The Shanghai International Tourism Festival is one of the biggest shows on earth - and this year the Whanganui Brass Band will be one of the star attractions.

"The main event of the festival is a big street march and parade through Shanghai," Jonathon Greenwell of Brass Whanganui said.

He likened it to Thanksgiving Day parades in the US.

"There'll be a few million people lining the streets, but then there's 200 million people who will watch a live televised broadcast".

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The Shanghai International Tourism Festival is billed as a "celebration of cultures" and is on a scale that's hard to imagine.

"[There's] about two and a half kilometres that we march down," Greenwell said. "And about three or four spots along the march, we stop and there's tiered seating, and we do a mini-marching display for two to three minutes, to dignitaries who are seated and then we carry on. So it's pretty cool."

Jonathon Greenwell's previous largest audience was a measly 100 million in Edinburgh. Photograph / Georgie Ormond
Jonathon Greenwell's previous largest audience was a measly 100 million in Edinburgh. Photograph / Georgie Ormond

As well as performing in Shanghai, Brass Whanganui have been invited to provide the fanfare for the opening of the Tomb of Terracotta Wariors - a remarkable invitation for the Whanganui band.

"They've invited us to Xi'an which is where the terracotta warriors are and they're opening up a new area that's never been seen outside of the Chinese Archaeologists. The band and a few dignitaries will be the first people in the world to see this new part of the Terracotta Warriors.

"So to be invited there to play and do national anthems and to do a concert is really very, very special."

Bruce Jellyman, the Musical Director of Brass Whanganui, says the brass band was first registered in 1882, and has served Whanganui ever since.

He says the whole band is excited to provide the fanfare for a much larger audience.

"It'll be the Chinese National Anthem and any other ceremonial fanfare that they need to do their ceremony," Jellyman said.

The Shanghai International Tourism Festival is seen by 200 million people. Photo / supplied
The Shanghai International Tourism Festival is seen by 200 million people. Photo / supplied

But this kind of once-in-a-lifetime experience doesn't come cheap.

The band is holding a movie fundraiser on May 29, a concert in July, and a Boosted campaign which ends in two weeks.

Greenwell reckons it's worth the effort.

"I was in the NZ Army Band for a few years and this is bigger than anything we did there. Certainly the biggest live audience with 200,000,000. In Edinburgh we only got 100,000,000 so there you go."

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