[Translation] Greed Destroyed Bob Dylan’s Concert
However, the Chinese netters have been circulating a different story that appeared February this year (UPDATE: also covered by China Music Update in March). According to a music industry insider, Sun Mengjin, cancelation of Dylan’s China concerts had to do with the steep mark up by original concert rights holder (Brokers Brothers) rendering the concert not financially viable for local promoters, and out-of-control greediness in Chinese concert promotion industry:
Greed Destroyed Bob Dylan’s Concert
The rumored Dylan concert ticket sale a month ago had suddenly gone silent. This has caused many loyal Dylan fans pain. However the real chilling fact is everyone seem to be unaware of the reason ticket sale was “canceled”.
I don’t know how many times Dylan’s visit have been promoted, or how many young music lover’s hearts have been broken. Music fans in China, their feelings, are worthless. They are perpetually cheated by a gang of greedy people, even thou the fans obligingly toil for them.
On this side of the pond, everything is an eternal mystery. Every time you are moved to tears, there are always few pairs of eyes behind you watching with glee.
Performance is a business, no doubt about it. In China there are people do concert promotion fairly, many cannot obtain 1st rights meagerly work with 2nd and 3rd rights. Take the Dylan concert as example, his agent reported fee of US$250,000, but certain Taiwan company turn around and selling the rights for US$400,000 per show. This is too black hearted! Even for international agency, the usual agency fee is 15%!
US$400,000 performance fee will not be covered by Shanghai Grand Gymnasium’s 8000 seats. This doesn’t include travel, lodging, venue and equipment rental, other expenses.
I believe there were many reasons behind this concert’s cancelation. Human nature as it was, it doesn’t surprise me anymore. Everyone talk about win-win, but the ultimate losers are the music fans. I haven’t studied much in my life, but human nature I’ve seen plenty.
There’s nothing wrong with promoting concert and making a living. But one cannot be too unethical. For example someone who doesn’t listen to jazz writes a book about it [self deprecating joke; Sun wrote a book about jazz], pretending to be an expert, it’s too perverted!
Another example. A while back in Beijing a friend mentioned he’s looking for sponsors to help out with an inflated US$300,000 fee for Leonard Cohen. I said, are you getting this thru 5 levels of resale (later turned out to be a mere 2-level resale!)
I did not see much of this before, none the less among those who claim to be music enthusiasts, patrons.
For a nation that produced Sanlu powder milk, there are many people who lack business integrity, even humanity. They hum Dylan’s “Blowing in the wind” and their dreams of fortune up their asses are also blown away when they defecate.
One day Dylan will be dead, even sooner he’ll stop signing.
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