Common platform for music enthusiasts
Xu Yang (left) and Zhang Xu sing a duet at 96 Plaza in Pudong, Shanghai. They are participants in the public music project Escape to Music. [Photo by Xing Yi/China Daily]
When the sun sets and neon lights come up at 96 Plaza, a shopping mall in Shanghai's Pudong district, the music begins.
Shoppers, diners, parents with children and seniors living nearby gather in the open-air auditorium of the plaza in twos and threes to relax and enjoy the performance-sometimes popular songs, sometimes old songs, and once in a while a cappella, or even jazz.
The show has been on since May last year. Unless it rains, it starts at 7 pm and ends at 10 pm daily.
When the audience lingers until late and the singer is still in the mood, the melody goes on for another encore or two.
There are no famous stars on the stage but sometimes crowds come to support them. The show's popularity has gradually spread through word of mouth.
The show is special because the singers are people from different walks of life.
The project, Escape to Music, is run by Lujiazui Commercial, a real estate management company, and it provides open stages and calls anyone with musical talent and dreams to perform there.
It started with only one stage and a dozen singers. So far more than 340 people have participated in the project, and many more are signing up, according to the company.
In October, the company will hold a music festival Shake It Off, where singers from the city and other provinces in 11 groups of three will perform in singing contests and battle out for awards.