Artificial rain disrupts concert experience in Xuzhou, sparking discussion
Published: Jun 24, 2024 09:44 PM
Chinese singer Xue Zhiqian's concert attracts thousands of fans at the Xuzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in East China's Jiangsu Province on June 21, 2024. Photo: Screenshot from Weibo

Chinese singer Xue Zhiqian's concert attracts thousands of fans at the Xuzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in East China's Jiangsu Province on June 21, 2024. Photo: Screenshot from Weibo

The artificial rain recently used for drought relief in Xuzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province on Friday night affected the audience's experience at Chinese singer Xue Zhiqian's concert, sparking widespread discussion. Officials from the Xuzhou meteorological administration explained the necessity and timing of this artificial rain operation on Saturday.

According to media reports, Xue's concert at the Xuzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium attracted thousands of fans on spot. It began to rain shortly after the concert began, catching many fans unprepared. Following the concert, revelations that the rain had been artificially induced sparked debates among fans.

Some people expressed their understanding towards the use of artificial rain, saying that the rainfall had little impact on the concert experience as the weather was hot that night. "If we had known that the artificial rainfall was for drought resistance, we would have been happy even if we got drenched," a netizen said.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, since April this year precipitation in parts of Huaibei region in Jiangsu has been significantly below average, with high temperatures causing moderate to severe meteorological droughts in some areas. Among them, Xuzhou and Suqian are more severely affected by drought, and the high-temperature area has expanded, threatening agricultural production. On June 13, Xuzhou initiated a level four emergency response to drought across the city.

However, some fans expressed dissatisfaction and raised doubts on the timing of the artificial rain operation. "Why did the rain have to come at that time? Was it intentional? Couldn't the timing be changed?" a fan commented at the official account of the Xuzhou meteorological administration on Weibo.

Meanwhile, the comment sparked strong condemnation from many other netizens. They questioned whether the criticizing fans were unaware of the drought conditions and the requirements for artificial rainfall, describing their remarks as immature and concurrently expressing their support for all decisions concerning people's livelihoods.

In response, Yan Wuguang, director of the Xuzhou weather modification center, told China News Weekly that the timing of the artificial rain was not decided by the meteorological department or anyone else. "It's impossible to satisfy everyone and we have to consider the drought situation and focus on ensuring agricultural drought resistance," Yan added.

Before the artificial rain, the Xuzhou meteorological administration had initially announced the possible implementation of the operation in most parts of Xuzhou on Thursday.

After the incident, Yangcheng Evening News commented that the Xuzhou meteorological administration's implementation of artificial rain under appropriate conditions demonstrates a deep sense of responsibility towards the public. At the same time, inappropriate comments by netizens expose the narrowness and selfishness of a number of concert goers.

Some fans indeed ignored public welfare due to personal entertainment disruptions, criticizing the meteorological administration for fulfilling its duties. This is not only disrespectful towards  public officials' work and an evident disregard for social responsibility, but also an attitude that may inadvertently harm the singer's reputation. This mindset, which only focuses on personal interest and ignores the broader societal perspective, is a typical manifestation of a distorted fan culture, the Yangcheng Evening News said.

The nearest point of the artificial rain operation is 24 kilometers away from the concert venue. As the rain moved eastward, it only had a greater impact on downstream areas, and had little effect on the concert.

According to local media, sudden rainfall due to convective weather is a common phenomenon in summer, and audiences should not blame artificial rainfall operations just because of getting caught unprepared by the rain.

Global Times