Live Music in Shanghai under duress

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The last few days have seen some pretty intense scrutiny laid at the feet of Shanghai’s burgeoning music scene. Shows raided, bands taken in for questioning (not sent to jail it is important to note) and festivals canceled. It’s been a tough week.

Some thoughts on this rainy Monday

  • the expat situation is pretty out of control in Shanghai. The Yongkang Lu // Yongfu Lu epicenters must be increasingly difficult to ignore
  • it’s a shame that the live music scene is the one being targeted, as it is really not a massive contributor to these issues, but we suppose things like the FCFCW gig night emanating from the live scene might push things further in that direction.
  • the band // licensing area is one that the authorities can readily control, as there are strict laws already in place. Plus, there aren’t massive hongbao to be earned from live houses, unlike the bars and clubs
  • rumor is that it’s a new police commissioner in Shanghai flexing some muscle, but we can’t really confirm // deny that one.
  • it could also be an annual crackdown leading up to the anniversary of a certain square
  • or it could just be the new blood in power and a change in policy. It is unknown if XJP and LKX are big fans of rock and roll

We just hope that this is another temporary blip rather than a permanent shift. It’s important to remember that we are foreigners in a foreign land, and that we should be extra careful with what we do and how we behave – it is very very obvious when expats behave badly. We tend to live in a bit of a bubble here, and we are still at a very early stage in China’s cultural awakenings. We need to walk before we can run and be sensitive to the local community, or else things could change very quickly for the worse for all of us….

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