More than 140 Chinese and overseas bands, including one from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, will perform at the weeklong wind music festival from late this month.
The performances, mostly free, will be presented at local sports venues, shopping malls, campus sites, community halls and the Huangpu River waterfront between April 30 and May 4.
More than 8,500 performers from the top-level bands will stage concerts and parades during the festival, which coincides with the four-day Labor Day holiday. The foreign bands this year are from the United Kingdom, Japan and Malaysia.
The festival, which has been held annually for 11 years, promotes wind music for residents and students, and attempts to boost the city’s artistic culture, said Yang Yinyu, director of the Yangpu District Culture Bureau, one of the organizers.
More than a million locals have enjoyed performances at the festival since 2008 — and some 50,000 musicians from 800 bands of 23 nations and regions have taken part, making it one of the biggest events of its kind in China, Yang said.
As this year’s highlight, the bagpipe band with the world’s renowned Edinburgh Military Tattoo will perform in multiple events for the first time.
The traditional folk music ensemble will present bagpipe performances and parades along with violin concerts and folk dances, said Jiang Siwen, vice chairman of the China Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.
“Locals can enjoy performances from the world’s top band,” Jiang said.
The band, composed of about 20 bagpipe players, eight violinists and a group of dancers, will perform while parading, bringing a visual-and-audio feast to citizens, he said.
The UK band will make its debut in the city at the opening ceremony of the festival on May 1 at the Zhengda Gymnasium of Fudan University, as well as along the newly opened Yangpu waterfront on the same day.
They will also perform at the Shanghai International Fashion Center, a riverside shopping complex, as well as the Anderson Dream World amusement park in Yangpu.
This year’s festival will also be part of the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Nearly 1,000 musicians along with 700 chorus singers will perform traditional songs at the opening ceremony.
“Wind music has played important roles in key events and conferences. It has witnessed the development of China over the seven decades,” Jiang said.
About 50 bands from neighboring cities have also been invited, the largest number ever, to celebrate the integral development of the Yangtze River Delta region.
The music festival has enhanced local residents’ affection for wind music, said Jiang.
Only 1,000 musicians in about 20 bands participated in the first year, but some 10,000 musicians in more than 200 bands applied for this year’s event.