That Mao Shanghai Story

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andy at mao shanghai
That Mao Shanghai story. Well, that could be referring to all kinds of things. But this time around I mean this:

China Music Radar - Mao Live to be knocked down

So, the biggest open secret in the scene has gone on record for the first time over at CMR. For a few weeks now the story has been going about, Mao Shanghai will be bulldozed to make way for a new development. Well, I've got a statement from the Mao folks, but first, the basic idea.

Most people know that plot as Redtown, but Redtown is one of a few developments inside a piece of land called 新十刚, an abbreviation for New Number Ten Steel Works. For a while it was mainly abandoned and the only functioning part was the Hong Qiao Flower Market. However, bit by bit it has been renovated or rebuilt until the small strip with Mao Live on it was the only untouched part, stranded in the middle. Mao moved in to that strip on a sub-letting type deal but recently the rumour has been knocking around that the obvious was going to happen.

Think of it as one of those downtown islands of old houses. You could open a business there on the cheap, but everyone knows it's going to go.

So, I've spoke directly with Lisa Movius (English PR) and Lezi (manager) from Mao. The story got started when the landlord mentioned that ideas for renovation were on the move and recently he has given them "an eight month advance "maybe" warning". 

SOMA/Mao boss Li Pang says that Mao will continue as a Live House either way and that the result of this would be a move, not a closure, with eight months giving them plenty of time to find a new location. Here's the quote:

Mao is a concept and a commitment as much as a physical venue, and physical venues are replaceable. Mao might eventually move, but it's not going anywhere.
So there you have it. There are many other issues and stories around this, of course. You can find them all linked at the CMR post. As usual, pay attention to the actual events as they happen.

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I'm guessing that creating that current physical venue of Mao Shanghai cost someone a lot of money. Certainly more than creating the concept of Mao Shanghai.

Indeed. Which is why the statement seems a bit random and hollow. Most of the investment and initial oversight was done by the Japanese label so are SOMA implying that they have agreement from them to re-fund another renovation.

What a shame but hardly surprising, it was clear for a long time that Mao was never going to last and the people running it certainly didn't seem interested in running a business and more so in running a private party for their mates. One can only hope the Japanese backers don't walk away but somehow I expect they will cut their losses, write off their investment and leave SOMA with a huge pile of great audio kit so they can set up somewhere else again for 6 months and make it three venues they've trashed in short time. Maybe they could give their PA to YYT/696/Live Bar/Logo who all actually seem interested in promoting and supporting live music in Shanghai and set up a KTV.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on April 13, 2010 9:59 PM.

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