like 王磊 Wang Lei’s Pump in Guangzhou. Anyway, there’s another two days and nights of this, along with lots of local bands selling their music really cheap

The venue’s history as a site for large-scale music events began three years ago, when the Taiwan Rock Alliance (全國搖滾聯盟) was forced to call an early end to proceedings at the Formoz Festival due to complaints from nearby residents concerned about excessive noise. Problems continued to plague live music events but finally came to a head two years ago, after allegations of drug abuse during a dance party made headline news.

Coinciding with the revocation of the site’s license to hold large-scale music festivals was the forced closure of Huashan’s popular venue/bar the Music House (華山音樂館).

“We decided to put the dance music segment on in the early afternoon so the authorities wouldn’t get the impression that we were holding an Ecstasy party,” Chu said. “The music must stop by 10pm. If it doesn’t, we will get complaints from nearby residential areas and we’d like to avoid this as we want to be able to hold concerts at Huashan] in the future.”

While numerous government bodies have been happy to back the event and have their names plastered all over promotional material, financial assistance has been minimal. Financial backing from both government departments and the private sector has been impossible to secure. Much of the capital needed to rent sound equipment and to pay the performers has come out of the association’s small coffers.

“After the flurry of summer festivals big name companies didn’t have any funds left to sponsor us. Taiwan Beer had used all its money and 7-11 was the same,” Chu said.