Beijing Chaoyang Spring Carnival

Date: Chinese New Year (Annual)
Client: BCIA
Position: International Programmer

Chaoyang district in central Beijing has a population of 2.1 million, and the city’s main concentration of embassies, luxury hotels, corporate headquarters and cultural industries. It is also home to Beijing’s largest park.

In 2001 Chaoyang Spring Carnival was established in the Park as a 7 day outdoor celebration of Chinese New Year. In 2002 Chaoyang Spring Carnival began to seek international partners to develop its programme and activity. Through the British expatriate community in Beijing they were given a recommendation to contact Stockton International Riverside Festival, which is one of the events which EI’s director Frank Wilson programmes.

Over the course of 11 years and numerous trips to Beijing (and reciprocal visits to the UK by the organisers of Spring Carnival) EI has developed a professional relationship with Chaoyang Cultural Association which is showing great potential. For the past 9 years EI has been entrusted with the international programme element of Spring Carnival and provides production advice to the Carnival production team.

In 2006 Chaoyang Spring Carnival won one of two major cultural awards presented by the City of Beijing, a success which the organisers attribute to the unique edge provided by EI’s international programming. The Spring Carnival is attended by 40,000 to 60,000 paying visitors per day, though box office income is small by Western standards it is growing annually.