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Music festivals strive to strike balance

07-21-2010 09:01 BJT

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How to strike a balance between commercial benefits and artistic standards is a key issue. Musicians are pondering that question now as they take part in an international music festival in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou.

The three-day pop event over the weekend brought together entertainers from Western countries as well as big names in mando pop.

Many famous European bands have descended on the stage including Sinead O'Connor from Ireland, Simple Plan from Canada, Thirteen Senses from the UK, and The Nelson Brothers from the US.

A batch of Asian bands have also come to thrill the audience, including FACT and Ladys X from Japan, CLON from South Korea as well as rock bands from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

The Nelson Brothers from the US
The Nelson Brothers from the US

In recent years, a flurry of music festivals targeted at different audiences were held in China every year. They built a platform for a new generation of singers to get much-needed exposure. For international acts, it provides easy access to break into the Chinese market.

Yuguo Band said, "Music festivals offer opportunities for our new bands to expand their popularity. This is a really good platform that allows musicians to communicate with the audience and learn from other bands. This gives an impetus for our future development."

But for the industry insiders, a successful music festival requires a much higher standard.

Yu Hui, chief coordinator of Suzhou Int'l Music Festival, said, "To stage a successful event, I think you have to accomplish four things. Number one, you must have good quality music. Number two, you must invite good quality artists. Number three, conduct a good marketing campaign, and number four, satisfy your audience."

The organizers are often confronted with a dilemma - whether to cater to popular tastes in order to guarantee financial success, or to stick to individuality and high artistic levels. There's still a long way to go before they figure out that magic formula.

 


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