MAO Livehouse on the move

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mao.jpgI'm sure you all read Time Out Shanghai from cover to cover, page for page (like this blog does), so you've probably read this already in the Boozehound section, but MAO Livehouse is moving at the end of this year. They'll take over a new space down near the Bridge 8 complex on Sinan and Jianguo Lus, with February being touted as the most likely time for an opening (my guess is post-Spring Festival). My first thought was that it might be the old 4Live space, but apparently that's not the case.

Rumours have been swirling about the imminent demolition of MAO Livehouse's current location in Red Town for over six months now (China Music Radar first broke with that one here) and, though they will make it to their one year anniversary this month, don't expect there to be too many gigs there beyond December. UPDATE: Lisa Movius has kindly clarified some of the details in the comments and MAO will remain open up until the new venue is ready - read Lisa's comment for more information.

So after a year of half-filled gigs and some of the worst bar service in the city, are they down-sizing? Err, no. Apparently, the new space will be even bigger - with sources at MAO Livehouse likening it to Star Live in Beijing. I've not been to Star Live I have to admit, but the official capacity is 800, with some sources in the capital saying that the actual capacity is bigger than that. It sounds ambitious, especially given their previous form here, but if we're being kind we could perhaps argue that with a new, bigger venue, renewed investment and without the threat of demolition hanging over them (presumably), Soma et al will actually put more effort into filling this new venue and into making sure the well-documented problems with the current space don't reoccur in the new one.

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Works for me. I can see Bridge 8 from Luwanrock HQ.

The new location is not in Bridge 8, but very near to it, and it will renovate an existing space. Our estimated opening date will be April 2011, but possibly sooner. Mao 1.0 will remain open for full operations until 2.0 launches, closed only for a week when all of the equipment gets moved.

The current Mao already has an official capacity of 800, with actual capacity of 1100. The new venue is larger, although I'm not clear how much by.

Hopefully we'll be able to announce more soon. We have been keeping it on the quiet until the contract with the landlord was finalized, and now that it is we can be more forthcoming with information.

It is a bit like "failing upwards"

First the Dream Factory didn't work out, so then they opened Mao which was much bigger. To be honest about it, the bar was a disaster, the organisation average and the general success of the venue not realised.

Now are we really going bigger again? And more downtown?

What don't we know about all of this? Lisa?

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