What’s On in Beijing: August 2019

By That's Beijing, August 1, 2019

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Aug 6: Rhys Lewis


Rhys Lewis is a London-based soulful singer-songwriter with an old-school twist. Lewis effortlessly blends rich soul with gravelly vocals, leaving a lasting resonance of his musical influences – Al Green, Marvin Gaye and James Taylor. Late 2016 saw the release of his highly anticipated track ‘Waking Up Without You,’ which immediately darted to No. 1 on Spotify’s viral chart. Hot off the success of opening for British sensation James TW and playing alongside JP Cooper, Rhys Lewis is bringing his soulful vocals, emotion-filled lyrics and a blues-inspired guitar style to Beijing. 

Tue Aug 6, 9pm; RMB100 (student), RMB 120 (presale), RMB 150 (door); Dusk Dawn Club, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Aug 7: Chinese Valentine’s Day (Qixi)

Image via Pexels

Qixi is fast approaching, love birds! Don’t forget to order a beautiful bouquet in time and stay tuned for our guide on where to celebrate the romantic day. 

Wed Aug 7

Aug 7: Movies in Concert


The idea of re-living your favorite movies through music is either madness or brilliance. Come along for the ride as The Star Sky Chamber Orchestra brings to life soundtracks of popular film scores. Highlights of the show include Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer’s masterpiece ‘He’s a Pirate’ from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and ‘Concerning Hobbits’ from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Wed Aug 7, 7.30pm; RMB180-680; Beijing Exhibition Center Theater, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Aug 8 & 9: Kunqu Opera – The Peony Pavilion


If a graceful night out is what you need, then a night at the opera is what we suggest. Early this month, the Yunnan Peking Opera Theatre will bring an abridged version of The Peony Pavilion to the NCPA stage. Produced by opera director Shen Shihua, The Peony Pavilion will star Li Jing and Zhu Fu to retell the peerless story of love. It is praised to be an elegant opera in terms of music, recitation, and the graceful movements of the performers. 

Thu Aug 8 & Fri Aug 9, 7.30pm, RMB240; National Center for the Performing Arts, see event listing

Aug 9: The Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir


One of the most prestigious choirs from Taiwan, The Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir, drops into town for one night only. With an impressive history of performing overseas, watch the 30-voice chamber choir perform a modern choral set in a cappella style of selective musical compositions. 

Fri Aug 9, 7.30 pm, RMB180-480; National Center for the Performing Arts, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Aug 9: Helsinki Lambda Club + Odol 


Somewhere in Chiba, Japan during the summertime of 2013, a new alternative rock band christened as Helsinki Lambda Club was born. Inspired by the garage movement and indie rock bands, such as Dinosaur Jr., The Strokes, The Libertines and The Cure, their musical style is cheerful and carefree. Supported by fellow rockers Odol, this event guarantees to bring you on a journey into J-rock. 

Fri Aug 9, 8.30pm; RMB290; Mao Livehouse Wukesong, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Aug 10 & 11: Hungarian Dance Drama – Let Love Win


In 2013, Attraction, a Hungarian shadow theater troupe, ran away with the top spot on the seventh series of Britain’s Got Talent. However, their fame first began to bloom during their performance at the London 2012 Olympics, in which they depicted many traditional sports within the five Olympic rings. Catch Attraction performing their new piece Let Love Win at the NCPA this month. Prepare to be mesmerized. 

Sat Aug 10 & Sun Aug 11, 7.30pm, RMB380-780; National Center for the Performing Arts, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 10 & 11: Giselle


White tulle, romantic love, supernatural creatures and ballerinas en pointe are all hallmarks of Teatro Alla Scala’s performance of Giselle. The ballet continues to enchant audiences with its unfolding narrative of love, betrayal and redemption, with cheerful village scenes brightening the stage. 

Sat Aug 10 & Sun Aug 11, 7.30pm, RMB380-1080; Opera House at National Center for the Performing Arts, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 11: William Tyler


Nashville-born country musician William Tyler is gracing Beijing audiences with his emotional and folksy instrumental storytelling. He has toured with the likes of Ty Segall and Jack White, and his powerful 2016 album Modern Country was even dubbed “one of the best country albums of the year” by Rolling Stone. In addition to his intimate live performance at TRB, the solo artist will also host a workshop at Fruityspace that covers everything from songwriting to fingerpicking techniques, of which Tyler is a contemporary pioneer of. 

Sun Aug 11, 7.30; RMB180 (advance), RMB200 (door); TRB Hutong, see event listing. Workshop: Mon Aug 12, 8-9.15pm; free entry; Fruityspace. For more info, visit spli-t.com.

Aug 21: Snow Patrol


Snow Patrol have been patching up broken hearts with their sad indie-rock anthems since 1998. After joining Ed Sheeran on tour last year, the post-Britpop pioneers are making their debut in Beijing as part of their Asia tour. They’ll be playing an entirely acoustic show – we can’t guarantee time won’t go slowly, but we can confirm the memories will last forever as you help them commemorate the release of their first album in 7 years, Wildness. 

Wed Aug 21, 8pm; RMB480 (presale); Tango, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Aug 24: Live Jazz BBQ @ The Brickyard


Feast on an assortment of grilled savory delights, while gazing out at scenic views of the majestic Mutianyu section of the Great Wall at The Brickyard. Set in the garden and featuring some live smooth jazz, the BBQ will bring together foodies and treat them to a lavish buffet of succulent steaks, ribs, trout, chicken, veggie skewers, hamburgers and more. 

Sat Aug 24, 6pm; RMB178 (adults), RMB98 (children 4-12), The Brickyard at Mutianyu, see event listing.

Aug 23-25: Momo


The Vertebra Theatre and director Gil Mehmert from Germany bring Michael Ende’s book Momo to life in a stage production of the same name. The play follows the story of a girl named Momo and her fight with the Men in Grey, who steal the time of humans. It’s an eye-opening play with a relevant message on the importance of time. 

Fri Aug 23-Sun Aug 25, 7.30pm; RMB380-1280; National Center for the Performing Arts, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 23-Sep 1: Notre Dame de Paris


Classical French musical Notre Dame de Paris is known to be one of the most popular musicals of all time. Based on the 1831 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, the French musical brings together a talented array of singers, dancers and acrobats and is set to a memorable soundtrack composed by Richard Cocciante, with lyrics by Luc Plamondon. The story of lonely bell-ringer Quasimodo and his longing for the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda will be sure to captivate Beijing audiences when it lands at the NCPA later this month. 

Fri Aug 23-Sun Sep 1, various times, RMB380-1180; National Center for the Performing Arts, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 24: Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River Hike 


When there’s no beach, hiking and summer go hand-in-hand. Join the Beijing Hikers as they hike up the Yudu Mountains, north of Yanqing. Once at the top, you’ll take in the sights of Yinmeng Temple, followed by a scenic path through birch forests into the Sujia River valley. 

Sat Aug 24, 6.45am; RMB380, RMB340 (members); Beijing Hikers, see event listing. For more info and tickets, visit beijinghikers.com

Aug 24: Hazy Summer Night


Find your new favorite budding artist at this month’s Hazy Summer Night, an annual showcase of young Chinese talent at Yue Space. This year’s lineup includes Chengdu-based indie rockers DaydreamSecrets, Loft Beach, inspired by ’60s psych and ’90s retro, Xiamen synth-pop duo Peach Illusion and more. Many of the acts will be making their Beijing debut, so don’t miss out on your chance to hear these up-and- coming musicians before they rocket to stardom. 

Sat Aug 24, 7.30pm; RMB120 (presale), RMB150 (door); Yue Space, see event listing. For tickets, visit showstart.cn.

Aug 24 & 25: Swan Lake


With its stupendous performances, opulent sets and dazzling costumes, Russia’s critically-acclaimed Russian State Ballet returns to Beijing with a Tchaikovsky masterpiece – Swan Lake. Featuring some of ballets most mesmerizing scores and stunning choreography, the tragic (yet family-friendly) story of this classic ballet by the legendary Russian composer will leave you longing for more. 

Sat Aug 24 & Sun Aug 25, various times, RMB100-480; Mei Lanfang Grand Theater, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 30: The fin. 


Japanese dream-pop band The fin. have been making music since 2012, when the group initially formed and released a single track on Soundcloud. Inspired by the lazy chillwave perfected by modern indie bands like Washed Out and groovy synth-driven dance pop of the ’80s, The fin. crafts softly textured soundscapes that are both melancholy and uplifting by nature. A popular touring act in China over the past few years, The fin. are returning again this year in support of There, their sophomore full-length release which debuted last year. 

Fri Aug 30, 9pm; RMB160 (advance), RMB200 (door); Omni Space, see event listing. For more info and tickets, visit newnoise.cn.

Aug 31: Kiefer

Image via Kiefer/Bandcamp

Blues keyboardist Kiefer is a prodigy. The beatmaker started making his own music at just 12 years old and went on to UCLA to study under jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell. Ever since then, the talented artist has paved his own way, staying true to the jazz and hip-hop he was first influenced by while learning several new instruments and orchestrating masterful compositions as a solo artist. Catch him at Omni Space at the end of the month. 

Sat Aug 31, 9pm; RMB130 (presale), RMB160 (door); Omni Space, see event listingBuy tickets here.

Through August

Gin & Tonic Tuesdays @ Slow Boat Dengshikou


Slow Boat’s new Dengshikou Taproom is making Tuesday tipsy again with their buy-one-get-one-free deal on the timeless gin and tonic. Choose from any one of their signature G&Ts like the sweet and fruity strawberry with black pepper or the tart pink peppercorn and grapefruit, all made with organic gin. 

Tuesdays, 11am-midnight; Slow Boat Dengshikou Taproom, see event listing.

Weekend Brunch @ El Barrio


El Barrio recently launched a tasty weekend brunch. Grab a seat on their sun-soaked terrace and dig into savory traditional plates like huevos rancheros, enmoladas and more. The Mexican restaurant is even throwing in a free-flow deal for the weekend occasion: three (yes, three) hours of nonstop frozen margs, sangria, mimosas and more classic cocktails for just RMB188. 

Saturdays & Sundays, noon-3pm (free-flow deal); RMB188; El Barrio, see event listing.

The Beatles: Beat On


In 1960 in Liverpool, England, a band was formed that would go on to be the most influential band in music history – The Beatles, of course. It’s time to come together, join the party and ‘Beat On’ with The Fab Four at an exhibition showcasing the band’s glorious time and history. Wander through themed spaces, stare at artwork and photographs from the band’s history and let it be with a soundtrack of their classic hits. 

Through Sun Sep 15, 10am-3pm, RMB68 (child), RMB98 (single ticket), RMB178 (two tickets); 2F Joy City (Chaoyang), see event listingBuy tickets here.

Old Beijing Dinner by Untour Food Tours


Adventure into authentic Beijing cuisine like a local with UnTour’s Old Beijing Dinner. Rich in culinary history, it’s no secret China pairs its most enjoyable dishes with great stories. Find out the stories behind original recipes as you sample over 15 dishes and drink your fill of local beers in a traditional hutong neighborhood. 

Mon-Sun (except for Thursdays), 7pm; RMB515 (adult), RMB385 (children 6-12), meeting point emailed after ticket purchase, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Unlimited Hot Pot Lunch @ Red Bowl


The entire concept of Red Bowl’s hot pot restaurant revolves around sharing, an age-old Chinese tradition. Hot pot is a meal enjoyed best with friends and family – it’s an experience after all. Every Saturday and Sunday, Red Bowl at the very classy Rosewood offers to take you on a sensational dining experience with their unlimited hot pot lunch deal. Grab your family and friends and get ready to eat your weight in hot pot. 

Weekends,11.30am; RMB195/person; Red Bowl, see event listing.

[All images courtesy of promoters]

Have an event to list? Head here to list your upcoming event. We’ll choose the best new additions to feature on next month'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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