Beijing’s government is cracking down on music festivals
It appears Beijing event promoters are still facing the repercussions of the Shanghai New Years Eve stampede tragedy that sparked governments officials to heavily regulate the city’s live entertainment industry.
Back on the eve of 2015, 36 Shanghai patrons were killed in a stampede accident. Since then, authorities in Beijing have begun to crack down on music festivals and other events to prevent similar situations. The Strawberry Festival, Beijing’s largest outdoor event, was recently declined its permits for the upcoming year for the first time since its commencement six years ago. Meanwhile, other Beijing-based festivals such as MIDI and INTRO have relocated their festivals outside of the city’s confines to avoid any backlash from the government.
In an interview with Vice News, Dr. Willy Lam, professor of China studies at Akita International University in Japan and the adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, explained the root of the problem: “Officials are paranoid about running foul of President Xi and other powerful figures so they don’t take any chances there.”
With the government’s highest authorities in their backyard, Beijing’s police and other officials do not want to risk losing their jobs and are thus taking all preventative measures to stop something like the Shanghai stampeding from occurring again.
Throughout all of this, festival promoters seem split at the current moment as to the future of Beijing’s live events. Some remain hopeful that the authorities’ apprehension will dissolve as time goes on, while others believe that government will continue to increasing regulation of live events to keep the heat off them and keep Chinese culture safeguarded from Western influence.
Via: Vice News
Photo Credit: Yan Min