2016 is a year of change. Since we launched our JUE | Music + Art festival in 2009, it has grown from a handful of events in a few of China’s key venues to over 130 events in 60 venues scattered across Shanghai and Beijing. The Post-Chinese-New-Year month of March has belonged to the JUE Festival since the turn of the decade.
In 2009, the arts landscape in China was a very different place to the one that we take for granted today. Post-Olympics, the nascent creative communities were scattered throughout the great cities of Shanghai and Beijing. It seems unthinkable now, but back then there was very little inter-group conversation going on, and we launched JUE in part to encourage communication and collaboration.
The landscape has changed greatly since then. Not only have the communities grown and spread; the arts are now seen as viable (and in some cases profitable) industries. There has been a huge amount of investment by private individuals, institutions and government alike. Add in the growth and proliferation of social media and other means of communication, and you have an arts sector in China that is stronger and more influential than ever before.
On the other side of the coin, JUE has never had anything in the investment or sponsorship. It started as a more cost effective (and less risky) way to put on an independent festival in China, but its massive growth has meant that our costs have expanded exponentially year on year. The festival has always been a (wonderful) labor of love for us all at Split Works but it has become increasingly difficult to justify the investment at these higher levels.
And so it is that we come to the here and now. .After many hours of impassioned debate, we have decided that in 2016 we will take a year off from JUE. It is important to be clear that this is not a cancellation. JUE will return in 2017. We just need a break to refocus and refine what JUE is and how it fits into China’s kaleidoscope of culture and how we can get someone to share the financial burden.
Additionally, we recently launched our Echo Park festival, and for the next 12 months, that needs our complete focus. You can see what Echo Park is all about here.
If you are missing us, then below are all of the videos from the last 7 years of JUE | Music + Art. We suggest you watch one every 2 months until March 2017 when we will be back with a bang.
Thanks to all of our amazing friends and collaborators over the years.
Big love from Split Works HQ.
RELIVE JUE FESTIVALS HERE
*[For those that aren’t away the concept of a fallow year (in the context of a festival) comes from the organizers of Glastonbury. Glastonbury Festival was held intermittently from 1970 until 1981, since when it has been held every year, except for “fallow years” intended to give the land, the local population and the organisers a break, usually taken every 5 years.]