As The Horse Raced Away… A Year of Fallen Venues.

so the year of the horse is behind us and that couldn’t have happened soon enough… at least for the music community in Beijing or maybe just for me. As the days and months passed, many bands and venues were casualties of the racing horse so here’s hoping the goat is more steady and merciful.


Jiangjinjiu was the first victim of the year. Most people the beloved venue between the drum and bell towers to be gone a while ago and we lost count of the number of events we had saying goodbye to it. Still, for many a person, it was one of the most welcoming venues in town that shied away from the mainstream despite never living up to its billing as the heir apparent to the mythical River bar from the old sanlitun south. The memories are plenty from watching Miserable Faith with the venue packed to the rafters or listening to good old bluegrass featuring the Redbucks and friends. Jianjinjiu had a place in the heart of musicians and kept it real. Something i always wished they had done with their booze :-p So here’s to you old friend, and to the memories.

2 Kolegas

This one was beyond hard for me and a lot of people do not realise what a loss the music scene took when 2 Kolegas closed. We didn’t want it, we didn’t accept it, it couldn’t be possible…and yet, it did! So many of us were shocked that we refused to comment or say anything and the backlash is happening now. It’s especially weird for me because the last big event at the venue was the final dazeFEAST with a poster featuring tombstones. 2 Kolegas was our home away form home in ways many people can’t understand unless they were there. From the broken toilets to flowing booze and late night jam sessions to the multitude of buddies that became family over the year, this one was harder on me than most. We’ll never have again those roast lambs, ningxia nights, shufulands but man those memories are alive and well.

CD Blues Cafe

just as quietly as the other venues, CD Blues closed its doors without garnering any attention from the media or the folks. Just on the eve of Chinese New year, they had a last intimate show and closed up with the only evidence coming from Zhang Ling’s Facebook account.
I was never big into CD Blues and sure enough have been there at the most a dozen times over the years but their drive and importance to the blues community in Beijing cannot be denied. The new location never lived up to its billing i guess and we’ll leave it to that. Another one bit the dust.

What now?

Dusk Dawn Club

We did get one worthwhile addition to the live music scene in the form of DDC, opened by the ever smiling 69. While it’s never gonna fill the void left, it’s still as far as i’m concerned the best new venue in town and i’m looking forward to seeing it grow.

In the meantime, it’s as good as ever of time to salute the ones that have survived and still carry the flag! See you at the show!

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Simon says:

    I loved 2 Kolegas, great venue, especially in Summer… I know you’re not as active as you used to be, but is there any chance you could write a current overview of your favourite (and least favourite) live music venues for someone who missed 2014 in Beijing? Many thanks

  2. Mademoiselle says:

    Hey! You forgot to mention the new great place for live music! Caravan!