Chinese young generation are investing more time and money on live performances. IC/TUCHONG
When French musical Mozart-L’opera Rock toured nine Chinese cities in the last two years, it drew a big crowd of fans, including Chen Yike, a 28-year-old resident of Hangzhou.
“It was the first French musical that I had ever [seen],” Chen said. She was so captivated by the show that she saw the production two more times.
Chen is one of many young Chinese who are increasingly fueling the country’s performing arts market. More and more young people are investing time and money in live performances, such as concerts and plays.
According to a report released by the Lighthouse Research Institute and ticketing firm Damai on March 25, young Chinese accounted for a record 55 percent of consumers of performing arts ticket sales in 2019 and 72 percent of concert attendees were people born after 1990.
Xiaomi, a 25-year-old girl from Chongqing became a loyal fan of singer Hua Chenyu after she saw his concert at the National Stadium in Beijing in 2018. Last year, she and three of her friends even traveled to Hainan province to see one of his concerts.
“It has now become a way of life for young people to spend money on performances by their idols,” Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University, told China Daily.
Apart from young audiences, Chinese young performers are also doing increasingly well in the domestic market and show a great potential for indigenous culture to build a stronghold.
For example, the 19-year-old Chinese singer-actor Jackson Yee featured as a coach on the reality show Street Dance of China. With more than 80 million followers on his Sina Weibo platform, Yee’s participation helped attract audiences to an otherwise less known art.
On the iQiYi’s The Big Band, many young bands got the opportunity to show their music, and some have become quite popular. As a result, music that would have remained underground is now in the spotlight. “Many young bands on the The Big Band inspire me to learn more about their stories and indie music,” Yang Zixu, a fan of The Big Band, wrote on the Chinese Q&A platform Zhihu.
Thanks to the joint effort of young audiences and performers, there’s “a driving force for Chinese cultural and creative industries” and it also “indicates China has entered a higher stage of development with better economic and social foundations,” according to China Daily.