China’s Electric Jungle festival co-founder, Boyi Zhou, talks dance music culture, obstacles, and the wild time yet to come [Q&A]

China’s Electric Jungle festival co-founder, Boyi Zhou, talks dance music culture, obstacles, and the wild time yet to come [Q&A]9 1 1

For the past few years, Boyi Zhou and his Jungle Events team have been toiling away, trying to carve out a vivacious, unfettered space in the Chinese event circuit for electronic dance music. While Zhou, the event brand’s marketing manager, and his team have tried to emulate a lot of the underground dance music culture they were indoctrinated into while studying abroad in LA, there is much about their nook of the EDM continuum that is inherently Chinese.

This month (Dec 8-9), Zhou and the Jungle Events team will return with another installment of what is now the largest dance music festival in all of China, Electric Jungle, projected to attract over 60,000 attendees. The team is combining its Goliath headliners, Skrillex and Martin Garrix, with a sundry of international, nuanced talent, like REZZ, Drezo, TroyBoi, and Illenium–just to name a few.

Like many electronic fests in the US, the Foshan Chuanlord Tourism & Leisure EXPO resort-residing Electric Jungle will be broken off into meticulously curated stages, including a Berlin-nightclub-themed techno stage, a bass stage, which will receive a one-day Monstercat makeover, and of course, a main stage. Zhou says, that while the nature of the festival may be unorthodox, especially within its respective culture, organizers want to preserve authentic Chinese tradition while on their home turf, wielding ancient Chinese monsters as a motif throughout festival grounds.

Also quite like in the US, festival organizers must fiercely delegate with local authorities to gain the privileges necessary for throwing an event of this scale–though, for Zhou and co., this is a much weightier burden. Standing on the precipice of, what is for the Chinese, still such an underground culture, the local government still doesn’t fully fathom Jungle Events and their counterparts’ intentions; though, Zhou ...

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