Eric Zho @ STORM Electronic Music Festival

in Festival Guru's Talk/Music

EricZho-1Eric Zho

CEO
@ STORM Electronic Music Festival

[pukka_dropcap style=”” txt_color=”White” bg_color=”Black” size=””]S[/pukka_dropcap]torm was founded in Shanghai, 2013, and it had only been a mere two to three years before it became China and Asia’s top electronic music festival. The festival’s success was not unforeseen, as the attention-grabbing line-up of the very first STORM Electronic Music Festival had attracted over 20,000 fans and festival-goers. Maxwell, Zedd, Benny Benussi, Jay Sean, Far East Movement and Icono Pop were some of the big names that had performed. Eric Zho, a noteworthy entertainment and variety show producer with fifteen years of experience, was the mastermind behind the glory. His ambitions to produce STORM were influenced by the rising Chinese market for electronic music festivals, and since there was a lack of larger-scaled music festivals, as well as producers in China, Zho decided to start with A2LiVE, the promotional and producing company behind Storm.

All things are difficult before they become easy, and to Eric, this was a truth that hit home hard. In 2013, when Storm was founded, the company went through a rough year. With profits in the red, the higher-ups were considering the possibility of discontinuing Storm. However, Eric and his team were determined as they searched long and hard for sponsorships. In the end, they garnered the support of Budweiser, and Storm’s 2014 music festival was held successfully. Zho reminisces: “2014 was a year of turning points for Storm. During the course of the year, we had pushed Storm into the spotlight, and showed the higher-ups what we were capable of. We brought Storm to Shenzhen in 2015, and this year we will be bringing Storm to a total of six different cities in China. This is extremely exciting news, as introducing Storm to all corners of the globe is our aim, but in our current standpoint, we believe that China will possess the largest electronic music festival market in the global scene”.

A2LiVE has had ample experience planning and holding electro music festivals. Ten years ago, A2LiVE had been in charge of world renowned DJ Tiësto’s performance in China. However, Eric stated that the electro music festival scene was still underdeveloped and unheard of, as the Chinese market remained narrow in its perception of music. “Some ten years ago, we started inviting international DJs into China. We were unable to grab attention, though. It wasn’t until about 2013, when the timing was perfect, and we returned to what we did best, making sure that Storm would reach levels that it had never came close to before”. Storm had transformed into the largest and most prominent music festival, and Zho expresses that this was due to strong line-ups and performers. “There isn’t a fixed formula when it comes to a successful music festival. I place strong emphasis on the performance and line-up, those in which fuse with impressive stage productions and effects. Exceptional themes and marketing ideas are also needed to capture the attention of the masses. Nobody can predict the success or failure of a music festival, but if we were to define success, then profit would be one word that I would include in the definition”.

As a music festival producer, Zho stated that the most memorable performance he had seen was Above & Beyond’s act that had took place last year. “Above & Beyond’s performance last year was the only one that had touched me. Though, when I saw Kesha on stage holding a green beer bottle that wasn’t the red bottle of Budweiser that had sponsored us, I was this close to passing out due to a heart attack”.

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STORM Electronic Music Festival
August – December, 2016
China