How I Wear* Experiment shoot their music video on top of the Great Wall

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How an Estonian electro pop band end up on top of The Great Wall of China and shoot a videoclip of their popular song: DOGS.

While it’s very common nowadays to travel to China and visit the Great Wall, it’s still pretty uncommon to go on the Great Wall and shoot a videoclip of a song right ?

Well perhaps the first question is how the band ended up in China?

If you are familiar already with I Wear* Experiment, you know most probably that they have been touring on regular basis in  Asia and mostly in Korea, and Japan for the last 3 years. In fact they had their first Chinese experience in September 2017, the band played in Beijing, Tianjin and Zhengzou before heading to Hong Kong.
Let me give you some context about this epic September 2017 tour,  3 weeks tour in Asia that stopped in Japan, Korea, China, HK and Malaysia.
China was country number 3 in their tour. Prior to China, the band played in Japan 5 shows  and in Korea where they played 3 shows.
September 2017 tour was extremely hectic and compact.  The band was jumping from airport to hotel, from hotel to venue, from venue to hotel…. there were no time left to enjoy some time off around but also you need to add the level of tiredness  accumulated from everyone as the band was on the road for 10 days already (some of them got sick and were in recovery mode). Let’s face it, everyone were pretty much exhausted when arriving in China and we were just half way.
To add to the situation and I should mention also, before entering China, the band was not prepared to face the gigantism of the country. I remember, they had a feel at first of being lost in those huge metropolis such as Beijing, Tianjing where language can be a barrier but not obstacle specially with a touch of humour.
Did I mention the following, just to add some spice to the story: the band and crew were travelling with a huge load of gears, and were using mostly trains, taxi, bus, metro. So you can clearly imagine the kind of marathon this group were doing before and after each shows.
Luckily, we had a fantastic team of local promoter helping us for this leg of the tour. Without them, it would have been a complete disaster.

How the shows went, you may ask:

For the all shows performed, the band had the chance to play in such great venues with all the professional equipment available. Heaven on earth !
Again despite the language barrier, magic happened. Audience were really engaged, responsive and in number for all the shows the band performed. For the 3 shows the band performed, IWE were happily surprised by the number of people who came to attend the show and start following them on their Chinese social media !

Back home in Estonia:

A couple of weeks later, once everyone was back home and digest this long and epic tour, we started brainstorming about next trip to Asia and naturally it was clear that China should definitely be on the list of countries visited. It was decided also to have an extra day in Beijing and go to The Great Wall.
Rapidly, came the idea to make a acoustic version of Dogs on the Great Wall and make a video about it.


It took me a few weeks of exchange of emails with our local promoter based in Beijing to organise that mini trip. It will take place in the Badaling portion of the Great Wall. We had no clear plan where exactly we wanted to shoot the video, we just decide to go there with all the material. You may call us naive, but it worked.

D Day – The Great Wall

It was a bit cloudy that day. We were hoping it will not rain and it didn’t. From Beijing to Badaling we spent about 90 minutes on the road.
Once passed the entrance, It took us around 1 hours of climbing staircase to reach finally one portion of the Great Wall.Everyone was sweating when reaching the top. Not the best when you want to shoot a video and look fresh. The entire group took a rest of 30 minutes before hunting for the right spot.  Luckily it was not too crowded, so we start looking around and after 25 min search, we found the perfect spot to shoot the video in a quiet area.
In less than 90 minutes, the video was shot (mostly with mobile phone). It’s like everyone knew what task they were in charge. The band did a few attempts and got it almost immediately. Couple of weeks later, once the band was back in Estonia and spent some time in their studio to polish the video, the video was ready to be released in their youtube channel.

Here below are the result. What do you think ?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zUOU17HuK4″ el_width=”50″ align=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Enjoyed the article? 

You can find more great content here:

Touring Management in Asia - Some basics
Touring in China as a band and build an audience

About the author 

John Willame

17 years experience in the Music Industry, I worked as a promoter in Bangkok for 8 years where I set up shows for Backstreet Boys, Death Cab For Cutie, Mogwai, Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock.. In 2016, I created my own artist management agency which focus on the development of emerging artists.

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