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Daily Drip

Music Festivals Cancelled in China to Halt Delta Variant Outbreak

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China’s recent spike of Delta variant cases, which began with an outbreak in Nanjing in July, has led to a myriad of concert and music festival cancellations and postponements across the country. That’s right, put the neon face paint and glow sticks away for now because it appears China’s summer music festival season is coming to an early conclusion.

According to a comprehensive list compiled on Chinese search engine Baidu by Qianjiang Evening News, more than 50 performances have been cancelled or postponed as China fights to contain the spread of the Delta variant.

Among the recent postponements is Happy Taihang Valley Music Festival in Changzhi, Shanxi province, which was set to run from August 6-7 and feature performances from the likes of Chinese rock stalwarts Second Hand Rose (Ershou Meigui, 二手玫瑰) and folk metal band Nine Treasures (Jiu Bao, 九宝) from Inner Mongolia.

In response to the festival’s postponement, one netizen lamented missing the chance to see the Chinese band Summer Warz, writing, “The festival is postponed until further notice according to the government order. Tickets will be refunded. Bye Summer Warz, see you at the beach next time.”

The 2021 Yinchuan Lebao Open Mania Music Festival, which was set to rock the capital city of Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region on August 7-8, has also been postponed.

Several other performance events scheduled for the same weekend have been delayed across China, including Ningbo Orange Music Festival and Nanjing Grand Music Festival, while Chongli Midi Music Festival has reportedly been cancelled. 

The following weekend, August 14-15, Shijiazhuang Starlight Music Festival, Hangzhou Citrus Music Festival, and Fuzhou Strawberry Music Festival, among others, have also been postponed. 

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Toward the end of August, Chengdu’s Yuanqi Forest Music Festival has been postponed, while Yangzhou Guazhou Music Festival scheduled on September 19-20 in Jiangsu province has been cancelled.

If that all wasn’t enough, livehouses and other entertainment venues across China have also called off or postponed performances.

China is not alone in cancelling live shows due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In California, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s organizers have cancelled the event for a second year, after initially delaying it from its regular two weekends in April until October. Coachella is set to return in April 2022.

North of the US border in Canada, major music festivals like Shambhala Music Festival, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, and Quebec’s Osheaga Music and Arts Festival have also been postponed until 2022.

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Some music festivals in the US appear ready to forge ahead and open their gates to audiences, though, such as BottleRock Napa Valley in California and Hive Music Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah. However, this is unlikely to happen in China unless the current outbreaks are brought under control.

Will China’s autumn concert schedule still go ahead as planned? That’s anyone’s guess at this point, but we encourage China-based music fans to watch this space for updates.

Cover image via Pixabay

Matthew Bossons
Matt is RADII's managing editor. He is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with a passion for history, untold stories and scuba diving. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Matt has worked as a journalist in China for over half a decade and has had work published in major Chinese media outlets and international publications. He has previously lived in Guangzhou and Beijing.