Tertiary Markets Growing

Play Rock Music Festival will take place Aug. 23-25 at the Three Ruins Park in Hefei, the capital of China’s Anhui Province in the eastern part of the country. 

Media company MusicDish*China will be the festival’s major sponsor. Though the event is far from Beijing and Shanghai, it has become the third-largest music festival in China after only three years of existence.

Eric de Fontenay, the owner of MusicDish, recently told China Daily he believes that “second- and third-tier cities” will be “the new horizon for growth in China’s music festival industry.”

This year’s festival features 25 acts, all Chinese, on three stages, and will include a showcase for auditioning new bands.

Fontenay, who is based in New York, says that Chinese festivalgoers are different in that they tend to go for the festival experience rather than just the music.

“I know a lot of people who have been to the Midi festival [China’s largest], but claim to not like rock,” he says. One reason is that rock, per se, is not readily available on TV or radio in China, so the only way music fans can access it is through the Internet or at festivals. Rock is still more or less “underground” in China, in his opinion, which is why regional festivals are going to be more important to homegrown artists. Beijing and Shanghai are virtually saturated with festivals.