Lai originally planned to organised an event of Chinese music to reconnect the Manchester Chinese community to Chinese arts and crafts and well as introduce Chinese culture to the general public. Due to demand, the event quickly grew to a two week festival celebrating all forms of Chinese Arts. The festival was held across several venues including the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester Central Library, Cornerhouse, College of Adult Education, and the Workers' Film Association. As well as music events, the festival included film screenings and workshops demonstrating Chinese arts and crafts.
The success of the festival led to the founding the Chinese View Arts Association in 1987.