Planet China

Train wreck

On December 1 the city of Nanyang in Henan will be connected to China’s high-speed train network. The local government got so excited by this prospect that it decided to hold a music festival to celebrate. However, what ended up getting media attention was not the gig itself, but a band that didn’t end up performing. It turns out that folk group Diuhuoche had been asked to play and was on the verge of signing a contract when local officials revoked their invite and said they would not be welcome on stage. The problem was not with their musical ability, but rather with their name. Diuhuoche means ‘Lost Train’ and decisionmakers in Nanyang concluded it would be ‘inauspicious’ to have the musicians play at a music carnival celebrating newly arriving trains. On the brighter side, publicity about the incident has proven a welcome boost to the band’s profile. As a result, Lost Train has found fans.

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