UN at Midi Music Festival: Storms, Spectacle, and Spreading the Word on Green

May 4, 2014

2014 marks the UN’s first-ever collaboration with Midi Music Festival, China’s largest rock and modern music event.

The three-day Midi Music Festival in Beijing wrapped up this weekend amidst strong winds and sporadic thunderstorms – but the bad weather did not once dampen the spirits of over 70,000 fans and hundreds of volunteers who passionately cheered on their favourite bands through the storm. Beijing’s Kuangbiao Paradise hosted more than 70 bands, including headliners Miserable Faith and Escape Plan from China and pop legend Suede from the UK, among many others.  

The dedicated UN Stage, also Midi’s main stage, showcased a variety of musical performances and strong international colour, with bands from China, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Canada, and Morocco braving the freezing weather to ensure an unforgettable musical experience for fans.

In between performances, festival-goers also enjoyed Millennium Development Goals-themed ball games provided in the UN tent, which involved ‘sounding the alarm’ on global threats to human health and the environment. Through these games, interactions with UN staff, and other simple exercises on public awareness, thousands of Midi participants were able to receive a better understanding of the MDGs and the UN's efforts in delivering these goals. Afterwards, many lent a hand (and their voices) to the Sing For Green campaign, helping to spread the word on forging a cleaner, greener future for the world.  

On the second night, prior to popular indie band Miserable Faith’s much-anticipated performance, UNDP Deputy Country Director Mr. Patrick Haverman made a surprise appearance on the UN Stage. He recognized Miserable Faith’s contribution as Online Creative Champion to the Sing for Green campaign and presented the band a certificate on behalf of the UN.

 On the spirit of Midi Music Festival, UNDP Deputy Country Director Patrick Haverman remarked, “Music brings us together, and only when we work together can we make the world a better place.”

Music was not the only source of inspiration for a greener world at Midi. A new animated Public Service Announcement on Green Consumption, produced by UNDP and supported by the China Women’s Development Foundation and Hong Kong Federation of Women, premiered at Midi in Shanghai and touched the hearts of youth and adults alike. Looped every so often on massive LED screens, every participant caught at least a glimpse of the PSA between performances. Positive comments from festival-goers confirmed the video as a crowd-favourite. The simple graphic style and clear message conveyed the importance of protecting the earth as a collective effort. Much like music, love for the planet and well-being of future generations is a powerful force which unites many.

The UN also participated in the Midi Music Festival in Shanghai, held from 25 to 27 April and attended by over 40,000 festival-goers.

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