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Indie events: photos and reviews

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Fish in Xin'ao
First image: Fish in Xin'ao on Dingxi Lu, the shoot continued into the late dinner

I recently wrote about a night shoot where we broke into an abandoned location:

It was linked to this event.

So now, the photos by Ren Hang (任航) have been processed and are starting to crop up. Click into this full post to see a selection. But first, I want to link an independent review of the event itself. It's long and detailed and feels like a vindication of the entire project:

Renhang has posted all the Boojii shots from that night in one amazing gallery here on Douban. It's Douban though, so a lot of the shots are partially censored, as you'll notice. Also, I can't freely throw around photos I'm privy to that haven't been put in the public by the photographer himself so these are not exclusive or anything. But they are great and it was a great night.
airport websize
I feel any bare bones guide to doing stuff DIY - especially putting on an event which requires bring an artist/act in from out of town - must talk about the following aspect:

running around like a rabid chicken all day long

Two clarifications. This is if you are taking the matter seriously and it's not a bad thing. I love every minute of being involved in music and the arts.

I know that certain promoters in town who read this point will be actually feeling pain in sympathy as they read this.

So. We've been having a great time getting busy for both this event and this project. We met Ren Hang at the airport as this was his first time in Shanghai. The event is on Saturday but he is also doing some shooting while here. That's where the crossover with the label project comes in. 

Last night we met with Pairs at Yuyintang and shot photos up in their room for rent, which is done out like a dance studio. We hired it for a modest hourly rate and then had complete private use. People came directly from work to do this and it went on a couple of hours - so the other point was to go out and get decent hot food for everyone while they worked. 

Half way through, Ren Hang's camera had a problem. The lithium battery (available only at camera stores) ran out. This was not a big problem as I'd already identified the camera shops in our neighborhood. Because we were spending all week chaperoning a photographer. We were also there to play through Ren Hang's slide show and check everything worked. It didn't, but we got it all sorted because we were there days before.

So, all these things required having money ready too. Not everyone gets this point. I have a friend who was very recently approached by some film makers. They petitioned hard to film this person and they agreed. They then started going, on the spur of the moment, to high profile ticketed locations - then making themselves scarce and leaving the artist to pay for their tickets, food and transport (and the artist had no idea it was coming). 

Also, check out my swish sign in the photo. The plane was a bit delayed too. We got the night bus from Pudong airport (just 20 RMB each) and got into town again at 2 a.m. and then someone called him to do a night shoot in a park. I could go on and on but the basic idea is that some groups have staff for this but if you do it yourself, indie style, you have to be prepared to actually do it all yourself.

Indie Events: Ren Hang and Boojii

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boojii masks
It's been a while since our last full event at Kungfuology. That was the PETA show which is not on this blog.

Next up. Having struck up a relationship with Beijing avant-garde photographer Ren Hang, I decided to bring him down for a show. We originally wanted to get him on at an existing regular event, a photographer's night at Dada Bar. I didn't work out though so we crafted our own.

Before I talk details, this event has a special condition: I'n bringing someone down from Beijing. Obviously this adds massively to the cost. An event featuring artists from only the same city would cost only a fraction.

Ren Hang. I followed his work as a genuine fan and ended up buying prints from him directly. This led from looking him up on Douban to having a direct line/relationship. 

We decided to have the event at Yuyintang. Ren Hang will show his work via slideshows and video then we wanted the band Boojii to play. Time Out magazine were going to in some part sponsor the event, but that didn't come through either so all costs I mention had to be put up by ourselves.

Events: Kungfuology blog party

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Jake and MM
Me and Jake's music blogs had birthdays last month. Two years for mine and the site in general, one year for Jake's

So we decided to have a low key, not for profit, birthday party at Yuyintang.

It was to be a low key event on a Tuesday. Yuyintang doesn't have anything on on Tuesdays so we called Sophia there and made the agreement that it was a non-ticketed event where Yuyintang made money from the bar. 

We also invited Ho Tom the Conqueror and Miniless Record's Han Han to play guest slots. They know the blogs and were happy to do it for free. 

We made a Douban event page, for posterity more than anything: here it is

Compare the sign up numbers and activity to this event that we did, which was fully pushed and promoted: PETA show

Most people who came did so via the announcement on the blogs themselves. Also Morgan Short of Boys Climbing Ropes was kind enough to throw out a reminder at the site Smart Shanghai

The whole thing just needed a few e-mails to set up. It went down well and many people who came took advantage of the park at the back of the venue and stayed after the acts were done.

Most true gigs here, even at smaller venues and bars are done on a ticket/cover charge system. It is also a fairly accepted model that bars make money from drinks and attractions such as bands are there to stimulate bar activity. I mention this because of recent conversations. The majority of people who came to our (free entry) party stayed late and were drinking all the time. I imagine there was more bar business done that night than at Mao on a night with five times the amount of people.

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