100 Cities

Stumbling through and around Weibo, one comes across this video and announcement, of a tour of massive proportions.

Yaogun bands have been traversing the Chinese map on tours beyond the major Beijing-Shanghai-Wuhan-Guangzhou stops for many years now; I recall, for example, being shocked at how Subs could find seventeen cities to visit in 2005, let alone play. But in 2003, Muma had already done a 30-plus show tour (though one may be wary of the “etc” in the list of eighteen cities mentioned at that link, there were eighteen listed). And through the years, twenty- and thirty-plus city tours were not unheard of; not necessarily all at once, but split into geographical components.

(UPDATE: Via Andy Best, PK14, pioneers of the yaogun tour in a van [a phenomenon that has not caught on in China], has announced a thirty-one city six-week tour of the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong.)

But now, something new.

The One Hundred City Tour.

Song Dongye, a Modern Sky folk artist, unveiled his massive plan to take his brand of folk music to one hundred cities across the country.

“A very big project,” is how he describes the tour in the video below (in Chinese). As a veteran of planning and playing my share of China tours, I may have hit upwards of a couple-dozen-plus cities, but never all at once, and thusly can I appreciate what a huge understatement that is.

“The process may be difficult,” tweeted the singer via Weibo, “but it’s a dream of mine, and hopefully everyone will find a fun way to help us realize it.”

Yet another massive number to add to the already-massive Chinese context. In the context of the North American tour, this may not seem huge, but considering that Chongqing, the biggest city on earth, only got its own dedicated rock venue a few years ago, this is potentially a very big deal.