Twelve representatives virtually open the first barrel of beer during the online opening ceremony of the Qingdao West Coast New Area venue on Friday night. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The 32nd Qingdao International Beer Festival kicked off on Friday night, with three venues set up in the city's West Coast New Area, Laoshan district and Jimo district. A variety of activities were held in Shinan district as well.
Twelve representatives opened the first barrel of beer via virtual connection during an opening ceremony for the Qingdao West Coast New Area venue for the 10-day "cloud beer festival".
The festival's studio is hosting a number of livestreamed events from 8 pm to 10 pm daily to introduce beer culture via the Chinese video platform Youku. Events include music performances by well-known artists and bands, conversations with internet celebrities and other interactive activities.
Well-known bars in other cities, both domestically and internationally, were invited to participate in the livestream interactive activities to boost international exchanges.
Beer-themed landmarks, famous attractions and local delicacies in Qingdao were also promoted through videos during the festival.
To attract more people, a slew of beer-themed activities were held on various online platforms including JD, Taobao, Douyin and Alipay. The festival's online stores opened on the platforms to sell various beer products.
Qingdao West Coast New Area is home to the world's largest beer square — Golden Beach Beer City — a hot tourist destination, especially in summer.
During the festival, it's doing business on a daily basis, and visitors must reserve online for access and are required to provide available health code and nucleic acid test results. The number of visitors allowed to go into the Golden Beach Beer City are limited.
In Qingdao's Laoshan district, a traditional venue for the festival, offline activities have been organized through Aug 7. In addition, organizers introduced the metaverse bandwagon into the festival. Visitors can log onto an app and travel through digital beer gardens and participate in virtual scenes.
In the city's Shinan district, the first session of the Shangjieli Beer festival is being held around the century-old Zhongshan Road. Organizers hope visitors will enjoy traditional and modern elements of beer culture. Activities include musical parties, brewing experiences and various art performances.
Initiated in 1991, the Qingdao International Beer Festival has grown into a brand event in China and is said to be one of the four largest beer festivals in the world, along with Germany's Oktoberfest.