Even if Robbie Williams decides not to come to Shanghai, at least we know it’s not because he didn’t receive the requisite approval from the Culture Bureau. We hadn’t seen these until they showed up on our RSS reader — copies of the documents from the Culture Bureau granting permission to foreign acts to come to Shanghai. For example, here’s the one for Williams, which specifies when he’s to come and perform, and how many people are allowed to come total. This is what the Chinese document looks like:
文市函〔2006〕1728号 上海市文化广播影视管理局：你局沪文广影视1039号请示收悉。 经研究，同意上海东方明珠国际交流有限公司邀请英国歌手罗比·威廉姆斯一行90人，于2006年11月4日到上海演出。请严格按照《营业性演出管理条例》及其实施细则的有关规定组织演出，并依法纳税。请你局做好监督检查工作。此复。二○○六年九月六日 抄送：上海市外办、公安局、税务局，驻英国使馆。
Out of all the ones that we’ve looked at, Robbie’s got the biggest entourage — 90 people. There are plenty of others, such as the one for the Chapel of Pieta de Turchini (buy tickets for that and more of the 8th Annual Shanghai International Arts Festival in October here). Lastly, here’s the one for the Iberica de Danza, which we’re guessing is a dance troupe from Spain (buy tickets here). Admittedly this makes for boring reading, but for whatever reason, they decided to make this information accessible to the public.
Of course, the information that we really want to know is not who has been given the thumbs up by the Culture Bureau but rather who has made it on their (or at least the local Shanghai bureau’s) blacklist …