RAS Art Focus Group

ArtCN Gallery

The Structure and Processes of China’s Popular Music Festival Ecosystem

Speaker: Dr. Titus Levi

RAS Art Focus is pleased to offer a newly curated series of talks and events under the theme “Creative Ensemble” where alternative and non-traditional arts (including music festivals, street performances and design) is expanding and impacting perspectives of art in China.

Speaker: Dr. Titus Levi, Associate Professor Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Before the Covid-19 outbreak hit China in late 2019, the number of popular music festivals experienced ongoing, if fitful, growth. Sixth Tone reported that 269 popular music festivals took place throughout China in 2017. This number represents a 33.8% increase from the 2016 total according to China Daily. Shanghai stands out as a hub of festival activity. However, the industry remains turbulent. Small Antlers, a think tank, claims that 80% of festivals lose money. Then, in 2020, the bottom fell out of the industry, with all spring and summer festivals being canceled. The Nanxijiang Donghai Music Festival 2020 in Ningbo will be the first festival to take place this year. In some sense, the producers and promoters look at this as a test case for rebuilding after the collapse produced by the Covid pandemic. This talk will flesh out this rise and fall, as well as the prospects of China’s music festivals for moving forward.

About the speaker:

Dr. Titus Levi received a Ph.D. in economics (UC Irvine) with a focus on the radio industry, media, and policy. His work experience includes extensive involvement in music, as an events producer and promoter with the California Outside Music Association and the Los Angeles Festival, a radio program producer and host with KUSC-FM and KPFK-FM, a writer for Downbeat, LA Weekly, Option (contributing editor), and Keyboard magazine (“Discoveries” new talent column). He has also served as a consultant for Interep, The City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, The Durfee Foundation and The Center for Creative Innovation, among others.

Convener: Julie Chun, Art Historian and Critic

RSVP: artgroup@royalasiaticsociety.org.cn