China tours seem few and far between for top-tier international artists. However, when their feet do hit the soil in the East, tickets are snatched up as fast as an open seat on the subway and come with a hefty price tag at that. But this year, Beijing is set to host one of the most star-studded events in recent history as China's first-ever Grammy Festival will be held at the Changyang Music Theme Park on April 30. The Recording Academy, the world's leading society of music professionals internationally known for the Grammy Awards, chose Beijing for one of their music-based destinations for natives and world travelers alike with the Grammy Festival, a new touring, world-class live music experience debuting in China.
Together with Bravo Entertainment and China Music Vision Ltd, the Grammy Festival China is expected to be a platform for top talent in the music community, including vocalists, instrumentalists, songwriters and music producers. In an article from the Recording Academy, Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow said, "The Grammy Festival in China will bring together Grammy-nominated and Grammy-winning artists with the extraordinary Chinese culture to provide audiences with a unique, unrivaled live music experience. China continues to expand and grow its role as a force in attracting and engaging more artists onto international stages, and we are excited to be a part of that."
CEO of Bravo Entertainment Steven Fock said in the same article, "We are proud and excited to host the debut of the Grammy Festival China in 2018. It will be a monumental moment gathering Grammy-nominated and Grammy-winning artists during the festival and the production of live performances integrated with Chinese culture in demonstrating an unprecedented high-quality showcase. The Grammy Festival will become a breakthrough for traditional music festivals in Asia, elevating not only the music industry but also in engaging other industries to create a powerful, global intellectual property."
This is a huge step for the Grammy Awards in the East, as 2016 was the first year that the Grammy Awards were live streamed in China. In addition, in January 2017, the Recording Academy announced that it plans to build a Grammy Museum in South China's Sanya, a resort town on the southeastern end of Hainan Island, that will feature approximately 3,700 square meters of exhibit space.
"The opportunity to take the Museum experience internationally is truly a dream come true for me and my staff, and we couldn't be more excited to begin our international expansion in the beautiful city of Sanya, China. We know how passionate the people of China are about American music, and we look forward to bringing its storied history to the country," said Grammy Museum Director Bob Santelli.
With all this music in the air, there is no doubt that the Grammy Festival in China is going to be a hit for locals and foreigners alike.
Meet the artists
Pharrell Williams is an artist that hardly needs an introduction. This singer, songwriter and producer had breakout success producing music for the likes of Jay-Z, Brittany Spears and Usher. You may know Williams for his chart-topper "Happy" that stayed at the No.1 spot for weeks. On March 13, Williams tweeted, "Excited to perform live at the first ever Grammy Festival in Beijing April 30!" With 11 Grammys under his belt, this act will be one for the books.
Grammy award winner Macy Gray will also take the stage. This US R&B and soul singer-songwriter is also a record producer and an actress. Her style is heavily influenced by the legendary Billie Holiday and her signature raspy voice has captured the hearts of audiences around the world. With more than 20 years of musical experience under her belt and six studio albums, the stage is sure to shine when Gray walks out.
Phoenix, an indie pop band from Versailles, France, started as a garage band and made it big! Playing major festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo and iconic venues like Madison Square Gardens, this overnight sensation will have you wondering why you didn't listen to your music nerd friends long ago.
In addition to these names, other bands slated for the event are the US pop rock band One Republic, Canadian singer, songwriter and actress Carly Rae Jepsen, US singer and songwriter Daya as well as other great acts.
The Beijing destination has music lovers and industry insiders jumping for joy as Beijing is often pushed aside for Shanghai due to differences in regulations. However, this event taking place in the capital city is a great beginning for more collaborations and high-cuff performance artists to make their way into China. The iconic Grammy Awards celebrate the very best in creative excellence and are universally considered the music community's highest honor and having the winners and artist nominated for this highly prized award in China is an amazing collaborative step, pushing connection of cultures and voices through music.
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