Festivals ready to explode

Updated: 2014-06-24 07:08

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

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Festivals ready to explode

Stars like actress Maggie Cheung are the biggest draw at outdoor music festivals. Provided to China Daily

Festivals ready to explode
Maggie Cheung flops at music fests
Festivals ready to explode
Strawberry Music Festival bears fruit in summer 
In the eyes of Zhang Fan, Shen Lihui and Song Ke, the three men behind China's major outdoor music festivals, the nation is finally getting a range of opportunities to enjoy live music.

Nearly every weekend, starting this month, music lovers in China, especially those living in second- and third-tier cities, can visit outdoor music festivals with acts from home and abroad.

On June 21, Evergrande Starlight Carnival Music Festival kicked off in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province. In its second year, the music festival is organized by Evergrande Music, a Beijing-based company. It will tour 50 cities, doubling the number since its debut in 2013.

Strawberry Music Festival, which is organized by one of the biggest China indie labels, Modernsky, will be held in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, and then tour 10 cities, including Xiamen in Fujian province, Guangzhou in Guangdong province and Changchun in Jilin province.

Midi Music Festival, China's oldest outdoor music festival, will play in Shanghai and Suzhou in Jiangsu province in early October.

"The market is huge. For the first time, the tickets for an outdoor music festival in China have sold out. We stopped selling tickets a week before the festival," says Shen, the founder of Strawberry Music Festival, which attracted around 240,000 fans in Beijing and Shanghai in May, the largest crowd in the six-year history of the music festival.

One of the biggest reasons was the appearance of award-winning singer-actress Maggie Cheung, who surprised many fans by announcing she was signing a contract with Modernsky earlier this year.

"Big stars, like this year's Maggie Cheung and last year's Travis from the United Kingdom, are always big reason to enjoy a music festival," Shen says. "But the most important thing is that music festivals in China have been accumulating a fan base for more than 10 years. Now it's time to explode."

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