China’s Feel Good Hit of the Summer is Bringing Rock Music to New Audiences

iQIYI reality show The Big Band is finally putting rock music in the mainstream Chinese spotlight.

iQIYI is doing it again. Via the currently airing variety show The Big Band, the streaming platform has been helping some (semi-)underground rock bands as well as their music to earn mainstream recognition this summer — just like they did with a crop of previously lesser known rappers with the first season of Rap of China.

When your social media feeds are flooded with songs from the likes of New Pants, Hedgehog, or Mr. Sea Turtle on Sunday mornings, or some updated personal rankings of favorite songs in The Big Band, you know the previous night’s show has hit the target when it comes to bringing these rockers to an ever-increasing audience.


On the 6 episodes of The Big Band that have aired to date, 31 bands picked from more than 1,000 Chinese acts spanning funk, punk, Brit-pop, indie rock and metal, have performed and been narrowed down to 8 in the latest 1 on 1 round which broadcast last weekend. The competition results of every round are decided by the studio audience, consisting of 5 celebrity “super fans” who are producers, musicians and entertainers, 20 “professional fans” who are livehouse managers, music critics and music podcasters, and 100 public fans, 80% of whom were born in the ’90s.

Yet when the show’s line-up and visual identity were first unveiled, many seasoned Chinese rock fans were skeptical over whether it would make an impact. So what’s happened to make the show a success?

Here are our Big Band theories: Continue to read the full article on RADII.


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