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Performing arts boom opens new doors for tourists

By CHEN NAN | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-08 07:18
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Tourists dressed in traditional attire visit the Kaihua China Root Art Expo Garden in Quzhou on Jan 25. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Shows rescheduled

Pan Yan, secretary-general of the China Association of Performing Arts, said demand for concerts has risen this year, not only due to the high expectations of fans, but also because many performances were rescheduled after being canceled during the pandemic.

With concerts featuring leading stars quickly selling out, venues in larger cities were booked more than a year ago. For example, one of the biggest performance venues in Beijing, the Wukesong Arena, also known as the Cadillac Arena, has been booked by artists until August.

"People first started traveling in numbers to see concerts in 2017, and from 2021, performances given by pop artists started to be held in smaller cities," Pan said.

One reason artists hold concerts in smaller cities is that local authorities see the far-reaching influence of these stars, even after performances have been staged.

"Many smaller cities are now going a step further in creating an unforgettable experience for fans, such as staging pre-concert events and offering supporting services," Pan said.

Such cities have launched new areas for the performing arts this year — some of which have been transformed from old buildings or industrial complexes to target young fans.

In the first half year of this year, more than 100,000 performances were staged in these new areas, attracting over 8 million people.

With the performing arts market picking up quickly, problems have emerged. For example, due to scalpers, many fans complained of having a bad experience trying to buy tickets as prices soared. Fans also complained about the venues, which despite high ticket prices, did not provide them with a good view of the stage.

For example, fans voicing their disappointment with rock singer-songwriter Wu Bai's concerts on Nov 24 and 25 in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, made headlines.

On Nov 25, one fan posted a complaint online, saying it was difficult to get a view of the stage even though he paid the highest price of 1,280 yuan for a ticket to the VIP area. Other fans also shared their disappointment online about an obstructed view.

On Nov 26, the organizer of the concerts, a cultural company based in Hefei, released a statement, saying it was attempting to compensate fans who had an obstructed view of Wu's concerts.

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