Spring Scream Double Rat 2008 preview
Edit (2008-02-08): The Spring Scream organization just released their 2008 website today, partly finished. You can actually explore the directory listing, as they forgot to put a index.html file...
Spring Scream is a rock, anything-but-Mandopop, music festival in the resort town of Kenting at the south-most tip of Taiwan. Held since 1995, and according to many English-language publications from Taiwan, it is the festival that was held for the longest in consecutive years on the island of Formosa.
Official dates haven't been announced yet, but the festival's official MySpace says that it should be on April 3-6 (the 3rd had a question mark), which is the "Ching Ming" (tomb-sweeping day) long weekend across Greater China. This year is the year of the rat, so Spring Scream will "Double Rat" for its 14th edition. Last year, two Canadian bands were on the list of attendees, Girl + The Machine and Rhythmicru, both from Toronto. In total, there were about 250 bands / artists attending Spring Scream, including the more "general public" Cheer Chen, Faith Yang, Tizzybac and Dessert Chang.
According to some site that I found, tickets last year were in pre-sale as soon as February 18th, and the second sale period had tickets listed at NT1300 (CAD40) for the entire festival, and NT600 (CAD20) for one day, one venue. The location of the festival is the Eluanbi ("some mystical duck nose") Lighthouse.
The hardest so far in preparing to go was accommodation in Kenting. Presuming that this is an isolated town (the closest major city, Kaohsiung, being 2h30 away in bus), it shouldn't be easy to find anything cheap. I called the Kenting Youth Hostel aka Activity Center (infamously linked to this), and they had room now (despite the YH-affiliated website saying they did not). It is NT3500 (CAD100) for a double bed room, which is ok if you share, but prohibitive if you are backpacking alone. A surfing website listed guesthouses for surfers that asked for a little less. I've read somewhere that camping in the Kenting National Park would be possible at a minimal fee...
(Updated map 2008-02-27: Apparently, I had the wrong location... This is a map prepared by Jimi of the Spring Scream festival - see original)