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(International) Promoters

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For a more complete and detailed overview, please download the entire chapter in PDF below

 

Chinese Artists Abroad

In recent years more Chinese artists and bands have been performing in the West. This is a positive development. However, many of these performances are either one-off shows at China festivals or are joint tours with befriended bands that later tour China in return. Nevertheless, a few companies in the West have a more coherent and long-term record of promoting Chinese music abroad.

  • China Music Dish is run by Eric de Fontenay and based in America. China Music Dish selected the Taiwanese band Mayday at Midem 2012.
  • Earth Beat is based in Holland. Although the company doesn’t specialize in Chinese bands per se, it has been very successful as the international promoter of Hanggai and over the years has built up a knowledge of the Chinese band scene, partly in collaboration with SX.
  • SX Music Communications is a new multimedia company that represents a number of Chinese artists in China, such as Hanggai. They also organize Sound of the Xity, a festival and forum where foreign festival organizers select Chinese bands.
  • The Chinese record company Maybe Mars promotes its indie artists in the USA, for instance at the festival South by South West.
  • Splatter helps overseas advertisement agencies find singers and bands to endorse their products. It is related to Split Works (see below).
  • After living, performing and promoting rock music in China for several years, Johnathan W Campbell moved back to Canada, wrote down his experiences in the book Red Rock and continues to promote Chinese music.

 

Western Artists in China

In recent years more Western artists and bands have been performing in China. This is a positive development.

  • Local branches of international record companies are often directly involved in promoting Western artists in China, including organizing concerts.
  • Festivals such as Modern Sky/Strawberry, Zebra and West Lake directly approach foreign bands, but usually are not involved in organizing tours.

Given the importance of personal relations (sometimes mystified with the Chinese word guanxi) and the frequency of last minute changes, it is wise to have someone on the ground if you want to organize a tour in China. That said, you should know that you have many options. Here is a very incomplete list (please feel free to contact me for additions).

  • Almost all Chinese record companies and larger music venues can help set up small tours, and will sometimes propose promotional strategies, including bringing out a record for the Chinese market.
  • Logistix. In the 1990s, Udo Hoffman started organizing concerts of Western jazz bands in Beijing. Since then he has been organizing events, in more recent years mainly in collaboration with the German government. He also helped Chinese bands perform in Berlin in 1993.
  • Wu Promotions specializes in classical music and jazz.
  • SX Music Communications (see above).
  • Split Works organizes concerts and a festival (Black Rabbit) with mainly foreign artists in China. It is related to Splatter (see above).
  • Yang Yu of the website Rock in China has a long track record of promoting Western music in China.

 

 

For a more complete and detailed overview, please download the entire chapter in PDF below