△ On December 8, the folk music label Ma You Ye will welcome its commemorative concert of 6th birthday
Among the flourishing music festivals nowadays, an increasing number of official background ones are seeking for new breakthroughs basing on their characteristics. Changes have taken place no matter on the content or the forms.
First of all, in terms of content, the 4-year-old Silk Road International Arts Festival has presented specific folk music characteristics of various countries and regions along the Silk Road from a localized perspective, and dug in-depth on the enrichment of music forms; The 15-year-old “Beijing Modern Music Festival” also invited the Israeli SOL Dance Company and the Beijing 9 Dance for the contemporary dance “Gong·Sheng” (Sharing·Living) cooperatively, to explore more on content innovation.
As for the activity forms, the Silk Road International Arts Festival introduced a variety of forums like Chang’an Forum, High-level International Cultural Forum of Han and Tang Dynasties and Communication Forum of Chinese and Kazakhstan Writers, under the consideration of content balance. Additionally the festival has spared no effort on promoting the popularization and cultivation of practical arts, and launched training programs and thematic activities about sinologists, comic and animation, games, modern arts, international children’s drama and Chang’an poetry.
Thus indicates simple music shows cannot meet the diversified needs and many official or semi-official music festivals are moving toward the comprehensive art & life festivals in order to get closer to the market and young people.
On November 22, the 2017 Beijing International Pop Music Week made a launch conference and announced 15 music-related activities of exhibitions, lectures and concerts from December 2. The confirmed venues were the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube), China Film Archive, Sanlitun Village, Beijing Exhibition Theater and Qing Lan theater.
In addition, this year it has introduced 2 new in-depth partners: the veteran independent music label Modern Sky and Beijing Music Radio 97.4. According to our confirmation, unlike the previous artist-only cooperation, Modern Sky also participated in the investment on the theater performance this time.
At the same time, it has become the 2017 annual grant project of Beijing Culture and Arts Fund, which was established by Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Beijing Municipal Bureau of Finance. Starting from public welfare, the fund has supported key projects covering 3 fields, stage art creation, cultural communication promotion and art talent cultivation.
As highlighted in the first wave of promotion of Beijing International Pop Music Week, the folk music brand Ma You Ye‘s 6th anniversary performance (members include Song Dongye, Ma Di, Yao Shisan, Liu Dongming and other independent musicians) and folk rock& roll band Low Wormwood ’s 15th anniversary concert will be included in the series of activities. In addition, the Music Week has cooperated with Beijing Youth Development Foundation on youth music education.
In fact, it is the third year of the Beijing International Pop Music Week. The first one in 2015 was jointly initiated by China Pop Musicians Association, Beijing Chicpia International Culture Development Co., Ltd. and Chia Tai International Music Production Center in 2015. We summarized the information of the three years:
Obviously, this year Beijing International Pop Music Week showed a more diversified trend on performing forms.
In 2015, the Week only contained one single artist special stage and non-surprising lineup and propagation; By 2016, through combining the artists in two by two, the organizers set up more abundant “Red unit”, “Green Unit” and “Blue Unit” to improve the concerts. However in this year, it jumped out from the pure concept of music festival to insert quite a few new points such as exhibitions and lectures, as well as the movie themed concerts into the existing music shows.
In terms of content arrangement, a big change this time is to pay more attention onto indie-music. “Theater shows focused on indie music,” wrote the official press release. From the “New Pants” in the first Music Week in 2015 to A Si, Shuang Zi & Ci and “Catcher in the Rye” in 2016, and the first wave of line-ups in this year, more and more independent musicians are participating in the Music Week.
“Along with the continuous development of China’s cultural industry, more and more high-quality music content needs more channels and windows to speak out, and the Music Week will spread throughout the country while rooting in Beijing.” At the press conference when talking about the future development of Beijing International Pop Music Week, Jiang Tao, the secretary general of it and the managing director of Chia Tai International Music Production Center, said he would never reject a nationwide layout.
Music Week focused on indie music, which related to the continuous improving music market.
No matter the “Stone Project” launched by Netease Cloud Music in last November, the 2nd Season of “Light Seeking Plan” (the Undiscovered) by Xiami Music in this May, or “Tencent Musician Program” by Tencent Music this July, major platforms have introduced their ways to support independent musicians.
Furthermore, more and more independent music labels have obtained financing, including Cao Tai Music, which announced a tens-of-millions strategic investments from China Media Capital this September and Joy Culture (Xin Xi Culture), which got tens-of-millions-Yuan A-round financing from Hongtai Fund. An increasing number of independent musicians such as Zhao Lei, Song Dongye, Chen Li and Xie Chunhua have jumped upon the public, which has brought new ideas for the performance organizers.
To some certain extent, these have presented the new demand of the general public for multicultural entertainment.
△ On November 18, Zhao Lei made a personal concert in Beijing Workers’ Stadium
Of course, over 3 years there have been some immutable parts of the Beijing International Pop Music Week, such as the theater performances. Although there are some disagreements that theater seems not suitable for rock & roll and some other types of music, it cannot be denied that theater has largely met the needs of the small and mid-sized performance market and more and more musicians are willing to take the theater as the first choice.
Some external factors of the domestic performance market matter as well. On the one hand, the big IPs which can carry on a concert of more than 10,000 audiences are countable, such as top stars like Jay Chou, Faye Wong, Eason Chan, Wang Feng and Mayday. Such great box office results might be not easy for the growing-up artists; On the other hand, more and more viewers at this stage are willing to pay for their favorite musicians and live performances, which may surge the demand on the performing market.
Similarly, in recent years, increasing organizers have shot onto the small and medium-sized performance market. For example, in this June Domi Music launched its first performance brand Live 4 LIVE screaming live focusing on professional theater performances for youngsters by running the content differentiation strategy.
Whether to change or not, the young Beijing International Pop Music Week aims at involving youngsters to the maximum extent in the new market environment. The transformation of the official background music festivals represented by it might just start.
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