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* aural cavity located on the sides of the head for insertion of local music scene

Photos and Text by Karin Parmelee

The year was 1995. I had been listening to 1970s love songs in tea shops for five years. There was no Napoli, no Finga's Italian Restaurant, no Frog III. Taichung didn't have bagels or a cup of coffee that cost less than NT$150.

I was one of the lucky ones, I think, because my friends were musicians. I got to listen to jams in my apartment, in the park and at a few venues around Taiwan, but the favorite spot was on the beach in Kenting where we would camp under the trees, look out at the expansive ocean and toss a frisbee on the sand. We would build a fire, share beers with the beach patrol and sing until our eyes got heavy and it was time to sleep. We were having fun, enjoying music, nature and friendship without spending a lot of money.

The year was 1995 when two of these friends, Wade and Jimi, decided to create a party, to expand these homegrown jams into a "festival". Well, they invited all the "original music" bands of Taiwan to come together in Kenting for three days and play music. The list totaled 20 (everybody got two sets). They invited performers. The list was composed of one--Ah-Hwan. They invited people to set up booths. I think there were two, Chud's dahl stall and "FREE ADVICE from Dille". That first weekend in April, 1995, Spring Scream was born.

Every year since, during the first weekend in April, Spring Scream has been in Kenting, each year growing and evolving into what it is now--a festival that brings together bands, performers, friends, artists, crafters, dancers, skaters, kite flyers, vendors (around 100 last year), writers, poets and frisbee throwers from around the island and the world. The list last year totaled 120 bands. Not necessarily famous bands, although some of the "now famous" got their start at Spring Scream. I think of Scrap Metal, of Sticky Rice, of L.T.K., of Back Quarter, of Clippers. The list goes on and on.

Now, people look forward to Spring Scream as a place to try out new stuff. Shows are not just about music, but the whole performance. Costumes, dancers, entrances, exits, guest performances. Anything (almost) at any time is possible at Spring Scream.

This year, Spring Scream, Year of the Horse, will be held April 5,6,7,8. For all the particulars (location, ticket prices, participation) check out the website www.springscream.com.


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