Hot off the notorious Shanghai rumor mill: recently opened live venue Mao Shanghai is in a bit of trouble. The owners of the real estate has apparently decided that a single undeveloped building in the huge and increasingly bourgeois Red Town “Creative” compound is a business opportunity overlooked, even though said building is home to China’s premiere live venue. And so, barely 6 months after it was opened, is Mao doomed not to last out 2010??
The Mao story is long and convoluted. Rather than reprising, we draw your attention to the number of posts in this here blog, discussing the whys and wherefores.
HERE for the Soma x Dream Factory debacle
HERE for the end of that little saga
HERE for the start of Mao Shanghai
Despite initial teething problems, an ongoing inability to run an even passable attempt of a bar, plus a soundsystem that should be better for the size of venue, the venture was in the most part well executed and definitely showed that there was a need for a mid sized room in a city of Shanghai’s size. We have been there for nights as varied as a HK label showcase (rammed with not a single laowai except for yours truly), a metal moshfest (punctuated by random ambient jazz), an Icelandic orchestral quartet, and some Japanese post rock. The venue has raised the bar, not only in Shanghai, but also in China.
Of course in China, nothing is for certain. Despite the significant investment in the renovation and equipment and the success of the venue, it looks like Mao might not make it to its first birthday. We hope and pray that this isn’t true…
Watch this space