Whenever North Korea has a big announcement to tell the world, they always bring in the lady dressed in pink. Her name is Ri Chun-hee – and if their latest dictator has died or chucked a nuclear bomb into the sea to annoy the Americans, she’s who they turn to.
More recent generations probably know her from the utterly hysterical display she put on when announcing to the people of North Korea that Kim Jong-il had died in 2011. But I suspect even she would struggle to read out some of the nonsense published on the MDL Beast Soundstorm festival website with a straight face.
Such as their claims on their About page, for example. Let’s start with the amusing boast that “We showcase talent, develop content, and host events by supercharging a community of creators, to amplify the unseen”.
Yes, in the eyes of Saudi Arabia, DJs such as Carl Cox, Charlotte De Witte, deadmau5, Nina Kraviz, David Guetta and Tïesto – who are known pretty much worldwide – are “the unseen”. If Saddam Hussein had asked his notorious information minister Comical Ali to relay this to the world’s media, even he would have considered it far-fetched.
They then publish a bizarre list, which includes “we see the world a little differently”, that they “create fresh music, art, and culture from the underground up” and they “pull in the obscure, the unconventional and the surprising”. By which point, Chun-hee had collapsed on the floor, crying with laughter.
Because there’s nothing which screams “pulling in the obscure, the unconventional and the surprising” than doing exactly the same as all of these other generic, McDonald’s style festivals. Indeed, it’s about as surprising as the revelation of what bears do in the woods.
And there’s clearly no better way of demonstrating a commitment to “create fresh music, art, and culture from the underground up” than by booking Carl Cox, who hasn’t been referred to as underground since around 1994. Or by putting Steve Aoki on the bill – a man who throws cakes at people with $95million in the bank. You obviously couldn’t get more underground than that.
And the worst thing about all this? Some poor sod out there genuinely believes every word of it…