Performing arts boom opens new doors for tourists

Updated: Dec 8, 2023 By CHEN NAN China Daily Global Print
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Pop singer Jin Chi (center) performs as part of her concert tour at ON THE WAY Livehouse in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, on Nov 18. XU NUO/FOR CHINA DAILY

Fans flock in numbers to concerts staged in smaller cities

In ancient times, Quzhou, a city in the western part of Zhejiang province, was known as a center for spreading Confucianism.

However, with time it lost its significance, and some people cannot even pronounce the city's name correctly, as the first character, qu, is written in a complicated way.

Quzhou, which boasts a population of about 2.27 million, has become one of the most popular tour destinations for young Chinese this year, thanks to the powerful impact of a number of pop stars, who have added the city to their performance schedules.

In March, singer-songwriter Xue Zhiqian staged two concerts at the Quzhou Sports Center, which was designed by architect Ma Yansong, and has a capacity of more than 30,000. Hotels in the city reported record-setting occupancy levels, even though they raised their room rates due to the surging demand.

Gu Lili, 25, a fan of Xue, traveled to Quzhou from Ningbo, Zhejiang, to watch one of the concerts, which she described as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the performer live on stage.

"I woke up early in the morning and spent four-and-a-half hours on a train traveling to Quzhou, which I had never visited before," Gu said, adding that Xue's concert was the first she had attended in more than three years.

"My best friend traveled from Chongqing to Quzhou to watch the concert with me. We had a great time. There were so many people traveling from different parts of the country to watch the performances, and I saw numerous fans come to the show with their luggage," Gu said.

"It was raining and cold that day, but when the concert ended, the audience members were extremely happy and excited as they discussed the show while leaving the venue."

Xue, who has more than 57 million followers on Sina Weibo, said: "I performed in Quzhou for the first time, and the city brought me many surprises. Although it was very cold due to the rain, I felt the warmth of the city and the fans."

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