Discussion » Music » Moving to Beijing, what should I bring?

  • TProphet
    TProphet wrote:
    Hi folks, I'm TProphet from Seattle. For the past few years, I've been in the center of essentially every underground event in the Pacific Northwest electronic music scene. Now I'm in Beijing, will be living here for at least the next two years, and I have a 40' cargo container to stuff full of whatever I can fit. It leaves Seattle next month and I need to make some quick decisions about what to put in it.

    Back at home, I have essentially everything needed to run an outdoor electronic music event with up to 500 people, although it's mostly North American stuff, some of which is impractical to bring here. Camping gear, pop-up canopies, Christmas lights, rope lights, propane heaters, kerosene heaters, 20KW of generating capacity, gas cans, and a fairly respectable and mostly QSC sound system (4xHPR181i, 2xHPR153i, 2xKsub, 4xK12, 2xTapco Th-15A, mixer, CDJs, turntables, etc.). A more or less complete listing is here: http://www.nwtekno.org/showpost.php?p=2559470&postcount=16 (although I keep adding gear even while I'm here).

    Right now I'm planning to bring everything that can operate at 220v (mostly my sound system, mixers, some of my DJ rig) but I'm interested in a few things before I make the final decision to ship it over here...

    - Is this stuff really needed in the Beijing scene? I've only seen a limited slice of the electronic music scene and it would seem to be, but I'd rather support the Seattle scene with it if it's going to rot here.

    - If yes, what opportunities are there to get plugged in here? I don't want to drop 3-5 grand to ship everything home unless I'm likely to have a lot of fun with it in the next couple of years.

    - I have no idea what's involved in finding warehouse space here to store sound gear or a van to move it around in. The only full-size Chevy vans I've seen in the city are owned by the US Embassy (and obviously, I can't ship my cars here). Any pointers, presuming this isn't an exercise in futility?

    - Is there anything resembling an underground scene here at all? Granted, given the significant differences in the Chinese government vs. the US government, this may be impossible but I know China has an appreciation for culture and the arts. Hopefully this extends to an appropriately harmonious electronic subculture with Chinese characteristics. ;)

    I notice there's a fairly hostile online peanut gallery--while I expect to hear from them, who I'm really hoping to hear from are DJs and promoters in the area who can give me useful information. Looking forward to your replies!
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Bring large condoms. Forget about the other stuff.

    -the peanut gallery

    p.s. Welcome to Beijing.
  • Simen Stensvoll
  • Petter Meisfjordskar
    Some lousy post for people here. They enjoy them so much.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Hahah ok, I'll try to say something useful since that COOL LION is being critical.

    I know nothing about the music scene, but mini-buses at least are readily available for hire if you need to get your stuff around.

    I've also never found real storage, but if you have a lot of stuff you could just rent an extra flat outside the city. It would cost less than 500 RMB per month and then you'd have the space to keep your extra junk. I did look for storage space in the city for a short time, but the rates were higher than rent and I didn't have much confidence in them.
  • Webslave
    Webslave wrote:
    Hi TProphet, welcome to Beijing.

    Unfortunately i m neither an expert of the electro scene here nor a gear geek. I guess it depends what you want to do in here in first place. The electro scene in Shanghai is bigger and more vivid than Beijing but in both cities, bringing your own gear to regular gig venues isnt much neccesary unless you have your off-standard requirements.

    Mostly, live electro gigs takes place in specific electro/dance clubs or on the electro stage of outdoor festivals. Acupuncture just did their Intro Festival in 798 Art District in May (http://www.acupuncture-records.com/), they also own a small club in the bar street of Sanlitun North.
    Acupuncture's Group on WLIB: http://weliveinbeijing.com/search/quicksearch.rails?un=Acupuncture

    Antidote are doing mostly their events in Shanghai but recently they also started some shows in Beijing (http://www.antidoteasia.com/).
    Michael's WLIB profile: http://weliveinbeijing.com/Profile/Profilenew.rails?Uid=100060218

    The biggest player in Beijing's electro scene should be "YEN" by O2Culture: http://www.o2culture.com/
    YEN Group on WLIB: http://weliveinbeijing.com/groups/group.rails?gid=1000001745

    Here is a list of Chinese electro artists and DJs:

    My suggestion is to get in contact with the real scene ppl to consult about what you can/want/gonna do and what gears you might best bring yourself from the US. But to my own experience as a longtime rock gig organizer, you would normally get most of the standard gears needed for a gig on rentals, so no need to recruit your own gears unless you are doing things regularly on perminent spots and set ups. It may make sense to bring newly developed gears that are hard to find in China or to expensive to rent or gears that you count to your personal asset to create your own individual style/sound.

    Electro music isnt a big thing in China but the scene is quite active. Beside club events and Festivals (e.g. Midi Festival, Modern Sky/Strawberry and their own electro Festival called ZOO Festival etc.) there are also often rave parties. But like i said, i m not too familiar with the scene.

    Speak to local scene ppl about gears and gig environments before you make a decision which gears to bring. You will be surprised in the end. Good luck and dont forget to announce your first gig here in WLIB!
  • Simen Wangberg
    Yeah man, you wanna get ahold of the Acupuncture/Antidote/O2Culture folks. See also The Syndicate, local drum n bass collective.
  • Jenelyn Tambago
    Bring something for indigestion if you are not able to handle spicy food =)
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Bring all the cool thrift store clothing you've collected over the years, which you might be afraid will be too "weird" for China. Trust me, it's not. Chinese people dress like hipsters, but neater and without the irony.
    There is no 'underground' scene. There are some chaps who are aiming for it but it lacks the logistics of actually buying records so it's down some own production and ripping everything from soulseek and soundcloud. The population buys into popular culture, not the details that go into it.

    In saying that, I think Robert Hood is coming on Sept 3 ;) There are tours.. and sometimes people like yourself fly on over and play the new stuff we don't have access too.

    Bring decks, and 4 crates of records. Buy the sound system here. I wont mention names but go to the clubs, listen, speak to the dj's there about getting a gig.

    I left mine at home and I regret it...
  • Rebecca Dreiling
    Deodorant. Definitely deodorant...
  • Mari Vidste
    Mari Vidste wrote:
    Wow, congratulations, TProphet from Seattle! on being at the CENTER of...wait, let me check...yeah, essentially every underground event in the Pacific Northwest electronic music scene!

    Sounds like you need a 40' cargo container just to fit all your 'cred'!

    Beijing is just starved for the fake creativity of another 'dj'!

    -was that hostile?
  • 巴特
    巴特 wrote:
    aGree..lol... quite hard to find large ones here.
  • Petter Meisfjordskar
    Bring a human size freezer in which you will get solace from the scotching sun. Just enter and get cooled.
  • Pete DeMola
    Pete DeMola wrote:

    You can get in touch with the Syndicate crew here.
  • Simen Wangberg
    "I also like to throw renegade underground events. We do things like throw raging dance parties under highway bridges starting at midnight, or camp-out events in the forest. This is what I mean by an "underground" scene - is there anything like this in Beijing?"

    No way in hell. The PSB would come down on you so hard, your grandchildren would feel it. Even "officially sanctioned" events sometimes get canceled or otherwise ruined. I guess if you somehow managed to bus everyone out to some random area in the sticks, it could work...maybe.
  • Daniel Westerberg
    "I also like to throw renegade underground events. We do things like throw raging dance parties under highway bridges starting at midnight, or camp-out events in the forest. This is what I mean by an "underground" scene - is there anything like this in Beijing?"

    Lol you will probobly make the news, I can see the headlines "Foreigner arrested for running illegal music events"
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    小莫 also used to be straight, but I'm not sure what either of these things has to do with this thread.
  • Christian Jacques, Photography
    A vuvuzela ! ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz :-)
  • Iain Bonner
    Iain Bonner wrote:
    haha, nice contribution Christian
    YES,nothing but RMB !!
  • Simen Wangberg
    "So, uh, does the PSB ever issue, um, permits to do, erm, unothordox events? Maybe if you hire some of them as off duty security officers or something?"

    Not that I know or have heard of. I guess if you know someone who knows someone in the police department...nah, I dunno. The closest thing I can think of are the aircraft carrier/Great Wall beach parties, but those don't take place in Beijing.
  • Camilla Olsen
    Camilla Olsen wrote:

    bring some witness, to avoid ur ass being kicked.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    Oh, hope it is not too late ... you might want to bring your ... patience and understanding ... in my case, I left them when I was in Sydney ...

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