It’s been quite a dire time for live music in China recently. September // October // November 2012 plays host to a once-every-12-years transfer of power within the PRC’s ruling party, and rather like the Olympics in 2008 and the Expo in 2010, the powers that be are very cautious about things going wrong during this time. Beijing particularly is looking rather sparse with none of the usual festivals taking place.
There is a rather large exception to that particular rule. It’s been 2.5 years since we started talking about AEG as venue owners (the Wukesong problem and subsequent Mercedes Benz Arena triumph) and about 18 months since they announced that they were serious about the touring side of their business when they took on ex China West, ex Ticketmaster executive and millenial man Adam Wilkes.
As with any gestating business, it takes time to get into a stride. After a handful of shows in 2011 – present day (Akon, Usher, the NBA game in October last year), they have recently announced a slew of massive headlining shows: the return of Maroon 5, the first shows with Elton John, a 5 city Asian tour with Jennifer Lopez and the return of the NBA China games in Beijing and Shanghai.
M5 and Sir Elton are onsale already, a major forward step in terms of planning (it is almost unheard of for a major show in China to be onsale over 3 months before it actually happens). The Mercedes Benz Arena is also working pretty hard these day with a host of regional and local artists concerts also slated for the coming weeks: Chris Lee, Eason Chen and Jam Hsiao among them. You can check out the tastefully designed advert here: