Just when you think that everything is starting to turn rosy for Shanghai’s live music scene, something comes along that hits you like a kick in the teeth.
We just heard that Shanghai’s Yu Yin Tang has been shut down. So what you say? They will be back just like last year. However, this time, it really is serious.
We visited the venue’s official website to be met by this ominous notice…
Shanghaiist’s English translation care of Zat.
Website suspended since today May 8th. [May 8, 2007], the company received investigation notification of Xuhui Branch of Shanghai Culture Bureau, according to relevant regulations, performance organized by Yu Yin Tang at level 1, 200 Longcao Lu has been suspected to involve illegal behaviours. Therefore, Yuyintang website is going to stop service since May 8 and reopen to our users after the investigation result dislcloses.
Yikes. Someone in Xuhui branch of The Culture Bureau is really pissed if your venue gets shut and your website gets yanked.
At the time of writing, we tried to get in contact with someone from the Yu Yin Tang with no success. We will keep on looking into this turn of events.
Shanghaiist asked Brad Ferguson, formerly of the LiveBar and one of the more reliable sources on information about Shanghai’s music scene, about this turn of events.
Closures like this by The Ministry of Culture happen all the time. Performers and venues need permits, and the only venue I’m aware of that has these is JZ. It is almost impossible to get a permit, unless you have connections. Most live music venues fly under the radar or use bribes to get by. Last year, a major crackdown saw Yu Yin Tang and 288 Taikang Lu (The Melting Pot) shut down.
After talking with Brad, he contacted us saying that the shows would go ahead this weekend.
Shanghaiist also talked to Abe from Eno, who often liaises with bands looking for evening gigs after performing in Eno’s afternoon series of shows. Abe often interacts with Yu Yin Tang management, and had this informed comment to say about Yu Yin Tang’s future.
This closure is a lot more serious than last years. Their only option now is to get an official live music license for performing in that venue. The events will still go on this weekend at Yuyintang, but after that they will need a proper license to perform in the same place.
Abe went onto say that after last year’s week-long shutdown of the Yuyintang, the management have been relying on a performing arts license obtained via the cinema above their warehouse display space. This line-ball ploy appears to have backfired.
Although the good word is that this weekend’s gigs will still take place, if you had plans for Yu Yin Tang for this weekend (like any of the events we mentioned earlier today), you might want to keep an ear to the ground about any developments on this issue.
Previous Live Music Closures covered by Shanghaiist.
RIP: Tang Hui (the sequel)
Live Bar Is Dead
Tang Hui forced to cancel all live rock music.
Yu Yin Tang is located at Lane 100, 200 Long Cao Road near Tiandong Lu. Phone: 6436 0072.
Photo of happier times at the Yu Yin Tang Warehouse by shanghaisky was found via the Shanghaiist Contribute page.