Yugong Yishan still reigns supreme for Beijingers and Ramblings
It’s been a long weekend with touring and what not (more on that later) so I didn’t quite have time to touch on this until now. But if you were paying attention last week, you’d have noticed that Yugong Yishan was voted BEST live music venue in Beijing by the readers of the Beijinger ( full results here for 2011 ). Mao Livehouse and D-22 have taken second place or as they call it, outstanding awards!
First of all, congrats to Yugong Yishan, Gouzi, Doro, Carlo and Ou Yan for the award! There is no arguing with the readers!
I’m a bit disappointed though to see them win it yet again for the nth time in a row. They’ve had a bad run of sound problems over the past year ( that was fixed) and a lot of shows that i made it to were almost empty. Still, some shows were beyond full like re-TROS, Silver Apples etc… Yugong is the fashionable place for people to go to and that’s the end of the story. I equate their long reign to that of the Tree in its category. Actually, to be fair, I don’t have a problem against Yugong Yishan itself, but against the crowd it draws…
Mao Livehouse has managed to put on consistently better shows with better sound and I wouldn’t have minded seeing them pick it for a change ( exodus , Shonen Knife, SUBS, Omnipotent Youth). Jianghu did manage to come out of the corner swinging this year with amazing amazing shows, great crowd and a fun athmosphere.
I wouldn’t give it to 2 Kolegas, my personal favorite, because they’re not a livehouse… they’re a dive bar that incubates musical talent!
I’m still convinced that given the tendency of expats not to move around much, there is plenty of room for one hell of a livehouse in sanlitun with proper sound, management, security and advertising. There is way too much foot traffic there, day in/day out for it not to succeed if it’s done right and kept simple.