Music fest shakes up Yanqi Lake
Yanqi Lake, an hour’s drive north of Beijing, was recently shaken to its core by what Shake the Lake International Music Festival Director Richie Loidl termed “the groove that makes you move”.
The international swing, blues and boogie-woogie festival took over Kempinski’s Yanqi Island resort from Sept 8-10.
With performances at the gala dinner in the conference center and the jazz brunch in the nearby Yanqi Hotel the following morning, beginners and aficionados alike were swinging along to the music.
“It’s a very profound and deep expression of positive feeling, a feeling which is positive about life.
“This is just having fun, being aware of good living — that’s the shaking, swinging aspect of our approach to jazz music,” Loidl explained.
Shake the Lake first came into being in Austria back in 1995, in the Salzkammergut region famed among tourists as the most beautiful Alps area.
Over the next 20 years or so, the festival toured the world, and first came to Beijing last year, at Kempinski’s Yanqi Hotel.
“There is a common experience that everyone who listens has... in the beginning, they are a little shy, observing what’s going on. But as we saw, then you get into it and you join in and get shaking,” Loidl said.
China Daily asked the resort’s General Manager Brice Pean — an old school friend of Loidl’s — whether the event is something that will be welcomed back to Beijing again.
“We tried it last year, it was successful, and that’s why I said: ‘well, let’s do it and make it basically a jour fixe, every year, and let’s see where it takes us,’” he said.
“For us, this is part of the effort to position the destination as a cultural hub... culture is definitely one option for it to remain attractive throughout the year, by staging different events.”
Pean said the hotel is focusing on three main directions to consistently attract new guests and returnees.
They are culture and music, via events such as Shake the Lake, although not always on that scale; food and beverages, with pop-ups from high-end, Beijing-based restaurants; and families, with star-studded football academies, indoor camping and a host of inventive kidsfocused activities.
“That’s on top of what we already have, which already speaks for itself anyway,” Pean added.
The stunning island complex includes the conference center, Yanqi Hotel, Sunrise Hotel and 14 boutique, standalone hotels, all on the shores of the beautiful Yanqi Lake.
Musicians stage a performance at the gala dinner of Kempinski’s Yanqi Island resort on Sept 9, as part of the Shake the Lake International Music Festival.