Calling all beer lovers

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By CHEN­NAN chen­nan@chi­

Af­ter its suc­cess­ful de­but in 2013, Mu­nich Oktoberfest is re­turn­ing to Bei­jing from Aug 15 to 30 for a cel­e­bra­tion of beer and Bavar­ian cul­ture at the Olympic For­est Park.

In ad­di­tion to Ger­man beer and food, fes­ti­val­go­ers will also be treated to au­then­tic Bavar­ian mu­sic and dance per­for­mances, all housed un­der an 11,000-square me­ter beer tent— the largest in the world. Chi­nese rock band Black Pan­ther, rock singer-song­writer Zheng Jun and pop star Jike Junyi will per­form at the open­ing cer­e­mony on Aug 15.

Li Tong, a gui­tarist for Black Pan­ther and co-founder of the band, says this will be the group’s first per­for­mance at Mu­nich Oktoberfest. “I can still re­call a beer fes­ti­val we per­formed at in Qing­dao, Shan­dong province, around 1993, which was very im­pres­sive. The au­di­ence was very en­er­getic and with mu­sic and beer, we had a great party that night,” says Li.

Black Pan­ther will per­form four songs, mostly new works from their al­bum Who We Are, which was re­leased last year af­ter a nine-year hia­tus. The al­bum in­tro­duced a new singer, Zhang Qi, the band’s 10th lead­ing vo­cal­ist in 25 years.

“We’ve per­formed at mu­sic fes­ti­vals and par­tic­i­pated in va­ri­ety shows since we re­leased the new al­bum,” Li says. “I am glad to see that the feed­back from au­di­ences has been fever­ish.”

Pop singer Jike Junyi, 25, who re­cently re­leased her de­but al­bum and held her first con­cert in Bei­jing in March, will per­form pop­u­lar hits such as Summer Time, which she recorded with US hip-hop leg­end Snoop Dogg.

“I like summer. My English name is Summer, my skin is tan andmy mu­sic style fits in the at­mos­phere of summer,” says Jike, who hails from a small moun­tain vil­lage of the Yi eth­nic group in Sichuan province.

Jike rose to fame overnight af­ter fin­ish­ing third in the first sea­son of the re­al­ity tal­ent show, Voice of China, in the summer of 2012. “All the peo­ple from my vil­lage are good at sing­ing and danc­ing. Af­ter work­ing, they drink and have din­ner with friends, which is a big party. I am look­ing for­ward to the show, with beer, dance and mu­sic from a dif­fer­ent cul­ture.”

As the world’s largest beer fes­ti­val with a his­tory of more than 200 years, Mu­nich Oktoberfest is held in Mu­nich, Ger­many, from late Septem­ber to the first week­end of Oc­to­ber, and usu­ally lasts 16 days. The fes­ti­val in Bei­jing is the only Oktoberfest au­tho­rized by the Mu­nich Oktoberfest Com­mit­tee to be held out­side Ger­many.

More than 200,000 peo­ple at­tended last year’s Mu­nich Oktoberfest in Bei­jing, and around 300,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to visit the fes­ti­val this year, says Tang Dong­min, CEO of Bei­jingWen­hua Star Cul­tural In­dus­try Co Ltd, which or­ga­nized last year’s fes­ti­val.

“Since its first year in Bei­jing, the fes­ti­val has be­come a pop­u­lar choice for many night life go­ers in Bei­jing. It also pro­motes the in­te­gra­tion of eth­nic cul­tures through beer cul­ture be­tween the two coun­tries,” Tang says.

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