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Eat, drink and be merry at Zhangbei

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

08:21, July 20, 2012

Camp grounds are available for visitors to the InMusic Festival in Zhangbei. Provided to China Daily

Zhangbei, a county in Hebei province, is one of the best getaways during summer, offering cool weather and refreshing air. It is also one of the most accessible destinations from Beijing - only three hours' drive away.

The county has a lot to offer - from vast grassland to exotic ethnic Mongolian culture and a variety of outdoor activities. Plus, it will host InMusic Festival, one of the country's largest outdoor music events, from July 27 to 29.

"The grassland and local traditions make InMusic Festival stand out among other outdoor music festivals in China. The festival also promotes tourism in Zhangbei," says Li Hongjie, the festival's chief planner.

Like many outdoor music festivals in the country, InMusic has invited established rock musicians including Tang Dynasty, Cui Jian and Wang Feng to perform their hits.

As Zhangbei is located near Inner Mongolian autonomous region, Mongolian folk musicians and dancers will also perform at the festival, adding exoticism and variety to the outdoor music fiesta.

Folk artists, musicians and dancers from Tibet autonomous region will also join in the carnival.

Apart from local performers, international bands will share the three stages of the music festival. And for the very first time, British group, Spiritualized, will entertain their fans in China.

According to Li, many InMusic performers have asked to stay with local families rather than at five-star hotels.

"They want to be as close as possible to the grassland, mountains and nature," Li says.

One of the most popular grasslands, Bashang grassland, has long been known as one of the ideal sites to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located 240 km north of Beijing, it covers 350 sq km of Hebei province. Vast lakes, sunrises and sunsets over the grasslands provide refreshing views for city dwellers who are tired of urban chaos.

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