Big Name Concerts Back! Overseas Artists Can Return to China

By Alistair Baker-Brian, March 17, 2023

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Yesterday, Thursday, March 16, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China issued a statement regarding performances involving those coming from overseas. 

It said that in order to help boost the performing arts industry and satisfy the needs of the public, culture and tourism departments in every part of China should ensure that procedures for handling and approving applications for performances by those from overseas should return to normal. The new policy is in effect as of this Monday, March 20, 2023. 

Liu Lei – General Manager for Southwest China of MAOLivehouse, a chain of live house venues – told Jiemian News that the announcement means bands and other performers will be able to apply to come to China from abroad. 

“In theory, an application for a performance by a band or individual from overseas can be completed in 20 working days,” said Liu. 

On January 16, 2023, the Ministry issued a statement saying that performers from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan would be allowed to come to the Chinese mainland.

Scheduled concerts in China for 2023 include those by The Vienna Symphony, The Saint Petersburg Philharmonic and The Warsaw Philharmonic Choir, amongst others. 

According to an article published by Music Weekly in May, 2020, the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in China meant that more than 3 million tickets for performances had to be refunded. 

Will more big name overseas performers come to China for shows in 2023? Almost certainly, yes. However, the performing arts industry may still have a long road to recovery back to pre-COVID-19 normalcy.

[Cover image via Weibo/@HYPEBEAST中文版]

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