Editor’s Note: This is a long one, but (to our knowledge) the first full English-language account of the Xoundforce/Rock Empire dust-up that first hit the Chinese blogs a week ago. Hat tips to RockinChina and Weibo for alerting us to the original blog posts and our intrepid new Radar intern, Patrick Keefe, for doing the research and writing this piece. We welcome your comments!
Words: Patrick Keefe
For hundreds of Chinese heavy metal fans, the cancelling of Dream Theater’s April 25th Beijing performance came as an emotionally devastating blow in what has become yet another mishandling by local organizers. To vent their frustrations, Chinese fans took to Dream Theater’s online message board to vent their anger and sorrow. Begging for the band to pity their Chinese fans with a rescheduling of shows some users posted things such as “Please !!please don’t cancel the Beijing show!!All the fans in China are looking forward to this show!!! they have strong passion on real metal. and it’s nearly a miracle for China to have DT on stage.” Others used this forum to display their irritation with one user positing: “FUCK YOU ALL!you guy look down upon chinese fans!you just add another show in Japan but cancel BeiJing without reasons!Fuck off!China will never welcome you again…..”.
The collective outrage by Chinese fans towards their music idols soon pored over to the concerts’ organizers Xoundforce and Guitar China. In their press release, Dream Theater stated that both Xoundforce and Guitar China were unable to produce visas for the band to enter the country. Since this statement appeared, well known rock promoter Chen Xi (陈曦) (CEO of Mort productions) has come out publically via blog post detailing accounts of ruthless swindling of company funds and gross mismanagement by both Xoundforce and Guitar China. In an attempt to expose the shadiness of these two companies, Chen Xi has also (unbeknownst to him) provided new revelations into the riskiness involved with doing business with uncouth music promoters in China.