An open letter from the promoter, translated by PerpetualChange.
"Dear John Petrucci,
I am Mel from Guitar China, a associate of Nike and Xoundforce. I also participated in the organization of Dream Theater’s first performance in China
, in 2008.
While I believe Nike has already said everything needed, I have read your latest apology and, as one of the organizers and someone who knows your fans well, I feel it necessary to communicate with you once more, for the sake of both myself and all of your numerous fans.
It is undeniable that we were late one day-- just one day-- in getting all of the required documents to you. Those documents, however, were the responsibility of the government, and we cannot determine the speed at which they will operate. While we personally had flown over and were willing to make a big investment in order to change this, unfortunately you were not even able provide us with the 20 minutes we asked for in order to handle these matters.
Recently, there’s been a sensation in the metal community: Brazil’s “Metal Open Air” festival, the largest of its kind ever, faced a serious setback, which caused Anthrax, Blind Guardian, and bands from 30 other countries to decline to perform, even though they had already arrived in Brazil. Because of safety issues, Megadeth’s performance was cut short, and sound operators left in the middle of the performance because they knew they wouldn’t be receiving any wages. Those tens of thousands of fans who did show up complained that there weren’t enough restrooms or drinking water available. The organizer of the event faced criticism from everywhere, but Megadeth were praised for their attitude through this all. Though plenty of big-name bands refused to play, Megadeth did perform, and played until the wee hours in the morning, not concluding until 3 am. Dave Mustaine released a statement which said: “We weren’t playing for the promoter anymore; we were playing for the people! ...I’d heard that the fans had to spend money for water when they’d already spent a lot on a ticket. I’ll never do business with that promoter again. Last night was for you fans.”
In China, there are even less concerts than there are in Brazil. The bands that come here are few, and we certainly can not take responsibility as promoters. This concert was an opportunity for you, John Petrucci, to become a hero in the eyes of the Chinese fans. Unfortunately, now we see that you don’t have the same courage as Dave Mustaine!
Dave Mustaine cares about his fans. Now, I’m not sure if Dream Theater really care about their Chinese fans. From the looks of it, they don’t.
1500 fans from all over China were going to come to your concert. Some of them had asked for vacation time so they could come; others had already bought their plain or train tickets (we know of one fan who’s already stayed in the station over night!). Fans from all over the country were coming. Fans who aren't from Beijing would have made up 1/3rd of the audience. Some of them used a month’s worth of wages to buy their ticket and pay for their transportation to the venue, all for Dream Theater. Some of them payed nearly all of what they had. Even if us promoters and the government made a mistake or can be blamed for not being efficient enough, the fans have done nothing wrong, They had been enthusiastically waiting for this, and many even had presents personally made for you which they were waiting to give you.
We’ve made our greatest effort and spared no expense to put on this concert; you, on the other hand, had plenty of time and many chances to handle the visa. The fault, then, is yours. Although you’ve used the one-day of being late as a premise for not coming at all, that was not something we could control. Furthermore, you did not handle what you were supposed to handle. What you were able to control as Dream Theater’s “new leaders” was not done well enough. How does that compare with how Mike Portnoy handled things?
In 2008, Mike Portnoy was the leader of Dream Theater: The first time you came to China, it was also on tourist visas and the conditions of the performance (the space and equipment) were also not up to everyone’s expectations. Plus, the guesthouse was only 4 stars. Mike Portnoy released a statement saying so. Yet Dream Theater still performed. (You should remember, or go and have a look at your passports and see that they’re tourist visas).
No, you have a new leader. You already have come to China before; moreover, this time you have the chance to handled the work visas, the site, and the equipment (which you all brought from America yourselves); and you have a 5 star hotel. Everything is better than it was last time around, and yet you’ve given up. You simply have not given us a chance; you haven’t given the Chinese fans a chance.
So it looks like Mike Portnoy was really more "rock 'n roll" then you all.
As for you, John Petrucci. Good-bye. You play the guitar very well, but we won’t be able to appreciate it anymore. At least not me.
Dream Theater really doesn’t have many fans in China and Guitar Channel is a small company in China, with only me and two others (Nike and Xoundforce) handling the performances. Despite all that, we have over 1 million members. We practically live-broadcasted our trip to you in Japan
over the last 48 hours, which our fans called a “rescue operation”, but you never gave us a chance.
For you all, you’re just not performing one event and still taking your $100,000+ USD performance fee. But for a small company like ours, this has left us with almost nothing left-- though that's not what's important. We know this is reasonable in your western way of thinking. But our Asian blood tells us that some things can’t be settled the "reasonable" way; and that “reason” does not always lead to happiness.
Guitar China covers nearly every fan of rock music in all of China. I believe you’ll be able to deal with the influence this has had on you. But even though we lost, our efforts have won us respect. Though you’ve been reasonable and polite enough to apologize, you’ve do lost China. You will never be able to enter this market and reach those here who really love music.
As of now, we are planning to refund those who bought tickets. Though we’ve already made the tickets, the ticket cards, the posters, and playbills, we are going to give them to the concert-goers as presents, so they can remember this. It’s a rare chance for someone to obtain an untorn ticket.
One more unfortunate thing I’d like to tell you, about your apology. Most of the Chinese fans won’t be able to receive it, which is ironic. Was it for us Chinese fans, because you’d still like our support?
If you understand Chinese, or know someone who does, why not check out the world’s largest guitar forum here:http://bbs.guitarchina.com/thread-1401648-1-1.html http://bbs.guitarchina.com/thread-1401828-1-1.html
The new DT thread already has 150000 hits, and this forum has a million fans, which is much more influential than your facebook.
For the time being, this is all I have to say.
When I had access to you in 2008, I didn’t ask for your signature or a picture with you. I just hoped that you would come again. Your smile cheated me. Everyone has a dream; we just don’t want anything to do with your Dream anymore."