Check out part 1 of the Snow Mountain Music Festival slideshow for more.
Arks weren't being built, but SMMF organizers certainly could have used one while dealing with nature's near biblical wrath on day one. Thankfully, pounding rain mellowed into a comparatively pleasant drizzle on day two, while the mercury, which had dipped below 10ºC a day earlier flirted with the low 20's.
None there were happier than a group of local orphans, whom Lijiang to enjoy private performances by some of the bands playing the festival, along with a host of fun activities in the children's play zone behind the main stage.
The respite from rain wasn't to last though, and by the time the festival's headliners Su Yang and Second Hand Rose took the stage at the end of day three, the crappy weather gods had awakened from their slumber to piss rain on our parade.
But Su Yang's fans could not be kept at bay. By the time they took the stage, the crowd had grown to around 2,000 people, and they were amped. There were crowd surfers, a mosh that provoked the entire security team to rush into the press—leaving the stage barriers precariously unguarded for a moment—and tons of noise. Finally the concert actually looked and felt like a concert! The gods of music were ascendant again!
Though the main stage closed down after the final act around 10:30 p.m., other stages remained open. At the experimental stage, DJ Sulumi, one of China's best, stirred the crowd into a sweaty frenzy with his trademark Nintendo-Game Boy-sample-laden digital hardcore sounds. Hey, when monstrous waves of rippling bass hit you in the rib cage it has an incredibly rousing effect—let me tell you.
The crowd on the receiving end of Sulumi's sonic love barrage was all but helpless. All they could do was flail limbs and gyrate hips as wildly as possible. Not dancing like crazy meant trying to contain an unstoppable force, so if you got caught flat-footed, like me a couple times, you were liable to either explode or experience a psycho-somatic meltdown. Ever see someone possessed by the holy spirit at an evangelical Christian event? Kinda looks like that.
The experience redeemed the festival's ugly beginnings, one of a number of saving moments and sweet relief from the generally bitter weather. I'm sure the organizers rue the ugly skies, but in the end the meteorological mayhem simply made the whole experience that much more memorable. So hey—thanks crappy weather gods, you did good.