In the past couple of years, music festivals, Livehouses and small-to-medium-sized venues (SMVs) have increased in numbers dramatically in China. The younger generation have grown accustomed to attending live concerts to support their favorite artists, a trend that has helped the growth of indie genres such as folk, hip-hop and electronic music. This change in habits has also attracted higher profile musicians to grace the stages of smaller music festivals.
On the other hand, the traditional concert industry has been steady than ever. Large concerts favor larger IPs whereas smaller acts often have good luck performing at SMVs, with many of the latter slowly “graduating” to headline festivals.
Concerts and live events have always been the focal point of the music industry; the incredibly lucrative business is full of great opportunities and risks. How one can improve the quality of the performance while building a brand with a loyal consumer base has become the next big question to tackle.
To help answer this question, us here at Small Antlers have decided that starting immediately, we will provide monthly roundups of data from major ticketing platforms to help better monitor the Chinese concert industry.
According to our statistics, in January of 2018, there were a total of 966 live concerts, 869 of which were held at Livehouses and SMVs, and another 86 being larger-scaled concerts (stadiums, arenas etc.), with the remaining 11 being music festivals.
In terms of geographical data, Beijing tops the chart with a whopping 231 shows. Guangdong and Shanghai came in at second and third, with 114 shows and 97 shows respectively. Sichuan and Zhejiang provinces also came in strong in the top five. When looking at individual cities, aside from Beijing and Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hangzhou were among the most show-dense places.
Nearly 60% of the shows took place in the southern half of China, and over 70% were held in major cities. It is worth noting that the number of shows in third-tier, fourth-tier, and fifth-tier cities has been on the rise in recent years. According the data from January, the shows from third-to-fifth-tiers cities combined have leveled with the amount of concerts in second-tier cities.
Looking at musician data, January saw a total of 1673 unique musicians/groups/bands perform all over the country. Among Chinese musicians, folk artist Wang Zhengrong and Zhang Gasong share the top position for most shows played with them each performing 12 times. Rock band Scrotal vice follows closely at third with 11 concerts.
For individual genres, post-rock band Colin Phils takes the crown for most shows for a rock band with 15 concerts. Wang and Zhang (mentioned earlier) wins in the folk category. Five artists share the first place for most hip-hop shows played: Dropscienece, dyocelf, Pro-Z, sosso, and LilAkin. The top dogs in the jazz genre (with 15 shows) are Alicia Olatuja, Ulysses Owens, and JR Quartet. Lastly, Daniel Power from the U.K. reigns supreme in the electronic genre with a total of six concerts.
Rock seemed to be the most popular genre of January with 284 concerts. Folk came in a close second at 243, with pop landing at third with 138. Most rock shows were hosted at Livehouses and smaller venues, meanwhile larger concerts seemed to be dominated by pop.
As far as ticket prices are concerned, Livehouses and SMVs usually charge anywhere from ¥100 to ¥115, while individual concerts averaged at ¥570 and tours even higher at nearly ¥740. The mean ticket price for festivals is ¥200.
Also, there were 4 festivals that charged over ¥300, 16 SMV shows charging over ¥500, and 53 major concerts surpassing ¥700.
In individual acts, Lo Ta-yu’s Shenzhen stop on his tour netted the highest ticket price. Looking at individual genres such as rock, folk, pop, hip-hop, electronic and jazz, the highest priced artists were One Ok Rock, Jin Wenqi, Lo Ta-yu, MC Jin, Steve Aoki and Lisa Ono.
The highest ticket price for tours goes to Lo Ta-yu’s “The Young Man That Left Home” stop in Shenzhen at ¥2560. For individual concerts, Vivian Chow’s “A Long and Lasting Love” concert topped at ¥1470. The “China HipHop Live” show (¥1500) was the highest among Livehouse and SMVs, and “DNA Hip-Hop Festival” won the title of the most expensive festival with a ticket price of ¥623.
Translated by Kane Ge
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