Beijing Beat blog with Mark Godfrey

Beijing Beat

Irish Bands in Beijing

Mar 14

Written by:
3/14/2008 5:18 PM  RssIcon

Corporate, state cash brings Irish culture to Beijing
Kif, house band at the Quays pub in Galway, are flying out to Beijing this week to play the annual St Patrick's Day Irish Ball here. The band have replaced Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club for the gig at the Kerry Centre Hotel, after some heated debate about artistic merit among members of the Irish Network China, which organizes the EUR100-a-head Ball off ticket sales and corporate sponsorship. It costs about EUR10,000 to bring a band out – the flights and the fee are heftiest, since the hotel gives a few days free board. Three Irish dancers are being flown out too, along with Carlow-based trad group the Geantrai Players.

Well done to the Irish Embassy flew twelve members of a traditional Irish music and dance group, Ceolta Si, to perform at the 2008 Beijing Chaoyang International Spring carnival in February. Ireland has been trying to get noticed among middle class Chinese spenders. It's hard to compete this year given "unlimited" budgets available to the cultural departments at larger embassies in Beijing, says an Irish diplomat here.

Much of the fuss is to help Tourism Ireland, which has struggled to bring Chinese tourists to the Emerald Isle - locals are put off by Ireland not being in the one-fits-all Schengen visa system. An office in Shanghai opened in 2004 has been bringing Chinese travel agents and journalists around the Ring of Kerry and showing off the country’s golf links, horse racing and castles. Guinness, Kerrygold and Bailey's have been doing well here - Kerrygold's sales rose 50 percent last year, the company's top China salesman Karl Long told me last week.


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2 comment(s) so far...

Re: Irish Bands in Beijing

100 Euro a head.... 600 tickets..... just imagine what one could do with 60.000 Euro in China!!! One could build 5 schools or make sure that a few hundret children receive basic education for some years. From my point of view it is not morally correct to spent so much money on .....on what? and how many of these 60.000 euros are going to a charitable organisation? Irish Ball.... without me ! That is for sure... I put my 1000 rmb to better use than importat guiness and whiskey!!! sorry for that but has to be said!!!!

By Ethan on   3/26/2008 2:37 AM

Re: Irish Bands in Beijing

if i have more time ,i want to see the children .

maybe we will give them some books

By :) on   3/26/2008 2:37 AM

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