XIAMEN, April 22 (Xinhua) -- At 6 p.m. on a Saturday, about 300 people gathered in a club in Xiamen, a coastal city in east China's Fujian Province.
As the music turned on, three performers walked into the limelight and started singing together on stage. Their fans screamed, danced, and sang along with them.
But this was not normal concert, the three singers were all everyday people realizing their dream to become a star.
"I once thought concerts were only for professional singers, not for people like me," said Chen Shiwen, a senior at Xiamen University and one of the performers that night.
Born in Quanzhou, a city which neighbors Xiamen, Chen fell in love with singing when he was in middle school.
"My parents were busy working and it was music that kept me company when I was alone," he said.
More than 40 of Chen's friends attended the concert. But the singer said that he was not nervous but felt excited.
During the two-hour show, Chen performed seven songs.
His friend Yao Zhiyu said Chen appeared more charming than ever on stage. "The songs he sang were so touching, I could feel his emotions through the lyrics," Yao said.
"The show was a success, although not perfect," said Howard Kuo, CEO of Dreamtopia, the organizer of the concert.
Kuo, 30, established the company in November 2017 with several fellow Taiwanese in Xiamen, hoping to organize concerts for everyday people who dream of becoming a professional singer.
Three years ago, he started a similar concert model in Taipei and has organized more than 70 events there.
Kuo said proudly that one singer who took part in a concert in Taipei went on to become a professional singer and his first album will be released next month.
In February, Kuo held an audition and selected three singers including Chen from over 100 applicants in Xiamen. He invited professional performers to give advice to the singers.
"Many people love singing, but have no stage," Kuo said. "Taking part in this concert is free of charge for the singers. We hope to offer a chance for everyday people to realize their dreams, and provide a stage for these talented performers."
But organizing a concert requires money, for the venue, band, and other equipment. How does Dreamtopia make money?
"Usually, we select three singers to take part in each concert. The total cost is about 33,000 yuan (5,243 U.S. dollars). Our earnings come from three areas: ticket sales, sponsors, and merchandise sales," Kuo explained.
The audience was primarily made up of the singers' friends and family. Tickets were sold at 200 yuan per person or 300 yuan for two people.
To encourage the audience to stay for the whole concert, Kuo scheduled the show with all three performers singing the first and last songs together, and singing individually in between.
"It was really great," said Yi Yan, close friend of another singer. "When they held the microphone and start to sing, they were shining."
The success of the first concert has encouraged Kuo to plan more. He hopes to hold three or four concerts every month from July.
After the lights were turned off, life goes on for the three singers. Chen has already found a job related to his major logistics management when he graduates.
"Music is my love. The concert will be a precious memory," he said. "I will continue singing in my spare time."