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UPDATE: The VAC Festival has abruptly been postponed today (August 12th), amid some intrigue. A WeChat translation of VAC’s official statement claims that the festival was abandoned after “The Chainsmokers unilaterally cancelled the video recording of [their] performance because of personal reasons that violated the agreement between the two parties.”

VAC went on to explain that the complex nature of synchronising a video recording with a large light and firework show meant they could not find a replacement artist of the same stature in time, and so postponed the festival.

Meanwhile, The Chainsmokers posted an apologetic 40-second video (you can watch it in the link above) to say that, “after much planning and consideration, we felt we couldn’t really give you guys the show you deserve, virtually,” and promoted to visit in person as soon as possible to make it up to disappointed fans.

VAC has made arrangements for refunds or replacement tickets for VAC ticket-holders. The original story follows.

Wuhan’s Vision and Colour (VAC) is central China’s largest dance-music festival, attracting 50,000 ravers over two days for a bill of local and international talent.

The 2019 edition took place in Wuhan just a couple of months before that city became the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, and the live music industry was put on indefinite pause.

Indefinite, that is, until now, when VAC may become one of the first large outdoor festivals to take place as lockdown restrictions ease. VAC 2020 is due to take place on 21-22 August, although strict 14-day quarantine laws for people travelling to China have nixed the international element.

VAC hopes that a combination of exclusive livestreams from acts like Chainsmokers and Nicky Romero, plus a roster of Chinese DJs, a new fireworks display and beefed-up lightshow will provide a similar high-intensity experience.

The festival has been moved from its usual indoor arena to the larger outdoor Wuhan Flower Expo venue, with entry only allowed for people with ID cards and “green health codes” – the official government-assigned all-clear.

It’s unclear how the outdoor venue’s usual capacity will be affected by Covid-19 restrictions, but the world’s festival industry will be watching keenly to see how (and if) a large festival can work at this stage of the outbreak in China.

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Joe Sparrow

Joe SparrowEditor

Editor, Music Ally

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