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10,000 people attend arena show in Shanghai

Chinese post-punk band Re-Tros made history on Saturday 22 May with the biggest rock show in China since the beginning of 2020.

The sold-out concert, promoted by Live Nation, saw Re-Tros (Rebuilding the Rights of Statues) performing to 10,000 people at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. The production centred on a unique triangular stage that reflected the band’s logo, with the two-hour show also divided into three parts or ‘chapters’.

The band, who formed during the Chinese indie-rock renaissance of the mid-2000s, played some of their biggest hits, including ‘Momentarily Out of Mind’, ‘Pigs in the River’, ‘Billy Cannot Stop’ and ‘My Great Location’, closing with ‘Sounds for Celebration’.

“The show tonight was just a beginning for … all of us who are here for the return to live”

Edward Liu, managing director of Live Nation China, says: “Like the closing song itself, the show was a momentous celebration of sound, and there is no greater joy than that of live music and seeing fans connect with their favourite artists.

“It’s been four years since the last time we saw Re-Tros on stage for a headline show and tonight was and unprecedented, ingenious and a spectacular display of Chinese rock music that will go down in history. The show tonight was just a beginning for Re-Tros and all of us who are here for the return to live.”

As of 31 May, China – where Covid-19 originated – had just 14 new cases of the coronavirus.


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Ex-Alibaba Music exec appointed Live Nation China chair

Live Nation China has appointed Song Ke, formerly head of Alibaba Group’s music streaming service, Alibaba Music, as chairman.

Based in Beijing, Song (pictured) will lead Live Nation’s overall business in China, with a focus on domestic artist touring, artist management and venues. Live Nation China managing director Edward Lui, based in Shanghai, will continue to oversee the company’s international concerts business.

Song Ke, a 20-year veteran of the Chinese music industry, most recently served as chairman of Alibaba Music, a division of world-leading ecommerce giant Alibaba Group (which is also active in event ticketing, booking and artist management). He founded Rye Music, one of China’s biggest record labels, in the late ’90s, and then, after a spell at Warner Music China, established Taiha Rye Music in 2004, where he worked with some of the biggest names in C-pop.

He is also the current chairman of the China Music Industry Committee (CMIC), which organises the annual CMIC Awards.

“Song Ke’s vast experience in the Chinese music industry will now help propel our business forward”

Alan Ridgeway, chairman of Live Nation Asia Pacific, comments: “We have made great inroads into China over the last few years by building up our international touring volumes, especially at the club and theatre level, and introducing both EDC and Creamfields festivals to multiple cities across China. Song Ke’s vast experience in the Chinese music industry will now help propel our business forward into the domestic artist touring business and other growth areas.”

“China is a rapidly growing live entertainment market, and Live Nation with its expertise and international knowhow is already contributing to the country’s live music ecosystem,” adds Song. “I look forward to helping Live Nation strengthen its core business and expand into new areas and opportunities.”

Recent Live Nation China shows include Troye Sivan, Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, OneRepublic, Tom Odell, Chris Botti and Kodaline, with upcoming dates including Kacey Musgraves, Jason Mraz and Lany.


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