Shanghai music lovers got a big scare Friday when police-like characters stormed YYT, stopped the music, confiscated equipment, and shut the place down. The Wu Ji folk show that night was canceled as well as the Pinkberry EP release party on Saturday and the blues fiesta with the Sultans of Swing that was scheduled for Sunday. How long this would continue, and what would happen to the British rockers Exile Parade on May 5th? What about two big upcoming Splitworks shows – The Inspector Cluzo May 3rd (finally funk!) and the Break for Borneo and Frank Turner show on May 14th?
But we can all breathe again, as the smog has cleared and the owners Sun Lu and Zhang Haisheng say YYT should be open for raging on Tuesday night for the Nordic Rock tour featuring four rock bands from Norway. The infiltrators were actually officials from the business administration looking in on a licensing issue. The logistics were quickly taken care of, but the owners are still waiting for an official answer Monday regarding Tuesday’s performance. It seems that all clubs need to be in top shape during this Expo season. Permits have to be up-to-date and control maintained. LOgO had a similar visit last weekend, but the main concern there seemed to be complaining neighbors, which wouldn’t be the case at YYT since there are no neighbors. It looks like all equipment will be returned and shows will go on as planned this week. Too bad for Pinkberry who had their CD Release Party ruined on Saturday (although they got a bit cheeky.)
Sun Lu said he wanted to thank everyone for their patronage and for believing in what Yuyintang does. The reason that we love Yuyintang is because the passion for music is painted in its walls and we need a place like that in our lives, a simple space where the music can be free to do its wonders.
Though the sense of live show instability may linger through these next few months, it should not deter supporters of local music culture from feeding their cravings. Much to our relief, the beat goes on.
UPDATE (26/04/10, 7 PM):
In the States, you can be sure that there will be more cops patrolling the roads for speeders and drunk drivers at the end of the month, so they have at least a few tickets to prove they haven’t been slacking off on their responsibilities to keep the town “safe”. That’s kind of what seems to be going on here. All departments have to give a report at the end of this month that they have taken “action” to ensure the “safety” and “control” of the city before the opening night of the Expo. This explains why thugs from the business administration were dispatched to Yuyintang on Friday night to take some equipment and wreak a bit of havoc on the peaceful club – gotta meet the quota.
So it seems we have survived the first crack down hurdles of the big, bad Expo and, though they huffed and puffed they won’t be blowing this live house down this time! Yuyintang has received the approval to open their doors to the sweet sounds of live art once more and all their equipment has been returned. They will be open this Tuesday for the Nordic Rock concert and I will surely be there to celebrate the music.
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