5 Things We Learned from IMS China

Author : Karen Komine
October 18, 2015

5 Things We Learned from IMS China


The International Music Summit, a conference dedicated to incubating thought leadership in the electronic music industry, took place in Shanghai, China for the first time on October 2nd. As hosts of IMS, Shanghai has joined the ranks of electronic music leaders like Ibiza and the United States. The central goal for this summit was to discuss the future and readily apparent foundation that China has in the electronic music industry. Here are five key things we have learned about China’s growing EDM industry that we can take away from IMS this year.  

1. Capacity is growing exponentially

Annually, event capacity averages at 30% growth. This means you could throw a music festival in China at a capacity of 10,000 people and the following year, if you threw that same festival, 13,000 people would attend. It’s probably safe to say part of the reason for this exponential growth is because their population is just that large; there’s just way more people to potentially cater to. The numbers game is hugely in favor of the Chinese EDM industry.

2. China has a massive population of young people

The next statistic that they have going for them? Their youth population. 22% of China’s population consists of the age group that the EDM industry is practically made for, and that’s just the low-hanging fruit. EDM has been around for decades, it was just called techno or ambient lounge, first, so there’s a whole demographic of people in their 20s and 30s that are prospective festival patrons in addition to the youth population.

3. Locally produced music is becoming globally recognized

Major Chinese social media platform, Weibo.com, and Facebook has played a large role in propagating locally produced music. One of the most predominant native DJs that is emerging onto the scene is DJ Woordy. What is even more impressive is how he’s been able to grow his fan base despite the challenge of using social networks in China. The internet has definitely made this genre of music, which was born and raised in a digital medium, easily accessible from anywhere in the world. It will only continue to help disperse the locally produced electronic music of China.

4. Chinese nightlife is already well established

Shanghai is home to one of DJ Mag’s Top 100 nightclubs, MYST. Nightclubbing in China has continued to grow in popularity among the younger generations. So much to the point that China is beginning to test the waters with STORM music festival and other dance events like Ying Yang Music Festival on the Great Wall of China. China is ready for the music festival craze that has been sweeping Europe, the U.K. and the United States.

5. Music festivals are high in demand 

It’s been established that music festivals are high in demand, obviously, but exactly how high in demand are we talking? Essentially, for every 1 American young adult, there are 7 music festival options. For every 4 Chinese young adults, there is barely 1 option. The events that were mentioned in #4 are the only high capacity EDM events that have taken place in China, whereas America is home of Coachella, EDC, TomorrowWorld, all of the Insomniac and HARD events, and more (Plus they’ve been around for at least a decade or more for most of these events cases).