Concrete & Grass 2016

It has been a rollercoaster of excitement and emotion for the Split Works team during the birth of their new music festival, but the wait is finally over.
Working with inspirational artists from across the globe, the good people at Split Works HQ have been a key contributor to the continued rise of China’s music scene. Split Works has launched five music festivals and promoted over 400 tours to 30 Chinese cities, always striving to stay true to a familiar refrain: the music has to be special, every single time. And we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this time!
This diverse, deep pan-Asian line-up is quite unique to the world, let alone China, with bands from India, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and many more on the bill. So even if you go to the festival without knowing a single song by a single band, you can still spend a magical couple of days hanging out, discovering new music and becoming a real fan.
Music is just the beginning when it comes to this festival. There will also be plenty of action beyond the stages. The Garage Zone, with its outsider art and freewheeling installations, will be supported by, the Chinese vendor of Topshop and Topman. There will also be craft cocktails from the dark side, objects of wonder and delight, food, sports, games, ice cream and a few other surprises, we’ve been promised.
The full lineup for Concrete & Grass 2016 has everything from flamboyant J-rock and Cantonese hiphop to big-bass Bollywood and American slacker rock. It’s the best of China and the world, compressed into two remarkable days of music. Here are our top picks from across the weekend.
RMB 230/day or RMB 360/2 days (advance tickets). RMB 300/day or RMB 440/2 days (on the door). RMB 180/day (students). 16 September to 17 September. Shanghai Rugby Football. 2,700 ZhangyangBei Lu, near Wuzhou Dadao. Web:;


The Cribs (UK)
The UK's cult indie-rock godfathers. The patron saints of power pop, writing timeless, roaring songs.
It’s been long established that the Cribs are criminally misunderstood and massively underrated, even despite a huge global fan base and headlining slots at major festivals.
The Cribs arrived on the scene in 2003 with a DIY, never-say-die attitude and they’ve not let up since, literally bleeding for the cause at some of the most chaotic and thrilling gigs of the past decade.
Ten years in, and they’re incapable of making a bad album. Ask a Cribs fan what their best album is and prepare to argue well into the night. From the jangly power pop of Men’s Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever to the full-blown fuzziness of In The Belly of the Brazen Bull.
The crowd will go crazy with infectious joy and euphoria, for new songs and old. Expect Morse code guitar riffs, newwave drumbeats and thick-accented shout-speak blended with some of the most memorable lyrics in indie-punk history.

A$AP Ferg

Bringin’ the swag. Lord of the wordplay. Pope of the ‘hood. Skills, thrills and grills.
Harlem born and raised. It doesn't get much realer than A$AP Ferg.
New York has nurtured the rise of an almost endless list of big players in the rap game (Notorious B.I.G. and Jay Z). Harlem's A$AP Mob only doubleddown on the city's dominance in 2012 when A$AP Rocky's mixtapes garnered widespread critical acclaim. Ferg's own big break came in the same year; his track Work an absolute standout in the Mob's Lord$ Never Worry mixtape. 
Since then, surprising no one, Ferg's rise has been astronomical. His debut solo effort Trap Lord gained universal plaudits, drawing comparisons to legends of the genre. The album propelled Ferg to the top of the rap game, sailing past his contemporaries and A$AP Mob brethren. But he's a family man at heart; he knows his roots and fame won't pull them from under him, this much we learned from his sophomore record. Fame and family were themes that ran throughout - his indifference to the first and absolute dependence on the latter.
Always Strive and Prosper is already a contender for album of the year. It's brutally honest. Deep in both content and production. It's Ferg at the top of his game.

Edison Chen 陈冠希 & 4PK

Iconic, infamous Hong Kong star making a defiant comeback as edgy hip-hop firebrand.
Actor. Musician. Producer. Entrepreneur. Fashion Icon. The multi-faceted, multi-talented Edison Chen is back on track and backed by Hong Kong hip hop royalty.
Signing his first record deal at the age of 20, Edison Chen has spent the succeeding 16 years in the spotlight. Chen’s style and focus evolved from a pretty boy media darling, singing saccharine-drenched ballad pop, to scornful rapper, spitting edgy, defiant hip-hop, over the years. Perhaps as a reflection of his volatile relationship with mainstream media, perhaps as a nod to the Western world he departed as a youngster.
Although born in Vancouver, Canada and speaking English as his mother language, Chen raps and sings effortlessly in both Mandarin and Cantonese.
Edison and 4pk show no signs of letting Chen’s bygone pop sensibilities raise their collective air-brushed, over-styled head in their live show, delivering deep, powerful beats as a foundation for the 4PK MCs to spill blazing hot fire over.
The collective have collaborated on several well-received albums, with Three Corners and Three Corners (II) definitively showcasing the bold direction their music has taken.
Chinese netizens have dubbed 4pk "Wu-Tang Clan meets Drake" and "L'il Wayne meets Eminem", which displays both their wide range of influences and incredibly high standard they've been held to.