What's On in Beijing: October 2018

By That's Beijing, September 30, 2018

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Oct 11-21: Rent

Courtesy of promoters

The musical that taught us how many minutes are in a year lands in Beijing this month as part of their 20th anniversary touring production. The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece will make you cry, laugh and sing along with the cast to the tunes inspired by Puccini's 'La Boheme.' 

Thu Oct 11–Sun Oct 21, 2.30pm and 6.30pm; RMB80-880; Century Theatre, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Oct 11-14: Sleeping Beauty Ballet

Courtesy of promoters

This David McAllister production of the famed Tchaikovsky ballet shines in baroque golds and vivid colors, spilling over with fairies, princes, woodland nymphs and storybook charm, while casting a spell of delight all the way to a true love’s kiss. 

Thu Oct 11-Sun Oct 14, 7.30pm; RMB100-800; NCPA, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Oct 12: Bruno Major

Photo via Bruno Major/Facebook

British singer-songwriter Bruno Major sets off on his Asia tour. The alternative indie artist is known for emotive, R&B-influenced tracks ike 'Easily' and ''Fair Weather Friend,' and has even toured with pop superstar Sam Smith. Soak in the soulful vocals and blissful melodies mastered by this expressive musician with his powerful set at Tango. 

Fri Oct 12, 8.30pm; RMB120 (presale), RMB150 (door); Yugong Yishan, see event listing.

Oct 12 & 13: Electric Lady Music Festival

Courtesy of promoters

Ladies, it’s time to get in formation. China's first music festival with a focus on female musicians lands at Yue Space this month. The badass lineup spans various genres from R&B and indietronica to jazz-pop and folk. Don’t miss acts like synth punk outfit SUBS, art pop musician Jing and hip-hop talent Aruna H. The festival will also host several pioneering female artists creating live designs during the event and an open discussion, inviting women to share their stories. 

Fri Oct 12 & Sat Oct 13; RMB150-180 (presale), RMB260-320 (door); Yue Space, see event listing.

Oct 12-28: Oktoberfest @ Kempinski 

Courtesy of promoters

Paulaner Brauhaus is bringing the experience of Oktoberfest to Beijing this fall. Celebrating Bavaria's world-famous beer and folk festival, the cheery event will feature hearty food, beer and festive evenings filled with traditional yodeling, sing-alongs, dance-alongs and entertaining performances. 

Fri Oct 12-Sun Oct 28; Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, see event listing.

Oct 13: Knxwledge & J Rocc 

Courtesy of promoters

After Mild High Club’s debut in September, two more impressive Stones Throw Records acts are touching down this month. Catch esteemed producer and songwriter Knxwledge along with beat maker J Rocc at Playhouse for a night of funky, experimental hip-hop. 

Sat Oct 13, RMB140 (presale), RMB160 (door); Playhouse, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Oct 13: Laputa – Castle in the Sky Concert

Courtesy of promoters

'Laputa' is much more that just a concert: It is a multimedia performance featuring songs from the Studio Ghibli animated classics we all know and love, including the eponymous Laputa: Castle in the Sky, as well as Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and the Oscar-winningSpirited Away. Born from the minds of composer Joe Hisaishi and director Hayao Miyazaki, these Japanese animation classics will be brought to life on the stage by the renowned ensemble Music Fans Classical. 

Sat Oct 13, 7.30pm; RMB100-580; Beijing Concert Hall, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Oct 13: Rumble in the Jumble 'Happy Endings'

Courtesy of promoters

Rumble in the Jumble, the hutong popup market, is back at Modernista. This month's theme is 'Happy Endings' and will be the chance to say farewell to founder Helen Bentley, who started it all in 2016. Creative goodies, fabulous company and even some snacks make this the ideal Saturday afternoon. Come for the crafts or rent a booth and sell your own! 

Sat Oct 13, 12-6pm; Modernista, see event listing.

Oct 19: Wednesday Campanella

Courtesy of promoters

The trendy J-pop group consists of KOM_I, Kenmochi Hidefumi and Dir.F, who are longtime friends and collaborators. Their bold, electric hits playfully push the boundaries of bubblegum pop and are dangerously danceable. From their first club gig together in Tokyo to landing slots at festivals overseas – such as Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles last year – Wednesday Campanella is well on the way to becoming an international sensation. Their China tour includes stops in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai. 

Fri Oct 19, 8.30pm; RMB300 (advance), RMB360 (door); Tango, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Oct 19: Bake

Courtesy of promoters

One of the UK's freshest DJ talent and co-founder of Glasgow label All Caps, Bake lands in Beijing thanks to party people Suan Pan. Check out his original club beats when he takes over the tables at underground club Zhao Dai. 

Fri Oct 19, 10pm; Zhao Dai, see event listing

Oct 20 & 21: Datong Tour 

Datong is home to some of China's most well-known archaeological wonders and fortunately, is close enough to Beijing that a visit fits perfectly into your weekend. Follow China Culture Center for an overnight tour to the gravity-defying Hanging Temple and to the stunning Yungang grottoes filled with Buddhist art.

Sat Oct 20-Sun Oct 21; RMB2600;China Culture Center, see event listing.

Oct 20 & 21: Doctor Zhivago 

Courtesy of promoters

As part of the second Lao She International Theater Festival, the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center hosts 'Doctor Zhivago,' a play adapted from Boris Pasternak's novel of the same name, set in Russia during the first half of the 20th century. 

Sat Oct 20-Sun Oct 21, 7.30pm; RMB99-1408; Tianqiao Performing Arts Center, see event listing.

Oct 21: The Fratellis


Courtesy of promoters

Scottish rockers The Fratellis are bringing the early 2000s back. The dynamic threepiece is touring in support of their fifth album In Your Own Sweet Time featuring the cheerful single ‘Starcrossed Lovers,’ though expect to hear all your favorite chantworthy indie bangers like ‘Chelsea Dagger’ and ‘Henrietta.’ 

Sun Oct 21, 8pm; RMB480 (presale), RMB580 (door); Tango, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Oct 25: Zombie-Chang & Siamese Cats

Photo via Zombie-Chang/Instagram

Yet another stellar act from Japan graces Chinese fans. Known for her genreless anti-EDM music style, Zombie-Chang is sure to deliver a wicked playful set at Omni Space with Japanese indie-pop rockers Siamese Cats. 

Thu Oct 25, RMB180 (door), RMB280 (door); Omni Space, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Oct 25: Sam Smith


Courtesy of promoters

Since he was featured in Disclosure's track 'Latch' in 2012, Sam Smith has been a steady presence in world charts, and his career reached a new high when he won the Academy Award for 'Writings on the Wall.' The soul-baring soloist, king of anthems for the heartbroken and hopeful, is ready to move the Beijing fans at the end of the month. 

Thu Oct 25, 7.30pm; RMB480-1880; Cadillac Arena, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Oct 26 & 27: Jing-A 8x8 Brewing Project 

Courtesy of promoters

Eight breweries across Greater China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) and eight of the top breweries from Nordic countries meet at the 8x8 Brewing Project, an international beer festival organized by Jing-A. They're joining forces for the occasion to create eight collaborative brews that will be presented at the end of the month. The boozy event will feature four free-flow tasting sessions. Tickets on sale now! 

Fri Oct 26-Sat Oct 27; RMB208-888; Langyuan Vintage, see event listing.

Oct 28: Brunch & Spook @ EAST


Image via Pexels

Courtesy of promoter

Halloween might still be a month away, but nobody came more prepared for this year's spookiest celebration than EAST. They're throwing a monstrous bash dubbed 'Brunch & Spook' for all you guys and ghouls. Over at Feast, they're hosting a Halloween brunch with tricks and treats, featuring frightfully fun activities like pumpkin decorating, face painting and more. RMB398 per person gets you free-flow boo-ze. After you're all stuffed, get spooked at Xian's haunted house. 

Sun Oct 28, 11.30am-3pm; RMB398/person (includes free-flow drinks); EAST Beijing, see event listing.

Nov 2: Blossoms


Courtesy of promoters

Glittering synths, triumphant riffs and catchy, sing-along vocals – these are all characteristics of the supreme sounds of ‘80s glam rock and pop. Stockport indie rockers Blossoms pay ode to these very sounds. With the release of their self-titled debut album, the synth-pop quintet found itself at the top of the UK Albums Chart. The lush record, full of euphoric tracks, is a sonic emblem of the greatest hits era, notably revolutionized by rock-goes-disco bands like The Killers and Arcade Fire. Catch their China debut at Omni Space in November.

Fri Nov 2, 9pm; RMB220 (presale), RMB280 (door); Omni Space, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Nov 2-4: 'Now You See Me' Magic Show 


Courtesy of promoters

The new Lionsgate magic show inspired by the popular heist movies will launch in China this month, featuring cutting-edge technology, surprise twists and some of the best performers in the world. Don't worry, they won't steal anything this time. 

Fri Nov 2-Sat Nov 3, 7.30pm; RMB280-880; Workers' Gymnasium, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Through October

'Phantasmagoria' by Leon Fenster


Images via Leon Fenster

Immerse yourself in the labyrinthine fictional worlds of Leon Fenster's artworks at the Art Museum Hotel. The illustrations of the British artist, with previous exhibits in the UK, China and Singapore, are lucid dreams overflowing with bright colors and bizarre characters that tell the countless stories of contemporary cities through the artist's eyes. Ironic and engaging, Fenster's works are guaranteed to entertain you, but also incite some thought. Maybe looking at the world in a new way is just the cure we need for our city sickness.

Daily through Tue Oct 15, 9am-6pm; Art Museum Hotel, see event listing.

Shoji Ueda Retrospective

Courtesy of promoters

Photo gallery Three Shadows presents the first extended retrospective on the work of Shoji Ueda, the Japanese photographer famous for his masterpieces set in the sand dunes of Tottoro and his unique modernist style, impermeable to the passing fads of the art market. 

Tue-Sun, through Sun Nov 25, 10am-6pm; Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, see event listing.

Anti-Social Sundays 


Courtesy of promoters

In a world of Instagram posts and never-ending group chats, Caravan refuses to #tag along. Unplug at their Anti-Social Sunday event, where you can score a sweet discount if you hand in your phone to the bar. Can you resist? 

Every Sunday, 11am-1am; Caravan, see event listing.

Slow Boat @ RAMO


Photo via Slow Boat

Slow Boat presents their latest collaboration with Ramo: A menu that unites classic BBQ treats with craft beer for a perfect pairing. Feast on the BBQ Burger Pizza and add two pints of Zombie Pirate Pale Ale for just RMB158, or pick the Slow Boat Beer Mustard Sauce Chicken Wings (RMB48). 

Daily; Ramo, see event listing.

'Black Gold' Afternoon Tea


Photo via Rosewood Beijing

Spend an afternoon in exquisite style at Rosewood Beijing with a new afternoon tea at Bistrot B, a charming haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Dubbed 'Black Gold,' the extravagant set features caviar and champagne. 

Daily 2.30-5.30pm; RMB220/set, RMB580 (includes free-flow champagne); Bistrot B Lounge Bar at Rosewood Beijing, see event listing.

Have an event to list? Head here to list your upcoming event. We’ll choose the best new additions to feature on next week’s edition of ‘What's On in Beijing.' Not sure where to start? Here's a full guide on how to list your upcoming events on our website.

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