(w!re)

Some new news coming in vis-a-vis the upcoming music festivals, namely the two biggies: MIDI and Strawberry. Or rather, a lack of news. No news is not good news here.

It's all still unofficial at this point — and we're still holding out hope — but we've been confirming with bands and other sources close to the organizers, and it looks like both MIDI and Strawberry will be unable to obtain the proper permits to move forward this year.

Word circling around the underground is that both festivals are definitely off for Shanghai. The Beijing situation is slightly less bleak, but organizers are still struggling to get permits.

Sensitive times. The situation could change, of course, but that's where it's at now, in case you were wondering. We'll update you when things are more above board one way or another.

[UPDATE]: Organizers close to MIDI say that MIDI Beijing may move to Suzhou's Taihu Lake for a rock festival May 1–3. That's the same location as the MIDI Electronic Festival slated for May 15-17. MIDI has a whole park out there, might as well get some use out of it... They're hosting a press conference on April 11 with more details on the situation, we'll keep you posted.

NIGHTLIFE / MAR 27

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Mark your calendars, like an entire quarter of them: the 2015 Festival Croisements has been confirmed for April 10-July 10. If you're not familiar, Croisements is a sprawling, multi-site, multi-disciplinary festival put on by the French Embassy, Institut Française, Alliance Française, Faguo Wenhua... basically every single person pushing French soft power in Beijing. Music, art, theater, literature, film, anything Francophonic or Francophilic.

We've already started to receive bits and pieces of the program: this "French collision of transboundary art" happening at Post Mountain on the weekend of April 17-18 is part of Croisements, as is Kaiguan Culture's May 30 gig for extraterrestrial (but still somehow French) psychedelic rock troupe Magma.

Safe bet that anything with the word "French" or "transboundary" in it happening within that three-month window is Croisements.

I'm attending a press conference for this thing at the French Embassy next week so that I can get you up-to-the-minute updates on the full Croisements program, and also so that I can drink Embassy-stock red wine. They gotta have good wine at these things right?

ACTIVITIES / MAR 27

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Fans of art & free beer: Red Gate Residency will hold its first open studio of 2015 this Saturday afternoon at the Shangri-La Art Complex in Feijiacun, an event timed perfectly with the parting of the clouds and the annual rising of the mercury. Swing by to check out the work that Red Gate's five current resident artists — Alexa Wilson (New Zealand), Anne Hastie (Australia), Bevan Shaw (New Zealand), Chan Wei (China), and Emily Hanako Momohara (USA) — have put together since they've been in Beijng.

Runs from 3-6pm. Free booze, BBQ, and good vibes! Probably a lot of free business cards too if you're trying to network.

Find taxi / public transpo directions in the listing.

ART / MAR 27

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News comes to us from The Nanfang that Apple stores in China will start a new program as soon as March 31 that allows customers to trade-in their old iPhones for store credit. Basically, manufacturer Foxxconn will pay for the phones, refurbish them, then later sell them online and possibly in stores. Sounds like a push to get more people locked into the Apple ecosystem instead of the Xiaomi universe or the Samsung galaxy.

Apple has had a similar trade-in program in America since 2013, according to Bloomberg. ... Read on

SHOPPING / MAR 27

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HEADS UP GOLD-DIGGERS: French tycoon / LVMH CEO / 13th richest man in the world / fantastic golfer (probably) Bernard Arnault is gonna be partying at Gongti megaclub LIV tomorrow, Friday, March 27. LIV is sponsored by Hennessy, you see, and the man fucking runs Hennessy.

LIV will have their usually scheduled lineup of singers and dancers, EDM DJs, CO2 cannons, bottle services, private tables, neon dancefloors, etc. But since Uncle Bernie's in town, they'll be going harder than usual. LIV promoters assure us that he'll be "bringing along some rich person's surprise for party goers."

Diamond-encrusted poppers? Champagne-flavored water? Just straight up bullion bars for everyone? The mind reels...

I actually have a few business ideas I've been sitting on for a while now. This might be my shot. I've been waiting for this moment all my life. Time to fire up the old PowerPoint...

Party with a billionaire if you want people.

NIGHTLIFE / MAR 26

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TRAVEL / MAR 26

Goa Productions hosts a three-day psytrance festival in a valley in Kunming. SmartBeijing talks to the Psytrance Pete about what's going down...


DINING / MAR 25

New Japanese import in that Sanlitun Village, TIE-KEW-LEE place-thing. Gelato Pique Cafe: They do crepes. And wonderful sweet things.


DINING / MAR 24

Girls on film. Inside Aotu Selfie Parlor, Beijing's best budget option to take pictures of yourself dressed like toast. Sexy toast.



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LOOP Beijing Bus at SmBj Territory


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"A Meatless Mouthful"

donkeytonk on 74 Vegetarian Hot Dogs on Mar 25th

Nice little place for some fake meaty dog action. It's basically a whole in the wall with a surfer vibe going for it and a dude with tattooed hands. Three veggie hot dog varieties available. This brit is in no way a an expert on these things but it seemed alright! Fair amount of stuff thrown on top of it and the bread was soft with an ever so slight crunch on the outside. The veggie sausages were the kind you can buy in those little buddhist vegetarian shops you find near the [..read on]

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