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Shenzhen gets a little culture: Futian to license street performers

Posted: 07/10/2012 7:00 am

Street artists who meet a certain set of criteria will be given licenses to perform in Futian District, Shenzhen Daily reports. The square between Shenzhen Library, Shenzhen Concert Hall and Shenzhen Book City will welcome the artists, although the exact criteria are yet to be announced.

Street performers are not unheard of in the city. Some can earn more than 200 yuan a day but it is not stable work because they are illegal and many frequently get driven away by Chengguan. But now the artists will be valued as “a special symbol of Shenzhen’s culture,” according to the paper.

Many of the city’s performers do it as a livelihood, and some have quite harrowing back stories, such as The Blind Sisters who were seen near Exit B of Convention and Exhibition Centre subway station.

There is also singer-songwriter Zhong Bin whose daring lyrics and innovative melodies probably exclude him from ever becoming a Mandopop star.

The district will establish an association for street artists, to out them under unified management.

Shenzhen is not the only city in China with a dearth of street performers. Earlier this year, an op-ed in China Daily lamented how unlike New York, Shanghai lacked street performers who “add a little magic” to a city.

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