By now almost everyone in the world has heard about China’s impressive growth and development in the last decade. Countless articles and documentaries report about the ever-expanding cities, China’s increased multiculturalism, the raised standards of living, and so on. However, one thing that tourists especially may not realise is that live music venues specializing in showcasing non-pop acts like rock bands are a quite new addition to China’s cityscape, and are just as much part of China’s development as the opening of a new international shopping mall or high-speed railway line.
In the late 80s when rock music was first born in China, only a handful of “underground” venues in Beijing offered regular gigs to those in the scene. However, this has all changed – at least in the bigger cities around China – and nowadays these venues are the breeding grounds for one of China’s freshest burgeoning cultural movements – rock and alternative music. Every bit a part of Chinese culture as ancient temples and pagodas, these venues give locals and foreigners the chance to hear how witnessing China’s massive post-reform changes has shaped a generation of musicians and artists. Suzhou, like most other medium to large cities in China, has also become home to several such venues, so between visiting all the historic sites and scenic spots make sure you also find the time to experience this part of Chinese culture. Below are the major spots for live music in Suzhou.
Wave (WAVE 摇滚苏州俱乐部)View In Map
Wave is the place to go to catch a gig by some of China’s biggest and most popular rock bands. Wave is also the venue of choice for international bands performing in Suzhou. With its 200 square metre floor space, 20 square metre stage, high quality professional sound system, special green room and affordable drinks, Wave is THE place to go for live music gigs in Suzhou. Since its opening in 2006, Wave has been putting on regular live gigs, usually by big name Chinese bands passing through town or traversing the country on their China tours. Their regular big events and large venue have been a winning recipe in Suzhou’s live music scene from the venue’s very beginning.
Add: 35 Shijiaxiang, Lindun Lu, Pingjiang District, Suzhou
Tel: 13404232410 (tickets and directions)
Mofun Loft 魔方LOFTView In Map
Mofun Loft is the other major contender for a winning medal in Suzhou’s live music scene. Housed in an old factory building within Rong Creative Park, Mofun has regular live music events, from rock bands to more chilled-out folk musicians and their guitars. Mofun is equipped with a decent sized stage, a loft, sky lights, a film screen, artistic decor, coffee and Western food.
Add: “Rong” Idea Park, 26 Baita Donglu, Pingjiang District, Suzhou
Whales Live Bar (a.k.a. Feeling Bar)View In Map
Sometimes known as Whales Live Bar威尔斯ROCK酒吧, at other times as Feeling Bar (感觉酒吧), this venue is another hot site for live music in Suzhou. The bar also organizes regular rock gigs and music-themed parties, often attracting some of the biggest names in China’s rock music business. To find out what’s happening there, either check out their Douban page (www.douban.com/host/whales) or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add: 16 West Rd, Kunshan, Suzhou
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