In recent years, Qingdao has slowly been developing a live music scene of its own, although it still has a long, long way to go to be anywhere near that of Beijing, Shanghai or even other second tier cities like Wuhan. Like its overall bar scene, Qingdao’s live music options are sparse, yet as a seaside city and producer of China’s most popular beer, all the basic infrastructure seems to be in place. In recent years, festivals like the Qingdao Beer Festival and the Golden Beach festival have attracted some of China’s biggest bands to the city, slowly and ever so faintly putting Qingdao on China’s rock music map. A further indication of Qingdao’s burgeoning live music scene is the increase in bars offering regular live music events. Though the number is small, some of the venues do nonetheless bring in some of China’s most popular bands, and judging by the overall mushrooming of rock bands all over the mainland, this is a scene that is guaranteed to expand in the not so long future.
Owl BarView In Map
The number one venue for regular live music in Qingdao is Owl Bar (猫头鹰酒吧). Located in the Olympic Center Bar Street, Owl Bar features live music performances by both domestic and overseas bands on a regular basis. In general, most of the big bands passing through the city perform here, with past musicians including German singer/songwriter Maximilian Hecker and Sichuan hardcore metal band Yaksa to name but a few. In general, the venue stages a diverse mix of musical genres. Expect anything from rock, punk and experimental to acoustic songs and reggae.
Add: Olympic Center Bar Street, Shinan District, Qingdao
Redstar/Creative 100View In Map
Redstar has hosted some of China’s biggest bands such as Re-Tros, Ziyo and the The Suns, as well as a handful of international bands like Immaculate Machine and Hollerado. It definitely counts as one of Qingdao’s main live music venues, but the only downside is that live music events are more sporadic than regular. Redstar is located in Creative 100 Industry Park, an area dedicated to promoting the creative industries in Qingdao. Creative 100 houses a number of art, crafts and photography shops. However, it’s not the most reliable spot for regular live music, but rather as a place where the occasional music and art related event takes place.
Add: 401 Creative 100 Industry Park, 100 Nanjing Lu, Shinan District, Qingdao
Tel: 135 8320 6332
Website: www.c100.cc (Creative 100 website down at the time of writing)
The Freeman is the venue of choice for more mellow live music, especially Chinese folk rock. The show is known to finish quite early here, so don’t count on rocking into the early hours of the morning like a true rock joint. However, if you do want to catch some great Chinese folk musicians such as Zhang Quan, then do make sure to check out this venue. More on the venue here.
The Freeman Bar自由人酒吧View In Map
Add: 163 Jiangxi Lu, Shinan District, Qingdao
Tel: 158 5321 1877
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