Spring Scream is a music concert event started in Kenting, Taiwan 20 years ago by some foreigners and it is now used as an excuse to travel down South and get drunk, do drugs, and dance on the beach and at foam parties. The small beach roads get clogged with sunglasses stands, cocktail carts, and multiple alcohol companies promoting their brand by having Taiwanese girls dance and give out free shots and drinks. Durex even had a whole stage with some kind of dance performance to promote the use of condoms. Indeed, Spring Scream is a music event, but I’m not sure that many people go. There is far too much sun, sand, and sin to keep them busy.
Our campground was full to its brim with Taiwanese famlies, couples, our group of rowdy, drunken male expat teachers, and a massive group of West Africans who revved their scooters all day and night, like they were Hell’s Angels or more realistically, the bad boy gang from Grease. One of them who was completely drunk out of his head revved his scooter engine right into our tent, burning a hole above my head. In anger, I asked Kasey why these guys were always riding their scooters in and out of camp. Where the hell did they need to be? He reasonably guessed that they were attending the concert. Oh yeah….Spring Scream…
The scooter gang was gone and we were on our way to a party called “Free the Beach” which sounds very Woodstock, like we were going to wrench the beach out of the hands of “The Man” but really, it was just people dancing on a beach outside a hotel to a shitty DJ (I call him shitty because he played the Frozen song. That is not okay.) Getting into the party was free but drinks were three times the regular price. We got the brilliant yet simple idea to go to 7/11, buy our own beers, and sneak onto the beach a back way. This was the best choice, as it was a beautiful night next to the ocean with the pumping music and neon flashing lights behind us. Our Woodstock moment ended soon enough when the security guards told us we weren’t allowed next to the ocean.
Free the Beach, sure….. more like Imprison the Beach.
Our campground was hosting a reggae party that night, where they would play reggae at the start and then switch it to rap music or Bruno Mars as trickery. Someone had a Bob Marley flag at one point though so it was hellllla rasta. I met a little white dog, who I fell in love with and named Snow. I sang him a song about how we would live in a cabin together and yes, I was not sober.
That next morning, I felt like a absolute piece of shit. Then I went to the campground bathrooms and saw far too much literal shit. Yet, the boys outside who hadn’t stopped drinking all night looked fresh as daisies. The Costco sized vodka was looking low and I didn’t need to guess who had been chugging that. There were only two girls in our group, me and Fanny, and she had been too sick to drink anything and I have about the same tolerance for alcohol as an Asian at this point in my life so it’s fair to say the boys did most/all of the consumption. It wasn’t Hunter S. Thompson wild, but they definitely had themselves a good time. My favorite thing they did was when they stole a massive, inflatable, green Taiwan Beer ball that was the size of a one person tent. I know this because they hid it in one guy’s tent as a joke. It looked so comfy to jump on but it was impossible to stay on it. It would roll you off and smash you on the ground like an idiot. Needless to say, we all took turns getting thrown off of the huge Taiwan beer toy and it now resides in the boys living room here in Hsinchu. Just waiting for more drunk people to try and take it on.
Spring Scream or more accurately, the party down in Kenting during the April three day weekend, is not exactly my kind of party. It’s messy, vapid, and a haven for those with yellow fever. I didn’t sleep much, a shower consisted of throwing cold water on myself in a tin shack, and the bathroom looked like demons had an orgy in it. It’s a trashy weekend, but I would do it all again because, thank god, it’s only once a year and lying on the beach drinking Kirkland tequila with good friends, talking about if Abraham Lincoln came to the future and if Kasey and I would eat each other if we were lost in the woods and starving, while watching the purple, pink, orange, and golden sun set into the turquoise ocean was perfect.
Perhaps next year I’ll even go see the bands play at Spring Scream. But, probably not.