In this episode of Sixth Tone’s podcast, reporter Yin Yijun explains what goes into putting on a music festival in China.
It’s not easy: As well as the usual funding and logistics issues, organizers wrestle with China-specific challenges. They must co-operate with government culture bureaus who require full set lists, and forbid swearing on stage as well as other antics deemed unsavory. In some cases, international headliners have had their visas or performance permits canceled at the last minute.
Nonetheless, since the start of the millennium, the festival circuit has grown from a handful of efforts from diehard music buffs in Beijing and Shanghai to more than 250 events all over the country. Where rock once ruled, now electronic dance music and hip-hop are gaining ground, and many Chinese festivalgoers are drawn to the scene as much for the vibes as for the tunes.
Listen to our podcast to hear the stories behind the story, “Summers of Love, Rock ’n’ Roll, and Rules.”
Episode 8 - Music Festivals
Hosts: Qian Jinghua and Kevin Schoenmakers; guest: Yin Yijun; producer: Zhang Ru.
(Header image: Audience members at Strawberry Music Festival in Chengdu, Sichuan province, July 13, 2015. VCG)