But last week bought good tidings from the Northern Capital. A crowdfunding campaign for the return of Jiangjinjiu疆进酒, a legendary Gulou dive that was demolished a few years ago, was spectacularly successful, smahing its initial goal in under 24 hours.
As of late evening on the 18th of May, it has crossed RMB 1.2 Million, with more than 190 backers. 40 folks have forked out 15,000 RMB (the highest funding tier), and the project has raised 250% of its initial goal with 27 days left.
Jiangjinjiu’s new home is at the shiny new Tianqiao Arts Centre, located opposite the West Gate of the Temple of Heaven park. At the moment, it’s a little hard to access by subway but an extension to Line 8 (with a station right outside the venue) is expected to open by the end of the year.
The folks behind Jiangjinjiu’s resurrection say the new venue can hold up to 800 people, and will be planned as a ‘multidisciplinary’ space, allowing for all kinds of events including, of course, music.
It’s expected to be open to the public by July 15, and if their history is any indication, we can expect some folk-heavy, blues-heavy Chinese alternative. The old Jiangjinjiu favoured softer sounds to noise assaults (though it didn’t shy away from the latter), so don’t expect it to immediately be a replacement for the recently departed Mao Livehouse.
Regardless, it is an extremely welcome addition to Beijing’s thinning roster of venues. Jiangjinjiu could be a valuable larger companion to the always-bustling Jianghu Bar, and the occasional alternative to Yugong Yishan.
Expect a Radar scene report from the new place soon!