GET YOUR FREAK ON. The Meaning of Freak at FreakFest

FreakFest Marquee

Freak is an old word – roughly 500 years old – and has gone through a few etymological changes as it has bounced around the English lexicon. The meaning has gone from changing one’s mind suddenly and without a reason; then to dance; to capricious behavior. As the years progressed it took on other meanings such as unusual thing or fancy and then became abnormally developed individual.  In the 1840s we found our first recorded freaks of nature, which included bearded ladies, the shortest, the tallest and the more-est.

The word has since taken on a more modern definition as: a person (or animal) exhibited as a strange deviation from nature;  as a person who has withdrawn from normal, rational behavior and activities to pursue an interest or obsession; and a hippie.

The word Freak eventually made its way to Taiwan, an Island Nation found in the South Pacific Sea –  just a few hours plane ride from Japan…  but we’ll get to that in a moment.

First, a bit about the Taiwan music scene.

Over the decades, there has been quite a Live  Music (and Festival!) Revolution in Taiwan.

Taiwan is now the host of a variety of festivals and gatherings.  These festivals are held at many different venues around the island and not only feature kick-ass bands playing original music, but also the rockers, the rollers, hippies, emo, Rainbow Gatherers, Burning Man Gatherers… and yes the Freaks! All venturing out to find like-minded people.

The events and gatherings found in Taiwan include (or have included) PeaceFest, Spring Scream, May Jam, LUVstock, Jazz Fest, Compass Food Festival, Taichung Rocks, Rainbow Gathering, just recently a Burning Man – and many more. These festivals have made, in their own way, a major impact on the music scene here on our Lovely Island Paradise.

One festival not mentioned – yet carries on the tradition of gatherings and perpetuates the groovy Music& Art Vibe – happens every Chinese New Year.

About eight years ago, a small group of people – freaky people – decided to have a little event on a farm in Kending – Kending being about the coolest place in the southern part of Formosa where one can go to tan and hit half way decent beaches.  They all got their freak on that weekend – called it FreakFest – and had such a good time that they decided to do it again… and again.

For the next several years after its Kending debut, FreakFest was held in Tainan City and has been brightening the vacations of Traveling Chinese New Year Revelers ever since.

This year, 2016 and The Year of the Monkey on the Chinese calendar, FreakFest will be held on the east coast of Taiwan in Taidong.

Taidong – specifically Dulan –  is known for its artsy fartsy artists, its musicians, cool people, aboriginals and beautiful scenery… definitely a place to spend a Chinese New Year and definitely the perfect place for FreakFest to be this year.

FreakFest is an event where being a freak is the norm. It’s where the unusual things, the fancy ones, the abnormally developed individuals, the bearded ladies and bikini wearing men converge. It’s an event you can meet awesome people, find a drum jam, watch some great shows, watch a fire spinner, Dance n Groove to some Freaky DJs and Freakier Bands.

FreakFest will take place in a field overlooking the ocean with Monkey Ass Mountain smiling over the event. The site – located at the end of a coconut grove – is stunning.

Here’s Monkey Ass Mountain:

Monkey Ass Mountain

FreakFest Day One is on Friday and will host international psytrance sensations DJ Dragon and DJ Koala among other awesome talent –  not to be missed!

FreakFest Day Two is on Saturday and will feature some of the most freakiest live bands all day til the wee wee hours.  And what better way to get your freak on than being part of an extended jam session (hosted by the Headliners 大METⒶ4 – AKA DM4 – from Taichung…. this band is the epitome of the crazy, the manic, and the freakiest of freaks!).

Hungry? Thirsty? There will be food and drink stalls serving artisan festival fare and plenty of amazing craft brews.

Don’t miss FreakFest 2016!


For information on tickets, camping and more go to the FB Event site here:

or the TinPan Roadhouse Page here:


Driving ?
Drive along highway 11 to Dulan. Look for The Roadhouse near 7-11 in Dulan, find a place to park, go to The Roadhouse get the direction to the venue.

Public Transportation?
Take the train to Taitung (Taidong) train station, look for Dingtung bus (鼎東客運) near train station. You can take the bus and come straight to Dulan.  Get off the bus at the bus stop after the old Dulan Sugar Factory  (which is near Dulan 7-11) then look for The Roadhouse, ask the Roadhouse Staff for more info.  FreakFest is only a five minute walk from there!



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