Apparently the ambitious Pepsi Battle of the Bands is actually turning into a right old crap fest. The upcoming reality show, which was supposed to prop “underground” rock bands into the mainstream as a way of “encouraging young people’s passions” has instead annoyed and alienated anyone who bothered to participate.
According to (former-Shanghaiist contributor) Andy Best:
The basic gist is this. SMG (TV company) don’t have a f*cking clue. Bands turned up to see that no equipment had been provided at all. People were expected to plug cables into the PA board directly, a bad one at that and bands were told not to bother sound checking. The judges were SMG regular presenters with no music knowledge who made ignorant comments all night long, angering the experienced bands. Finally it came out that SMG had guanxi-siphoned the sponsorship money away too.
Andy also linked to some comments from YYT’s Zhang Haisheng and Pupu from The Mushrooms, whose general opinion was that the whole effort was so terrible that people were actually getting offended.
We think it’s a damn shame. We love the underground rock scene in China and, while there always are worries about “selling out” and sacrificing artistic integrity etc., it would have been nice to have a big platform to introduce it to an audience that would otherwise be generally unaware of its existence. With Pepsi’s experience in music (albeit mostly pop music) sponsorship, we guess we were hoping for much more than we actually got.
(Thanks to China Music Radar for the tip)