From Music-China Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Venues in town

Loading map...

General information

Beijing, capital of China
Chinese Name 北京 / Běijīng
Geographical Location 39° 54' 50" N, 116° 23' 30" E
Province Municipality of Beijing
Bands associated 425 (show all)
Venues in town 18 (show all)
Musicians born/died in town 7 (show all)

Beijing, capital of China.

General information

Have a look at all information regarding Beijing, such as bands from Beijing or rock bars to hangout. Or find out about Beijing's trendy contemporary 798 Art District, find rehearsal rooms and record studios or get yourself a tattoo done.

Please check out the bands formed in Beijing according to their forming time.

The Scene

Rock music history of China
Main Articles

Electronic Music | Metal | Punk | Rock

Regional Scenes

Beijing | Chengdu | Chongqing | Hongkong | Macau | Qingdao | Shanghai | Wuhan | Xi'an

Timelines & Lists

Domestic Bands | Foreign Bands | Labels | Tours | Records

Special Articles

History of the Midi Music Festival | Research

Individual Years

2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 | 1990 | 1989 | 1988 | 1987 | 1986 | 1985 | 1984 | 1983 | 1982 | 1981 | 1980 | 1979

The Year in Review (Photos)

2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995


September, the band Tongue moves to Beijing from Urumqi.

Sometime in 1997, the Scream Bar (or: Scream Club) opened in Beijing.


The rock bar The Garden of Joy, owned by the father-in-law of Tongue's keyboard player Guo Dagang, opens its doors close to WuDaoKou.-?-


Starting in 2000, the first Midi Modern Music Festival was hold in the halls of the Beijing Midi School of Music, located at the foot of Fragrant Hill. It started out as a students' recital and the first two festivals (2000 and 2001) were held in the school auditorium during the May Day holidays and attracted some 40 bands and thousands of fans and would-be groupies. [1] Through the first punk shows at the The Garden of Joy bar, the two music scenes of Beijing punk and out-of-towners underground had their first closer contacts.

October 12th, a developed version of the script for the movie Beijing Rocks was distributed to Yan Jun, Wu Tun and Sun Zhiqiang, who informed the underground rock scene around Tree Village on the contents. October 15th, Yan Jun read an amended version of the Tree Village Declaration in The Garden of Joy on the happenings involving the recording of the movie Beijing rocks.

Sometime in October, Ak-47 are formed around vocalist Lao Mao, with their first gig on December 23rd in the old Get Lucky Bar.


In July 2001, Pulay Records signed Tongue, bought the rights for recording their second album from Badhead Records and let Tongue record This is you in December that year.

At the end of the year, the venue The Garden of Joy (in its new location) closes, probably due to financial reasons.


For the 2002 Midi Music Festival, the Midi school decided to move the festival out of the auditorium and onto the playground in 2002. Both the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation covered the event and the general media attention surprised the organizers. Around 8000 fans showed up every day and more than 50 bands from all over China performed.[1]

In winter time, Subs are formed by vocalist Kang Mao, guitarist Wu Hao, drummer Shi Xudong and bass player Sun Xia.


In 2003, the Midi Music Festival was cancelled in May due to the SARS outbreak and postponed to October. The festival's motto was "Rock n' Roll Supports Animal Protection".[1]

Scene in 2004

Capital of one of the mightiest countries in the world, Beijing is brood nest for most of Chinese Heavy Metal. Bands such as Ritual Day , Yaksa , Twisted Machine , Suffocated , Regicide and many more are originated in the 16-million people city.

Being one of the two most western Chinese cities, Beijing has the chance and opportunity to offer the widest range of metal concerts, bands and CD-Shops in whole China.

Nearly every weekend several concerts happen to be in one of the three main rock bars: The Old and the New Get Lucky Bar and the Nameless Highland. All three bars host shows with more than 5 or 6 bands of all variations of metal, rock and punk.

Furthermore is it possible to buy most of Chinese New Metal and Punk CDs in Beijing. Enter Xin Jie Kou Bei Da Jie and roam south to strife through numerous music-shops providing you with fake, original Chinese and original imported CDs. It will strike you when in the middle of nowhere a shop arises offering you the latest ASP, Guano Apes, Gothic and Techno CDs. It is true, find out in Xin Jie Kou.

In addition to this is Chinese first heavy music magazine located in Beijing - Painkiller - and provides half Beijing with T-Shirts, concert information, news and CD-shop information. If you've time and want to see Chinese state of the art heavy music magazine, then go to one of the many small shops and buy a copy.

Also in 2004, rumours started to spread on April 28th[2] that the Midi festival was going to be cancelled, which unfortunately turned out to be true. It was therefore reinstated in October (1st to 4th) featuring over 43 bands from abroad and China on one stage. The festival was hold in the Beijing International Sculpture Park.[3]

Sometime in 2004, the genesis of the district Tongzhou started, when Yang Yang (of Mafeisan) and his friends put on a spontaneous event, the ‘Frightened by Dog’ music festival.

Metal Scene in 2005

As Beijing's underground scene is not only the most advanced in terms of technique, size and concert frequency, but also in terms of potential cash flow and involved money, the recent development reflects the typical face of a changing society, or in this case sub-society.

Within the metal underground of Beijing, taking the latest discussions and fights as examples and comparing it with other situations of similar nature, it is a typical story for past-underground development.

Whereas several years ago, only a small scene was established with a limited range of access and a limited spread of information, the growing mass of people involved into the metal scene allowed the establishment of organizations and institutes.

In the beginning phase certainly nothing more then a small coming-together of friends and people with ambitious interest in the music, the present situation shows a determined and very strict organization within this circle (print magazines with several thousand copies, record labels with more than 5 releases, internet forums with more than 1000 users). It had been only a matter of time before these self-grown organizations with sharing interest groups would reach a critical mass and hit against each other, resulting in conflicts, open discussions and the challenge, who will lead the society.

In every society and sub-society certain, groups were formed in the beginning, which after a period of peaceful coexisting would grow and consume smaller groups until the biggest ones would challenge the others. This kind of development is a normal behavior, a normal development in areas and societies that are not on a nationwide level, even though it might seem irrational that organizations with the same cultural background and the same aim (mostly the spreading of their interest / increasing awareness of their favorite interest) would not cooperate but compete in their will to grow and their will to assimilate the other one's.

In Beijing's present metal scene the following organizations can be found:

The Painkiller Magazine, a metal underground magazine that has supported the underground activities for several years and that believes in the idea of one united scene. As not a direct competitor to the other two organizations, they are found in the difficult situation to stand one both and on none side.

The Mort Production Record Company, which is the oldest record company for this kind of music, holding a big fan base and band base. Recent problems with band support opened the door for cracks in the hull and the opportunity for other organizations to challenge the old 'number one'.

The Areadeath Productions Record Company, which is an upcoming label that grew out of an online webzine and online BBS with more than 1000 users. Giving the recent 'quick wins' the label has got (fast release of CD, gathering of talented bands, big fan base) and the weakness of Mort Productions, Areadeath has opened the discussion and challenge the present situation in the underground scene.

Having these three metal organizations in Beijing, the local scene has taken the step of the real 'underground' scene over the first commercial phase into the 'challenge phase', in which the future of the scene is decided. Definitely can be said, that the old days are over: Beijing's metal face has changed and the underground will definitely not be like before anymore. Judgment whether it is good or bad is not applicable, as the development is bringing China's metal scene one more step into the direction, the punk scene has already taken.

The rebellion of 'being-different' is over, the time of making money out of the music has come.

Other events in 2005

In March 2005, garage rock band Carsick Cars is formed with their alledged first gig in the Beijing Institute of Technology in May 2005.

In 2005, the Midi festival was hold from October 1st to 4th with 46 bands from China and around the world (Something to Burn, World on a String, ...) in the Haidian Park, Beijing. The Mini Midi stage was introduced for the first time in 2005.


The 2006 Midi Music festival was hold in the Hai Dian Park, Beijing, from May 1st-4th with the John Lennon slogan "I hope someday you will join us.". It featured a Main stage, a Guitar China stage, a Mini Midi stage, a Yen Dance stage and an Apres Midi Music stage.[4]

May 1st 2006, the D-22 opened it's doors in the WuDaoKou area, close to the 13 Club. The D-22 shortly rose to fame hosting punk and rock shows daily.


In 2007, the Midi Music festival featured for the first time a dedicated hip hop stage. Lasting from May 1st to May 4th/5th, this years festival was sponsored by Greenpeace.[5] According to some reports, up to 80000 fans visited the festival on the first day.[6] Foreign bands Liquido, The Crüxshadows, Mishkin and ten others perform.

September 8th, Carsick Cars release their self-titled debut Carsick Cars on Maybe Mars Records.

October: The Modern Sky Festival 2007 is held in the Haidian Park (Beijing) featuring 4 stages and over 120 bands. Foreign acts the Yeah Yeah Yeahs perform on the main stage.

December: The Mao Live Club is holding their Mao Awards 2008 with the formal ceremony on January 23rd 2008.


In 2008, after numerous announcements, the initial plan was to host the Midi Music Festival in the HaiDian Park from May 1st to 4th and until April 18th this seemed realistic. International acts were invited and all necessary applications and permissions received.[7] However due to a shorthand government-related unwilligness of mandatory police officer presences, the confirmation of Midi seemed uncertain on April 22nd[8] and was confirmed cancelled on April 23rd[9]. Only a small-size festival could be reinstated called "Back to Utopia", which was scheduled to go on on the school campus.[10] However due to certain tragedies happening shortly before May 1st (train accident of ZiBo[11]), also this plan was cancelled and a spontaneous school party was organized. The official announcement was that the festival should happen in the October holidays. Modern Sky announced that they would support Midi in the festival.[10][12]

In October 2008, however, the former coalition plans seem divided. Midi and Modern Sky arrange two separate festivals, Modern Sky in the HaiDian Park, Midi in the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium. However government-related reasons (i.e. additional security costs to be born by the festival) resulted in a cancellation of the Midi festival on April 19th. The festival was postponed to October 10th-12th and possibly the weekend after as well.[13] But even this announcement had to be redone on September 25th and the festival rearranged to the October days of 1st to 5th and a move to the Midi school area, after the overseeing government have checked the park area regarding the leave of the Olympic Air Defense Security Team, that had been stationed there. [14][15]


January: 7th-17th, the JUE MUSIC ART Festival 2009 happened in Beijing and Shanghai.

February: Parkway Drive performs in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hongkong.

In May 2009, Timeout Beijing Magazine publishes their "the 20 coolest rock stars of Beijing" list on which Bian Yuan of Joyside is leading as no.1.[16]

In June, Beijing blog Pangbianr is being established, focussing on the Beijing scene and reporting in English and Chinese.[17]

On August 11th, the Zoomin Night event series is started by the D-22. The series quickly evolved into the main point of focus for noise rock and experimental bands from Beijing and Tianjin and is called by some as the predecessor to Waterland Kwanyin.


On April 16th, 2010, the Beijing M.A.O. Livehouse is being shut down, allegdably due to fire safety violations.[18] On April 22nd, the folk music community in Beijing decides to hold a "Pray for Yushu" charity concert in commemoration to the victims of the Qinghai Earthquake at the Mako Livehouse.[19] On May 21st, the Beijing M.A.O. Livehouse re-opened their doors.[20]

In May both the Midi Festival and the Strawberry Festival happened in Beijing. In Chengdu, the Zebra Music Festival 2010 took place. In the aftermath of the May holidays, both the Midi Music Festival 2010 and the Strawberry Music Festival 2010 were scrutinizably analyzed and according to China Music Radar it was "art versus commerce" with Modern Sky and its Volkswagen overkill representing commerce and Midi representing art and music.[21] Shouwang of Carsick Cars stated: Bands are not VIP, only sponsors are. Treat us like human beings. I wanted to jump on the cars, but my guitar lead was too short[22]

Further in May, a discussion started in the English blogosphere about the status of D-22 and Maybe Mars, originated from the controversial article Why No Beijing and D-22 are not worth the hype! on Rock in China, which spawned discussions on all major English blogs around the Beijing scene, highlighting the unique position of Maybe Mars, its efforts and the perception in the foreign media. In July, Pete DeMola displays a further glance upon the topic with his widely read article At That Moment I Thought, I Thought I Really Saw Music.

September 23rd, metal legends Exodus performed in the Mao Live house.

On July 23rd, Subs released their 2010 record Queen of Fucking Everything with a release party in the Mao Livehouse.

November 17th, No Beijing band Carsick Cars split due to creative differences and opportunities for members' per­sonal development[23].

Furthermore 2010 saw the departure of several forces in the Beijing music scene including Matt Kagler of Tag Team Records, Jon Campbell of YGTwo, Peter Baird of D-22 and Tofu of 2 Kolegas.


June 24th 2011
dazeFEAST 2011, 2 Kolegas, Beijing, photo (c) Beijing Gig Guide

On June 24th, 2011, the dazeFEAST 2011 one-day festival took place at the 2 Kolegas in Beijing organized by Beijing Daze.According to Beijing Gig Guide[24]:

The after­noon scene was lovely. To start off with, it was just twenty-four hours after the city had been com­pletely flooded, and the sun was out and the weather was lovely. It was like a big pic­nic with all your friends, and occa­sion­ally some of them would get up and start singing. (...) The whole thing fin­ished up around 3AM, and really there isn’t much more to say than that daze­FEAST was a roar­ing suc­cess. Every­one I know who went had a blast, and we were not alone.

Further information

General city information

Gig News & Reviews

Articles on the scene


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Music Festival Strikes up the Bands in Beijing". Li Xiao ( (2005-09-30). Retrieved on 2008-10-08.
  2. "Midi Music Festival". Jon Campbell (PopMatters) (2005-04-06). Retrieved on 2008-10-08.
  3. "Music fans tune up for Beijing festival". China Daily (2004-09-28). Retrieved on 2008-09-24.
  4. "2006 MIDI Music Festival". (2006-04-25). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  5. "Midi Music Festival of China to Open in Beijing". (2007-04-28). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  6. "Midi Music Festival 2007". Kaiser Kuo (Ich Bin Ein Beijinger) (2007-05-06). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  7. "Approved! Midi 2008 is on*!". Berwin Song & Paul Pennay (The Beijinger) (2008-04-18). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  8. "Midi 2008 is off!". Paul Pennay (The Beijinger) (2008-04-22). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  9. "Confirmed: Midi is off". Paul Pennay (The Beijinger) (2008-04-23). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Midi Update and other music news". Paul Pennay (The Beijing) (2008-04-28). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  11. "Four French injured in train collision confirmed to be one family, friend". People's Daily Online (2008-04-28). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  12. "迷笛延期 摩登天空音乐节将伸援手". Modern Sky Records. Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  13. "Midi Delayed Again". Paul Pennay & Victoria Yang (The Beijinger) (2008-04-19). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  14. "Rock on!". China Music Radar (2008-09-26). Retrieved on 2008-10-06.
  15. "Midi Update: Moved to Midi School October 1-5". Mandy Li & Paul Pennay (The Beijinger) (2008-09-27). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  16. Timeout Beijing Magazine (May 2009). "Class of '09". Retrieved on 2009-05-07.
  17. China Music Radar (2011-06-29). "Josh Feola of Pangbianr talks to Wooozy #2". Retrieved on 2011-07-02.
  18. Alex Searson (Beijing Gig Guide) (2010-04-20). "Breaking News: Mao Livehouse Shut Down!". Retrieved on 2010-04-21.
  19. Beijing Daze (2010-04-22). "Live Aid for Yushu Tonight @ Mako Livehouse: Charity Folk Show to Help Earthquake Victims". Retrieved on 2010-04-25.
  20. Wang Ge (The Beijinger) (2010-05-19). "STOP PRESS: Mao Livehouse re-opens This Friday". Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  21. China Music Radar (2010-05-04). "Art vs Commerce – a review of the Beijing festival weekend". Retrieved on 2010-05-04.
  22. Translated by China Music Radar from Shouwang's douban post
  23. Andy Best (2010-11-17). "Carsick Cars split". Retrieved on 2011-01-09.
  24. Beijing Gig Guide (2011-07-07). "Gig Review: ‘dazeFEAST 2011!". Retrieved on 2011-07-09.

Personal tools