How does storytelling vary in different parts of Asia?

That’s actually a part of our theme this year. We try to link the singing, bard tradition from each country to contemporary storytelling. I think the contemporary storytelling, the singer songwriter tradition is more connected to the social issues. Taiwan is a part of Asia but we don’t know what is happening in our neighbor countries. In the 60’s and 70’s there were the student movements in Asia and many folk movements rose from the social and political movement. We didn’t know about that at the time so we are trying to introduce these stories through music now.

People don't often have the will to understand others

How did the audience react to the theme?

I try to make the Migration Music Festival a platform or a tool to fix the gaps in people’s knowledge as there is always a gap in understanding others. We don’t always have the will to do that. The most important role for this kind of a festival is to make people know about other’s stories and give them more understanding.

There are a lot of festivals that concentrate on a specific type of music, be it jazz or classical music. I try not to do that, I always start with a theme. It’s not very common nowadays.

What is the future of independent festivals in Taiwan?

I think it will get more and more difficult as the costs of organizing an event are rising. That’s why it’s important to network with other festivals and establish partnerships. Otherwise it will get more and more difficult as also most of the countries are cutting their culture budgets. I try not to think about the future too much, I just try to find more and more new partners so that we can keep on doing the things we want to do.

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“We try to build a festival that would extend the young artists' careers and make them become better artists.”

Betsy Lan
Taipei Fringe Festival