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Hefei music festival organizers address pricing concerns, highlight success

By ZHU LIXIN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-13 17:34

Organizers of a massive electronic music festival in Hefei defended their pricing structure after accusations of overcharging for non-alcoholic beverages.

The Three Sheep Group, a local e-commerce company, held the May 3-4 festival attracting over 100,000 attendees. While viral videos showcased electric performances and enthusiastic crowds, some questioned the 20 yuan ($2.70) price tag for a cup of purified water. Photos appeared to show other drinks similarly marked up compared to regular stores.

Local authorities acknowledged the high prices but deemed them permissible due to the event's enclosed nature. Organizers clarified that stalls were operated by independent businesses, with Three Sheep having no control over pricing.

"We responded promptly," said Zhang Qingyang, Three Sheep's founder. "Communication with vendors led to a 50 percent reduction in water prices by the afternoon of May 3rd."

Zhang, a prominent live-streaming e-commerce entrepreneur with over 100 million social media followers, collaborated with a Hubei province company to bring in 29 electronic music acts from nine countries. The festival garnered 5.2 billion online impressions, according to Zhang.

The event took place at Hefei Luogang Park, repurposed from the city's former international airport and renovated in 2023. Spanning 12.7 square kilometers, the park boasts natural landscapes, gardens, playgrounds, and entertainment facilities. The music festival utilized the former airport's parking apron within the ticketed area of the free-entry park.

"The park saw over 360,000 visitors on the first day thanks to the festival," Zhang noted. Local tourism officials credited the event with boosting the city's tourism during the May Day holiday period. Hefei ranked first among Chinese provincial capitals in terms of hotel reservations, according to online travel platform ctrip.com.

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