Benefit concerts to help fight COVID-19

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 22, 2020
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Benefit concerts are being planned in China to support the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gao Xiaosong, an acclaimed music artist, chairman of Alibaba Entertainment Strategic Committee, and co-founder of Alibaba Music Group, speaks at his wax double unveiling event at Madame Tussauds Beijing, Jan. 10, 2019. [File photo/]

Four major internet platforms --, Xiami Music, NetEase Cloud Music, and Sina Weibo -- invited Chinese musicians to perform for free for a charitable cause.

Chinese musician Gao Xiaosong is the general curator of the cloud concert. "We want to do it because we want to remember those who lost their lives, encourage survivors, and support medical workers and ordinary people who are struggling to start over," Gao said.

The special concert is named "Believe in the Future." Organizers hope that, through the concert, everyone can gain strength to face and overcome difficulties. "It's a critical time for everyone to walk out of the pain and restart again. To start again, we must rely on hard work, but we also need to believe in our country, our society, and the future."

The invitation appealed to Chinese musicians to stand out, pick up musical instruments, sing, and perform from wherever they are, using the power of music to comfort souls. According to the invite, the project will have more than 100 musicians on board, reject any sponsorships and commercials, and offer free music publishing rights.

The date of "Believe in the Future" has not been announced yet, while several big stars such as Kris Wu, Faye Wong and Lay Zhang have agreed to join the lineup.

     A poster of "Believe in the Future" [Picture courtesy of]

This event is not the only benefit concert in the making. China Charity Federation will also hold a 6-hour concert series called "Angels 2020" on May 15 in five Asian cities: Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo. "Angels 2020" will be broadcast online and raise money for the World Health Organization (WHO), medical workers, and families affected by the pandemic.

The organizers of "Angels 2020" said that they had sent invitations to many Asian artists with international appeal and will announce the lineup soon.

Performing arts markets around the world have been shut down for months due to the outbreak of COVID-19 early this year. According to a report from the Lighthouse Research Institute, China saw box office revenue totaling a staggering 20 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) in the performance industry in 2019 but is still waiting to break out of an ice age this year.

The report pointed out that although offline performance events are paused and suffering from huge losses due to the COVID-19 epidemic, innovative online shows -- from cloud music festivals, cloud concert to cloud theater -- could be a way out.

On April 17, singer Rene Liu held a no-audience concert in an old cinema with the help of Tencent Music Entertainment Live. The show sent love to stay-at-home audiences and earned about 150 million views. 

On April 18, the Xi'an Symphony Orchestra (XSO) staged an online concert at the Shaanxi History Museum in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. From Bela Kovacs' Hommages to Chopin's Nocturne, the 60-minute "When Museum Meets XSO" concert was watched by tens of thousands of viewers via live-streaming platforms, including Bilibili and Youku.

Chinese rockers also unite in a spontaneous appeal from singer and songwriter Lao Lang on Saturday. The online music relay requires participants to perform 15 seconds of their song from their homes or studios.

According to Xinhua, several online music events were also held worldwide. For example, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli's "Music for Hope" Easter Sunday concert in an empty Milan cathedral generated 28 million views worldwide in the first 24 hours after it streamed. The concert earned a record as the most-watched classical music concert on YouTube. On March 29, British singer Elton John hosted the iHeart Living Room Concert for America to help combat the current coronavirus pandemic. Both of them later joined with other singers and celebrities to participate in an all-star marathon virtual benefit concert held last Saturday.

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