Highlights from 2014

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  • It was decided Cui Jian (崔健) – the artist most often associated with the founding of Rock n’ Roll in China (摇滚乐) – would NOT appear at the Chinese New Year Gala due to “censor concerns”. In the agent’s words, they were unwilling to change the song lyrics. That could have been quite a moment. (Read)
  • John Cappo, President and CEO of AEG China said he wanted to double business. Highlights included The Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and your mum’s favourite, André Rieu. Avenged Sevenfold and Ed Sheeran lined up for 2015. (Read)
  • The acquisition of copyright by tech co’s is a big deal. Wang Hao, Xiami’s chief executive officer was quoted in Beijing at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club as saying:

Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba are signing a lot of exclusive copyright deals; they’re investing heavily, contrary to what we’ve seen in the past. These huge conglomerates can invest in acquiring copyrights and then enforce them.” (Read)


  • VIP tix to the Rolling Stones show went for 8880RMB apiece, and we were outraged. (Read)



  • JUE | Music + Art 2014 returned for a 6th year in Beijing and Shanghai. (Read)

Jue logo


  • Strawberry announced that they would be going pretty big. 10 cities, with headliners including Cut Copy, HiM, Explosions In The Sky and Justice. A bit of a curve ball was also delivered: movie star and singer Maggie Cheung. (Read)


  • We provided an extensive write-up of Sound Of The Xity conference in Beijing. It was here that Beijing label Modern Sky announced their strategic investment in Sound Of The Xity Expo and Festival, which took the form of an equity investment and access to various other company resources. Modern Sky also secured a second round of private investment. (Read)


  • We did our usual review of the May fests – Midi and Strawberry. We’re still convinced there’s room for improvement, and think the increasing competition and inflation of ticketing prices is unsustainable. (Read)
  • Electric Circus fest premiered in Shanghai, sparking the idea for an article on EDM festivals. We drew on Seth Troxler’s argument that “there is a fundamental lack of values nowadays: respect, being positive, and communal unity are being overridden by baser instincts and self-indulgence.” (Read)


  • Notable indie act Pairs played their final show. They shared their thoughts on being in a band in China.

From touring around China, I’ve noticed that people want to try new things but either don’t know how to start, are afraid to try or try once and give up.” (Read)

  • We reviewed Electric Circus Fest Shanghai (year 1) and Great Wall Music Fest.

Once you are inside, you can’t escape. And the need to escape increases proportionally to the amount of sensory garbage that gets thrown at you from festival sponsors, who will leverage every nook and cranny to make sure their ‘message’ gets across.” (Read)

 elec circus

  • The Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai was named China’s most dynamic large-scale performance venue of 2013. Pollstar confirmed the arena hosted 148 performances in front of an aggregate audience of 641,000. The majority of these events involved foreign artists. (Read)


  • David Lowery of Campervan Beethoven / Cracker fame came over and promulgated the benefits of copyright to audiences in Beijing and Shanghai. (Read)


  • We reflected on some predictions we dug up from 2010. Strawberry has become a rite of passage for Chinese kids, indie bands are finding more ways to make money, and we’ve seen some progress in the export of domestic acts. (Read)


  • Xiami published a series of key stats that help us get a better picture of how the recorded music industry in China has developed over the last 5 or so years. Domestic acts are clawing back market share from Taiwan and HK. (Read)
  • First talk detailing the introduction of specialized IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It seems at this point there won’t be any significant implications for the music industry. (Read)


  • We went to China Joy and wrote a piece looking at what the term diaosi (屌丝) conveys. This is a key gaming demographic. (Read)



  • Modern Sky Fest went to New York! This represented a major step in China’s export efforts. (Read)
  • Live sector veteran Steve Sybesma called it a day. (Read)
  • We reported on the maddest October holiday period ever, with no less than 6 festivals hitting Shanghai. This reaffirmed the thoughts we shared back in May: totally unsustainable growth. (Read)


  • Jonathan Alpart of The Sound Stage shared his insights into what it’s like working in a state-controlled media enterprise. Interesting perspective from a foreigner. (Read)


We hit up Guangzhou for the first ever Wooozy Weekender festival! (Read)



  • Livehouse brand MAO announced a long-anticipated expansion, which will see new venues crop up in Beijing, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Kunming. (Read)

Any ideas for what to expect in 2015? Let us know in the comments section below!

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