Despite well-publicized controversies involving foreign artists, the live performance business in China is doing very well, at least according to China Daily.
The online news service cites figures released by the Beijing Trade Association for Performances that indicate a considerable increase in concerts in the capital in the past two years.
Ticket sales rose from 140 million yuan ($22 million) in 2009 to 300 million yuan in 2010, a boost of 114 percent. Not all of these performances were Western artists, but the association has nevertheless dubbed 2011 “The year of Western music in China.”
“With the growing popularity of the Internet, more Chinese are now abreast with the latest music trends and developments,” Wei Ming, general manager of the concert organizer Beijing Gehua Live Nation, told China Daily. “These factors have contributed to the resurgence of the live performance industry in China.”
Wei also said it is still difficult to gain official permission to present foreign performers, citing recent Cranberries concerts.
Usually he can get one month for marketing activities, but had only 20 days for the Cranberries.
This makes it difficult to find sponsors, he said.
In addition, foreign acts don’t always see much merit in making alliances with local brands, focusing more on “direct returns from appearance fees.”
There is no such problem with local performers, however.
The main task for organizers now is to expand the market for international performers to regional markets.
At present they only perform in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.