Two weekends ago, Expo Park (that hotbed of musical and cultural activity) played host to a new pop-heavy music festival, the White Music Festival. Produced by Taiwanese media company Idea Music, the festival boasted a credible lineup of stars including Hebe 田馥甄, Yoga Lin 林宥嘉, Joanna Wang 王若琳, Sammi Cheng 郑秀文 and many others.
Due in part to the pop-idol nature of the artists, the White Music Festival implemented a rather creative two-tiered ticketing system for “fans” and regular attendees, available through the traditional channels (Damai) as well as popular Chinese culture social-networking site Douban. The festival issued 500 fan tickets (粉丝票) at 688 RMB, which included general admission, fan area admission and a festival t-shirt. With a fan ticket, attendees were able to watch the set of their favourite performer from the fans-only area, for the duration of that artist’s set. Like an assembly line, fan ticket holders gathered at the entrance to the cordoned-off area before their idols were set to play. Festival staff ushered them in for the set, and then ushered them out again to make way for the next set of ticketholders. It was guaranteed placement in prime real estate for any ticketholder’s favourite performer. For the rest of the festival, attendees were welcome to enjoy the concerts from the general-admission areas.
For many local music fans, there still exists a vast divide between listening to their favourite artists in the comfort of their own home and braving large, pushy crowds at arena concerts and music festivals. But Chinese fans are also some of the most dedicated and “nao can” (“brain-damaged”) fans of pop idols. Though Radar compatriots Split Works and Wooozy do not usually traffic in Mando- and Cantopop stars, we think that the idea of a special fan ticket, and area for fans is a pretty interesting concept. The overall experience is augmented for all parties involved: fans get to see their favourite stars up close, the performers have the satisfaction of singing to their biggest supporters, and the promoters engender goodwill amongst their audience (and make some extra $$$. A regular presale ticket for the festival was 180 RMB and 250 RMB at the entrance).