Though Qingdao may not boast the enormous venues and visiting A-list musicians on show in some of Asia’s more major cities, there is an interesting – sometimes underground – music and stage scene emerging. Filipino house bands entertain with covers of classic rock n’ roll in a couple of the well-known expat bars, but if you scratch the surface just a little further you can find original and classical music of more diverse styles right here in Qingdao.
For instance, the Redstar’s loft-style office offers a cosy atmosphere and a little stage which has played host to some of China's most current indie and rock n’ roll bands, along with international indie, punk and bluegrass bands, to name only a few genres on show in recent times. Students and live music fans of all ages take an interest in their schedule of gig nights, advertised in their eponymous magazine, where you will also learn the venue of the monthly, Redstar-organised 'Unplugged' nights. These open mic nights invite all of Qingdao's budding musicians to sing, play or perform what – and however they like, at a different bar venue every month.
RedstarView In Map
Add: Room 401, Building 3, Creative 100, Nanjing Lu 100, ShiNan District, Qingdao
地址: 青岛市南京路100号 创意100产业园. 3号楼401室.
Tel: 0532 8388 2269
While Redstar have hosted bands for several years, the newer sHooters Bar, in the Olympic Marina, now also occasionally presents interesting Chinese bands of different musical styles. You could see a leading heavy metal band one week, and a bossa nova quartet the next. It’s encouraging to have another venue bring original, live music to Qingdao, as the scene remains quite under-developed, and venues have tended to come and go in recent years.
sHooters / Owl Bar猫头鹰酒吧View In Map
Add: Olympic Center Bar Street, ShiNan District, Qingdao
Tel: 136 6886 6600
If beer and bands isn’t really your thing, you might be more interested in some theatre over a nice dinner. If so, China Gong She is highly recommended. With excellent, reasonably-priced Shandong cuisine complemented by a beautiful, Hakka-style restaurant setting, the Chinese stage show – featuring acrobats, musicians, the tea ceremony and a face changer – is a great introduction to these Chinese forms of entertainment. The hour-long, nightly performances begin at 19:00, and the best views can be secured by booking tables in advance, which is particularly recommended for bigger parties, or on weekends.
China Gong She 中国公社 View In Map
Add: 8 MinJiang Third Road, ShiNan District, Qingdao
Tel: 0532 8077 6776
For lovers of classical and instrumental music, Qingdao’s Concert Hall– a stone’s throw from the famous Zhan Qiao Pier – offers regular concerts. Its recent facelift adds to a refined atmosphere, which is too-often compromised of a high volume of empty seats. Another venue to keep aware of is the People’s Auditorium, on Taiping Lu. A word to the wise, however, that if you’re being asked for 800 RMB for a ticket to a piano recital by a performer you’ve never heard of, you would be the only person in the auditorium paying that cost, if you were to do so. Tickets are often exchanged by businesses as guanxi payments, with the false, high cost simply indicating generosity on the part of the gift giver, rather than indicating the quality of the performer. It’s a strange reality that a 100 RMB ticket performance can often prove more impressive than an 800 RMB show.
Qingdao Concert Hall (Qingdao Grand Auditorium) 青岛音乐厅 View In Map
Add: 1 LanShan Road, ShiNan District, Qingdao
地址:青岛音乐厅, 兰山路1号, 中国山东省青岛市市南区
Tel: 532 8287 7050; 532 8297-2871
Qingdao People's Auditorium青岛人民会堂 View In Map
Add: 9 TaiPing Road (Corner of DaXue and TaiPing Road), Qingdao
地址:青岛人民会堂, 太平路9号, 中国山东省青岛市市南区
Tel: 532 8289 7229; 532 8289-7211
While you’re simply not going to see the Rolling Stones or a West End-standard theatre production in Qingdao any time soon, part of the charm of the city’s performance offering is in its low profile. Although this occasionally demands perseverance through disappointing performances, those who want to help the scene develop really need to get off the sofa, get out of the house, and support the shows.
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Keywords: Qingdao stages Qingdao music Qingdao concert halls
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