Live Nation launches Chinese festival first
Live Nation has teamed up with Chinese entertainment company Twenty Eight Group to launch the world’s first multi-city contemporary Chinese music and arts festival.
CCURRENTT will take place in London, Los Angeles and Sydney this October and November to showcase top talent from genres such as C-pop, Chinese hip-hop and Chinese rock, including headliners Jolin Tsai, BEAUZ, Digi Ghetto (Mac Ova Seas, Mula Sakee, Thomeboydontkill), DXX, GALI and The Life Journey.
The festival is the brainchild of Twenty Eight Group and Live Nation Electronic Asia MD Jim Wong, and will stop at London’s OVO Arena Wembley (15 October), Los Angeles’ The Torch (28 October) and Sydney Showground in Olympic Park (26 November).
Wong was previously responsible for bringing Creamfields and international DJs to China, and is stepping up his efforts to drive the expansion of the Chinese music scene internationally.
“CCURRENTT is a chance for Chinese-music fans to immerse themselves in China’s trending music scene abroad”
“CCURRENTT is a chance for Chinese-music fans to immerse themselves in China’s trending music scene abroad in a world-first event spanning both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres,” he says. “As the global leader in live entertainment, no one is better positioned than Live Nation to drive the growth of Asian artists both domestically and on global stages.”
Elsewhere, Live Nation and its Queensland-based joint venture partner Secret Sounds have secured a new partnership with Vodafone to give customers presale access to select live music shows in Australia.
First up, Vodafone customers will get exclusive presale access for tickets to see The Weeknd touring Australia in November 2023, with more local and international superstar artists to be announced. Live Nation and Secret Sounds have recently toured artists including Harry Styles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Gorillaz, The 1975 and Kendrick Lamar.
“It’s a great time for Vodafone to establish a major partnership in music with the demand for concerts and festivals at record levels”
Vodafone customers will also have the chance to win curated live music experiences, such as a backstage pass, “rockstar treatment” or meeting their favourite artists.
“Our research tells us that music is the leading passion point for many Australians,” says Greg Segal, president brand & marketing partnerships ANZ, Live Nation. “Through our partnership, Vodafone will provide unrivalled experiences for its customers by offering them exclusive access to Australia’s most anticipated live acts. It’s a great time for Vodafone to establish a major partnership in music with the demand for concerts and festivals at record levels.”
As part of the new partnership, Vodafone will also support the next generation of Australian musicians as the presenting partner of Ones to Watch, Live Nation’s discovery platform for emerging artists, which has played a role in the careers of Dua Lipa, Halsey, LANY, and LÉON, among others.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Live Nation and bring our customers closer to the music acts they love,” adds Kieren Cooney, group executive, TPG Telecom. “With live events and experiences in huge demand, and fans eager to see their favourite artists more than ever before, we’re offering Vodafone customers first access to tickets and unforgettable experiences with the musicians that they love.”
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Risqué performance sparks Beijing venue crackdown
Beijing’s grassroots music scene is under siege as authorities crack down on its live venues following a performance by controversial, frequently topless poet Lin Ce.
Dusk Dawn Club (DDC), the venue which hosted Lin (whose NFSW art tackles issues around body image and body-shaming), was temporarily shuttered by police and its owner, known only as ’69’, detained. It has since reopened, reports Reuters.
New venue Modernsky Lab is also reportedly under investigation, although it was allowed to remain open.
Those working in China’s live music scene frequently come into conflict with the communist state’s censors, which target references to nudity, sex, drugs and religion in addition to political content
Elsewhere, the MAO Livehouse – which has been forced to close by Beijing’s ever-increasing rents – was ordered to postpone its farewell gigs, while those planning to attend showcase festival and conference Sound of the Xity were refunded the cost of their tickets without explanation, and a number of shows (some planned for DDC) were rescheduled and moved to another club, Tango.
Those working in China’s live music scene frequently come into conflict with the communist state’s censors, which target references to nudity, sex, drugs and religion in addition to political content.
Lamenting the loss of many of Beijing’s venues, Lai Jinrong, a guitarist with heavy metal band Logic Out of Control, tells Reuters: “I think that rock and roll and metal in China began to die before they reached maturity.”