British music workshop attracts fans at CIFTIS
Published: Sep 03, 2023 09:22 PM
British National Pavilion hosts a music workshop at the CIFTIS Photo: Bi Mengying/GT

British National Pavilion hosts a music workshop at the CIFTIS Photo: Bi Mengying/GT

As the guest country of honor, the UK has assembled its largest-ever business delegation for the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), in which it is participating for the first time.   

The live performances at the British National Pavilion on Sunday attracted crowds, who took photos and videos. Some visitors took selfies while wearing shirts with logos or names of different British music bands.

"We're very proud to be the guest country of honor," said  Sector Director and Minister Counselor, Creative, Consumer, Learning and Food Industries of the Department for Business and Trade of the UK Sohail Shaikh. He noted that the music industry is one of UK's most famous industries, and the country also attaches great importance and pride to it.

The music industry of the UK has had its share of influence on China, remarked Shan Wei, CEO of Midi Productions, which runs the Midi Festival, a music festival in China. 
"There are some Chinese music bands, or as we'd categorize them 'Chinese British bands,' such as Penicillin [a Chinese indie rock group]. Their music style is clearly influenced by British music bands." 

Shan pointed out that other aspects such as music publishing and promoting, or music festival production in the UK have provided a model to China, shaping the industry's development in the country to a certain extent.   

Shaikh said that music festivals and live performances are two key elements in UK music. There have been many up and coming music festivals in China. He believed that there would be more and more British artists coming to Chinese music festivals in the future. 
With a history of 30 years, the Midi Festival has become one of the longest-running and most celebrated music festivals in China. Shan told the Global Times that enjoying live performances and going to music festivals have become an increasingly popular choice among young Chinese people. With more international artists joining these festivals, that creates a great opportunity to build connections and foster communication across borders through this universal language.

"Besides music festivals, even workshops like this at the CIFTIS can serve the same purpose. It provides a two-way channel to open dialogue, deepen mutual understanding and offer opportunities for further collaboration," said Shan.     

As cultural exchanges often serve as a facilitator to trade and business agreements, the UK is set to organize more than 70 events during the 2023 CIFTIS. The 240-square-meter British National Pavilion showcases the UK's strengths and distinctiveness in the services trade, encompassing education, sports, healthcare and cultural creativity.

The business group is led by a minister of state from the UK's Department for Business and Trade. An estimated 60 enterprises from the UK are set to have business talks with their Chinese partners during the fair.