OK, so the last 6 months have gone pretty quickly. One minute, Shanghai was opening the Expo, the next it was gone in a puff of concrete dust and renewed construction. Seriously. The blue skies that have beamed benevolently down on us for much of the last 6 months have pretty much gone immediately, leaving a pall of dust particles thick on the air.
We covered briefly the question of whether Expo was good for China’s nascent music industry or not HERE. We have to be honest though – we didn’t make it to the Expo site one single time (actually, we made it to the Puxi side once during the day for a site visit for an event that never happened, and once to see a band that we knew that were playing the concert hall there, but we never made it East-side to see the pavilions and the huge concrete behemoth.
We have of course spoken to LOTS of people about their experiences. Some people have loved it, some people have made a LOT of money out of it (the amount spent on the event boggles the mind – much of it wasted in our opinion), but for the majority, it has passed by without much real impact. Honestly, aside from new infrastructure, we have hardly noticed its existence. A couple of people we know and admire have reviewed the Expo effect extensively and we would like to point you towards the Telegraph’s Malcolm Moore being interviewed by Adam Minter at Shanghai Scrap HERE (a limp pillow bag of salad) and Andy Best at Kungfuology regretting the regression of the indiginous Shanghai music industry as a result. You can read his Orwellian point of view HERE.
The Expo itself was culturally shallow and showy and came at the cost of further crackdowns on the actual arts scene.
That’s not to say there aren’t positive reviews out there. We just haven’t read them yet. If you have, please point us in that direction.
[awesome image of Haibot courtesy of Shanghaiist's Halloween party]