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Dance party

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-03 08:03
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Belgian DJ duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike performs with about 100 musicians and DJs in Sanya during the ISY Music Festival in March. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Now, he believes it is the turn of EDM to capture the attention of the younger generation.

In September, the Ultra Music Festival was introduced to Shanghai by Ma's company. It was the first time the world's top-tier EDM brand, which originates in Miami, Florida, was hosted on the Chinese mainland.

And statistics from one of China's major online music platforms for young people,, shows that from the beginning of 2016 until now, EDM fans accounted for 20.5 percent of followers of non-pop music genres on the website, outnumbering those for folk music (19.1 percent) and rock 'n' roll (18.2 percent), topping the non-pop list.

However, setting up an established local EDM brand in China is still a more challenging task than staging one-off extravaganzas.

"In China, there is still a lack of influential music festival brands," says Shao Zhenxing, a music industry analyst and a partner in the investment company Legend Capital.

Less than a quarter of outdoor music festivals on the Chinese mainland in 2016 have been held for three years or more, and more than half of them were inaugural events.

"When more EDM festivals that have been established overseas are introduced to China, domestic musicians will face more pressure," he says. "However, these festivals will also help establish a niche market for new music genres and foster new homegrown talent in China."

For China Minsheng Investment Group, a Shanghai-based investment company that is backing the inaugural ISY Music Festival with an investment of up to 80 million yuan ($12 million), the music party in Sanya has already started.

Bai Mudi, a manager from CMIG who is in charge of the project, reveals that two music theme parks, costing several billion yuan, will also be constructed in Sanya, which will include theaters, museums for musical instruments, an intellectual property trade market, arenas for talent shows, and other related businesses.

"The city can become a hub for the complete music industry chain," he says.

Will young people make the pilgrimage to Sanya for music? Only time will tell.

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