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[The Big List]: Golden Week Events in Beijing
A curated listicle for the best ways to get out and about during this year's October holiday break. One full week of eating, drinking, dancing, drinking some more, headbanging, schmoozing, networking, and more...
By Sep 28, 2015 Activities
Golden days are here to stay. Here's a bunch of trouble you can get into during your big October holiday break...

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All Week Long: Feige Vintage Fair




For the duration of the National Day holiday, you can get your annual vintage fix outside Wukesong Hi-Park, where Feige will post up for their largest Vintage Fair yet. Pop in from 1-7pm every day from October 1-7 to visit over 200 vendors slinging modern & vintage goods galore. Separate zones for indie designers, commercial vendors, an American Culture presentation, games and interactive activities, and stage performances. The live component includes 14 bands and several DJs providing tunes throughout the week.

60rmb entry per day. More info in the listing.

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All Week Long: 'Van Gogh: Alive'




If you haven't had the chance to check out the Van Gogh video installation exhibition down at Chaoyang Joy City Mall, the October Holiday is a good time to do so. Maybe with more people out of town or with their families for the season, you might get more of the exhibition to yourself. From SmartBeijing's photo gallery and review, posted a few weeks back:

"'Van Gogh Alive' is a 'multisensory art exhibition' that explores the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh in an 'incredible, stimulating multimedia format'. Said stimulating format? The 'SENSORY4TM' -- 'a unique system that combines multichannel motion graphics, cinema-quality surround sound and up to forty high-definition projectors to provide one of the most spectacular multiscreen environments in the world.'

"Yes, it's the 'SENSORY4TM' -- I'm not making that up.

"It's basically a giant warehouse space outfitted with a maze of massive 30-foot screens and a booming soundsystem, cranking out floor to ceiling images set to a truly ripping classical music soundtrack. 'Vincent Van Gogh Alive' is for people who really want to go BALLS DEEP on their love for the post impressionist master."

More information and a picture gallery of what it looks like right here.

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All Week Long: Modernista's Brunch Deal




House of Euro swank Modernista is offering their brunch deal daily from October 1-7, from 12pm to 5pm. If you usually spend Sunday rolling around in your bed, clutching your head in pain, and cursing your existence, hey, here's seven opportunities to see how normal people live with this whole "brunch" thing.

Modernista's brunch menu includes veggie options (quiche, pancakes, tomato and ricotta ravioli, etc.), as well as meatier affairs -- eggs Benedict with Parma ham and white mushrooms. Set prices range from 60rmb to 75rmb, with options in fresh juices and re-toxifying cocktails. Reservations highly recommended: 13691425744 or send an email to modernistabj@yahoo.com.

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All Week Long: Great Leap Beer Specials




What you're looking at there is the complete list of the daily 25rmb beer specials at all three Great Leap Breweries for the holidays.

'Nuff Said. Excelsior.

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All Week Long: Old What Bar's 13th Anniversary




Forbidden City-adjacent rock dive Old What celebrates the unbelievable milestone of keeping its doors open for thirteen years. Nice work dudes! They kick off a night early with a pre-gamer on September 30, then launch into a full roster of rock, punk, folk and more for the duration of the break. Here's the full spread (all 9pm start and free unless otherwise indicated):

Oct 1: Improv band party
Oct 2: Clazzy Band
Oct 3: "Beijing Power" Punk showcase (9:30pm start)
Oct 4: Nathan Borofka, Jony and Eve jam party
Oct 5: Motorbike Girls, Power Powder
Oct 6: Randy Abel (blues harmonica/vocals), Chris Hawke (guitar/vocals), Heike Kagler (cello/vocals), Xin Xin (fiddle)
Oct 7: BBQ Afterparty

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SEPT 30: Fang's Full Menu Official Opening Party




It's not officially in the Golden Week holidays, but the night-of is close enough so we'll stick this one in here. Fangjia Hutong's newest proper-drinks-for-proper-gorwnups bar, Fang, is hosting their official full menu opening this Wednesday night, with free tapas as they last (hint: get there early), complimentary shots on the hour, a 45rmb special cocktail on the night, tons and tons of house music, and good times had by all (prediction).

SmartBeijing checked out this Fang bar a few weeks back -- click here if you're interested -- and it is indeed a great place to grab a cocktail. Good option to get your holiday started in a mature fashion before you blow it all by doing silly and regrettable things as the night progresses.

Fair warning: It's a small place. Get in earlier -- opens at 7pm.

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OCT 1: The Wolfpack @ Camera Stylo




Camera Stylo screens 2015 festival smash-hit The Wolfpack: "A brand new documentary, fresh off the festival circuit. It's a fascinating find. The director discovered a family of brothers who had been confined to their apartment for the whole of their childhood, never socializing or going to school. Their only contact with the outside world came in the form of Hollywood movies on television, and this is clearly reflected in their behaviour, speech and dress. To look at them, they could be a motley collection of film studio extras. Fascinating look at a very unusual upbringing."

iMDB adds: "Locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Angulo brothers learn about the outside world through the films that they watch. Nicknamed, 'The Wolfpack,' the brothers spend their childhood reenacting their favorite films using elaborate homemade props and costumes. Their world is shaken up when one of the brothers escapes and everything changes."

Crazy. 8pm start, no entry fee. More info

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OCT 1-2: 24-Hour Dionysus Party




Meanwhile, down at Chaoyangmen: Modernsky Lab hosts a marathon 24-hour party to kick off the October break. 20 DJs, two stages, one entire 24-hour cycle of music. Things kick off at 3pm with a pastry fair and "relaxing/detoxing activities that slowly climb into mind-blowing psychedelic tracks and dangerous tunes." Neato. They add: "Medical assistance, food, and of course drinks will be served non-stop." Seems like they've covered all the bases.

Music from Acid Echoes, Huang Weiwei, Gao Hu, Gasse, Mickey Zhang, Trixphonic, X.L.F., Menghan, Diva Li, Shen Yue, and more, plus visuals from Clockwork Q. 150rmb at the door, runs from 3pm on Friday, October 1 'til 3pm the next day. More info

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OCT 2: ATB (DJ Mag #58) @ LiV




Double down on EDM decadence on Friday, October 2 at LiV, if you so wish, when they'll be hosting André Tanneberger, aka ATB (#58 on DJ Mag's top 100), "a German producer who has played a defining role in dance music for over 15 years. He has headlined the world’s biggest festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Creamfields and Nature One. He is also a resident at America's world-famous Marquee Club in Las Vegas. His list of collaborations boast the biggest names in EDM including DashBerlin, Moby, and Armin van Buuren." So yeah, a top DJ Mag-ranked DJ playing at the massive LIV, behind his 9th studio release. Starts 10pm. 150rmb pre-sale; 200rmb at the door. More info

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OCT 3: Mexican Oktoberfest @ Jing A




On Saturday, October 3, Jing A does a little pan-cultural mashup at their Beijing taproom: "Who says Oktoberfest has to be about lederhosen and bratwurst? [Ed.'s note: King Ludwig I of Bavaria.] We'd rather throw a Tex-Mex craft beer party instead!" Cool? They'll launch their latest product — El Hefe Imperial Hefeweizen (8% abv) tonight. Buy two pints or a liter stein of El Hefe and you'll get a plate of their special Nachos con Chili con Carne con Queso ("fried tortilla chips topped with cheese and our five pepper beef chili"). Runs from 5-10pm. More

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OCT 3: Psy @ Dada




If you're looking for your spaced-out trance fix: Beijing psytrance junta GoaProductions will post up at Dada on October 3 for a re-scheduled rager warming up for their Yunnan Spirit Tribe rave set for later in the month. (The previously scheduled August gig was canceled as it conflicted with Beijing's parade rehearsal plans.) Actually a bunch of visiting DJs from that Modern Skylab thing bleeding into this one. Anyway, drop in to Dada for the full-on Goa experience: blacklight gnome wall hangings, very high-BPM dance music, guys and gals who've been practicing their glowstick twirls all year for this very occasion. More info here.

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OCT 3: Noise Arcade @ 8-Bit




Also on October 3: the new 8-Bit hosts its first live music performance, celebrating the release of a cassette split between Beijing's Noise Arcade and Sonic Deadhorse from Taiwan. Mr. Arcade (get it? 8-Bit? Arcade?) says: "A special Nasty Wizard drink will be available. What's in it? Fucked if I know." Probably tastes great though. Cassette limited to 50 copies. Here's the latest from Noise Arcade for a sample:



No entry fee, 10pm start. More

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Oct 3-7: Experimental Music in Baitasi




Beijing Design Week will be raging for the duration of the break — it closes on October 7. Check out our general primer to the whole thing here.

And here's one component of BJDW that might have slipped through the cracks, but would be cool to check out during the latter half of Golden Week: Dutch composer Martijn Tellinga has put together a five-day experimental music performance/installation at #31 Qianchaoshou Hutong in Baitasi, pulling some of the city's most active free improvisers into a barely-renovated residential space. He says:

"'Bearings' is a five-day performance installation situated in the abandoned spaces of a typical Beijing hutong courtyard house. Entirely whitened — including the items the former inhabitants left behind — each space surrounding the courtyard has a small speaker driver installed. It continuously and quietly emits an electronic tone tuned to the strongest resonance of the space it is mounted in, together forming a chord that gradually travels between the spaces.

"Four violinists appear each day during the exhibition. Their visits to the courtyard are not scheduled and unannounced. Their only instruction is to play quiet single tones of changing duration and at harmonic intervals with the resonant tone of a space, gently modulating the chord that is sounding in the courtyard.

"As visitor, you might encounter a number of musicians in dialogue with each other and the different spaces, a soloist, or the courtyard void of performers simply giving quiet voice to its own resonance. The different states of this piece each ask for your attention in their own way. All, also the still ones, are part of the work, equally important and about to change. 'Bearings' invites you to slow down and sit down. Listen and look..."

Drop in any time between 10am and 6pm from October 3-7 to check out this unique interface between experimental music, drone, architecture, and design.

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October 3-11: 2015 China Open





The China Open 2015 gets underway during the holidays, and rolls on through with matches played until the finals on October 11. One of Asia'a premier tennis events, this year's contest features many of the sport's biggest stars, including Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Simona Halep rounding out the ladies' bracket and Novak Djokovic, Tomáš Berdych, and Rapahel Nadal in the men's.

Lots of people slamming yellow balls at great velocities and going "UUUUGHGGGHHHHH". Good times.

Tickets for the early rounds on the smaller courts start from as little as 30rmb and climb upwards to astronomical sums for tickets to the main events (80,000rmb -- whattttt).

Daimai.cn has all tickets available via their English-language service right here.

Full schedule right here.

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OCT 4: Temple of Heaven Walking Seminar





The culture vultures The Hutong are hosting a walking seminar of one of Beijing's most iconic locales, the Temple of Heaven. Could be a good opportunity to do a little local tourism and learn more about Beijing, while you have the time off work to do so.

"We will look not only at the Temple of Heaven complex and its ritual and historic significance, but we will also discuss the connections between present and past and between historical and contemporary Beijing. Along the way, we will have a chance to see dancers, jugglers, martial artists, and even parents matchmaking their (often unsuspecting) grown offspring!

"This walking seminar will last about two to three hours and we will proceed at a leisurely pace with plenty of time for rest, refreshments, and conversation."

They're meeting up at the East Gate of the Temple (the closest subway stop is Tiantan Dongmen on Line 5) at 9am. Sharp. 300rmb participation fee. Book your spot right here.

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OCT 4: Hollyween @ La-bas




La-bas celebrates Hollyween — that's the clever portmanteau of Hollywood + Halloween — with its October screening series. They kick off with an October 4 showing of '80s classic Ghostbusters. Kudos to whomever wrote this description. You need freelance work?

"Thirty years on, bustin' still makes use feel good. In fact, few movies have the power to make us feel good-er. From pounding drum machine intro to marshmallow apocalypse finale, Ghostbusters is a cavalcade of pure joy. The reasons for this are manifold, but still bear repeating. Bill Murray's sweetly sardonic performance is a treasure for the ages — that little plaza pirouette when he scores a date with Sigourney Weaver is a moment of transcendental bliss. The script is literally word-perfect, at once crude ("this man has no dick"), weird ("many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!"), and packed with timeless, silly-smart one-liners ("Listen… do you smell something?"). Ivan Reitman's direction moves at a clip, the animated effects are unearthly and beautiful, and the soundtrack, stuffed with long-forgotten yacht rock also-rans, somehow manages to be awful and perfect at the same time. We could go on — at length — but why bother? You know it's great. Go remind yourself why."

Amen to that. Reserve seats with chalffy@163.com if you want to sit in. Full October Hollyween screening schedule here.

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October 3 & 5: YGYS Metal Double Header




If you want ease into the Halloween spirit in even eviler fashion, Yugong Yishan has a killer metal double-header going down on October 3 & 5.

After an extended hiatus during which their lead singer Li Nan was off studying the dark arts at Death Eater-occupied Hogwarts Berklee School of Music, Voodoo Kungfu kicks off a China tour tonight at Yugong Yishan. Li Nan speaks:

"Before studying at Berklee College of Music, I was known as the 'Ultimate Screaming Master' in the Heavy Metal scene in China. I am the only-by far-singer to be accepted for a scholarship to Berklee by performing original heavy metal. My first great achievement in China was to be permanently expelled from an Irish Catholic school in 1997. This event helped propel me to my next step: the formation of Voodoo Kungfu... One day in 2008, I was bitten by my cobra, putting my life in danger. The antivenin [sic] could not arrive in time to prevent me falling into a deep coma. Most thought I would not survive, but a miracle happened-a Chinese folk doctor concocted a care of traditional medicine and I awoke from unconsciousness. I left the hospital on the 7th day, walked into a recording studio, and began singing. In 2 days I had finished all the songs of the first Voodoo Kungfu album Mongol-Temporal Side. My singing voice terrified the musicians, engineers, and studio staff, who all believed they had heard the most terrifying sound in the world. I think this is because I had been to Hell but survived to bring back the voice from Hell. My singing voice portrays the naked terror of Hell!"

Dark! Experimental Chinese cobra venom-influenced metal at its absolute finest. 200rmb at the door, 9pm start. More



Then on Monday, October 5, Painkiller metal mag presents part two of their ongoing 15th anniversary celebrations, hosting in melodic metal masters Children of Bodom for a repeat Beijing visit. "With 9 Studio albums and almost 20 years career, the Finnish outfit Children of Bodom has established their remarkable mark in the metal scene through their powerful music. This mark has been glowing from the very beginning and now it can be seen in a rather long distance--even from the space. Formed in 1993 in Espoo, Finland as a five pieces pure metal band, the band's name is derived from the infamous Lake Bodom murders, which took place in Finland in 1960. Through their entire career so far it is truly amazing that Children Of Bodom can be as brutal as any metal band when the situation demands. But what places this band at the pinnacle of the pack is the way it can suddenly deliver huge swathes of melody and instantly memorable choruses with an unmatched degree of musicianship that has seen vocalist/guitarist Alexi 'Wildchild' Laiho and his cohorts grace the covers of musician magazines around the globe."

Supporting set from Japanese death metallers Gyze. 320rmb pre-sales available here. Otherwise it's 380rmb at the door. 8pm start. More

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October 5: Monstrous Mondays




Every Monday is pretty monstrous anyways, down at 69 Cafe's horror movie night, but they're kicking it into overdrive for October. The Horror Movie Society is doing Halloween classics all month long at the NLGX venue, kicking it off with the "scariest movie of all time": The Exorcist.

Fun Exorcist fact: Stanley Kubrick was originally offered to direct the film but he declined. He wanted to direct AND produce but the studio said no. Kubrick said he "preferred to develop his own stuff" and also turned down the offer to direct the sequel. They definitely should have let him direct and produce the second one.

Anyway, green pea soup all up in your face on October 5 at 69 Cafe. Starts at 9:30pm. No entry fee.

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