American singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata
As disposable incomes are reportedly growing in Asia, more Western music acts are making the trip over to perform in various festivals in the region, in the hopes of securing a larger fan base.
"Some artistes do take lower fees… They see the big opportunity in developing a market for themselves in markets like China and India," president of international and emerging markets for Live Nation Entertainment Alan Ridgeway said
"They could use festivals as a platform to introduce their music to a new audience, they can then come back and do multi-city tours and start building a following."
While Asia has long been a popular destination for high profile Western music acts to perform at, largely due to its huge population, it appears that less-known Western indie acts have now begun to see the benefit of the Asian market too.
"Western artistes have identified that the Asia market is growing when the Western markets are suffering due to economic difficulties," vice-president and managing director at talent management company IMG Artists Mindy Coppin said
Recently, Glastonbury performer Yuck played at the St. Jerome Laneway festival in Singapore, while UK bands The Cribs and Bombay Bicycle Club made an appearance at the Clockenflap festival in Hong Kong. Aside from the large market they hope to attract, experts are also saying that lesser-known bands are also making the trip to Asia due to an increased interest in a wider variety of music from the Asian market.
"With increasing use of social media and Internet, audiences are exposed to many music genres apart from popular music," assistant director at Esplanade Theatres on the Bay Tay Pui Lin said
Esplanade Theatres are the organisers of Singapore’s Mosaic Music Festival, which has also seen a recent boom in Western music act performances in recent years such as retro band "Craft Spells" and indie folk group "Blind Pilot", as well as better-known names such as Jason Mraz and Rachael Yamagata.
"If you’d told me five years ago I’d be putting The Jesus and Mary Chain on in Hong Kong, I would have fallen over," Jane Blondel of Songs for Children, a Hong Kong based promoter that hosted Scottish band in the Chinese territory and Singapore this year said
"The Internet has changed things. When we started we had to use very grass-roots tactics, postering and flyering and using Facebook. Now as more bands play, the bands and managers know each other and if they have a great time they’ll encourage others to go."
There has been some concernt among local musicians, who fear that the influx of international performers will make it more difficult for them to succeed in their own countries.
"Artistic inspiration from overseas is definitely essential. But festival organizers also have the responsibility in shaping the local music scene. There must be a quota to limit foreign acts in festivals," Tim De Cotta, a bassist of Singaporean hip-hop band Sixx said