Next Friday, May 15, Beijing City International School (BCIS) will host its annual Rockfest with the 2015 show set to showcase a range of talented bands from various international schools in Beijing. The event promises to unite bands of all genres in a lively and entertaining performance for all. All proceeds from Rockfest 2015 will go towards BCIS’s in-school charity, Help a Child Smile, which helps fund surgeries for orphans with cleft palates and lips. Notably, Rockfest is a student-led event. We spoke with this year’s student organizer 17-year-old Halim Park about putting on Rockfest 2015.
Tell us more about the festival.
BCIS first rock festivals in 2011 and 2012 were called “Rock in da Plaza,” and were managed by BCIS’ Student Council. I came to BCIS in 2012 and have been involved in rock bands since. Last year, my previous band’s leader hosted this event with the name “Rockfest 2014.” As a current leader of my band, August 35, I had the idea of hosting Rockfest 2015 to keep the rock festival as a school tradition. More importantly, hosting a music festival was one of my dreams. This is my first time to organize this event, and I really hope it turns out to be an amazing concert.
What were your responsibilities as a student organizer?
As [both]student organizer and as leader of my band, there was a lot of work for me to organize. I am responsible for contacting other school bands, borrowing equipment in school, promoting in as many ways as possible (WeChat, posters, magazine, website), selling tickets in school, and looking for sponsors in and out of the school. As my band leader, I am also responsible for rehearsing and putting songs together for the performance.
How did you divide the work among other students?
We had a group of five students as the main leaders of this event: Celine Lim, Yulin Chen, Cheryl Zhang, Matt Kim, and me. Celine helped with designing posters and coming up with awesome descriptions to promote the event. Yulin will be in charge of the LED screen and recording and Cheryl will be in charge of light. Since Cheryl is an IB drama student, she knows a lot about lighting, equipment, and how they work on stage. Matt Kim is the bassist of my band and he has been helping me contact other bands personally. Since we had to do all this while keeping up with our IB coursework, it has been quite challenging.
What role did teachers play in helping organize Rockfest 2015?
Mr.Hutchinson, BCIS’ secondary school principal, approved Rockfest and helped us contact others to manage equipment as well as food-selling vendors. Ms. Hopping, the music teacher at BCIS, mainly helped us come up with ideas for the event and helped me print posters. Since she knows a lot about stage set up, she will also help with setting up the equipment. Most importantly, BCIS’s marketing department, including Mr. Longrigg and Ms.Zhang, helped us to promote Rockfest in and out of school, to find sponsors, and gave us a lot of advice on how to promote an event.
Can you tell us more about some of the bands that will play at Rockfest?
[As of now], there are around eight bands from five different international schools in Beijing including Beijing World Youth Academy (BWYA), Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) and The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China (Renmin Dazhong RDFZ). Various genres will be played ranging from acoustic, funk fusion, to rock and metal. There will also be original compositions and our own arrangements of existing songs. Since I do not know every single band and their songs personally, I really look forward to their performances.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Currently, we have BCIS’ Parent Teacher Association and Aramark (BCIS’ food supplier) confirmed to sell food at the event. The PTA will provide snacks and drinks while Aramark will sell hotdogs, pizza, and so on.
See below for event details:
What: BCISRockfest 2015
Where: Sunken Plaza at BCIS’ main campus. 77 Baiziwan Nan Er Lu
When: Friday, May 15 from 5pm-8.30pm
Price: RMB 20 per person or purchase tickets online here
ID required: Students attending will be asked to provide their full name, school’s name, grade, and will be asked to present their student ID. Non-BCIS community are to bring a form of ID for entrance to the campus.
Photo: FMWRC (flickr)