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Live Music in Beautiful Beijing

Photo by Bruno Cerbera


Beijing is a city that is growing and thriving with new music. Over the past 20 years, the music scene has exploded, and there are some amazing acts at live venues all over the city. China is a nation of music lovers, this year, the digital music market has been valued at worth $712 million. While you are visiting from New Zealand, check out the amazing atmosphere of some of the city’s best music venues. There is a wide range of music genres that can be heard, from rock and grunge music to catchy pop. Beijing is your musical oyster! 

Rock music

Yugong Yishan Dongsishitiao 东四十条,  is a vibrant and acoustically impressive venue, hosting a range of live acts, including big names such as Montreal, Gang of Four and Madlib. They also frequently have local bands playing – the venue is a great stepping stone for acts looking to get their name heard. There is a well-stocked bar, and the staff is known for being quick and efficient, so even on the busier gig nights, you’re never waiting long for a beer. Look out for Australian band We Lost the Sea and Chinese favorites, The Fin later this year. Beijing is a jewel for culture and music and the variety offered reflects this. 

Jazz music

China has a good jazz scene and a love for the classics. If you want to go and see some authentic music, head to East Shore Live Jazz Cafe at Houhai / Yandaixiejie / Di’anmen  后海烟袋斜街地安门. The cafe opened in 2006, and its reputation as a live venue has grown since then. It is only a small space, but that adds to the charm and feeling of intimacy. There is a real New Orleans 1930s vibe to the place, with a decor to reflect this, with a little Art Deco thrown in. You can see live jazz and swing bands playing from Thursday through to Sunday every week. The Jazz Cafe is definitely a musicians venue, you can tell from the audience that they are there to simply appreciate the good music

Pop and indie music

If you’re into pop, indie and chillout music, the Dusk Dawn Club (DDC) is has a great atmosphere. It is located at Nanluoguxiang / Gulou Dongdajie 南锣鼓巷鼓楼东大街. There is a good bar area and an outdoor courtyard for when the weather is warm. There are some delicious craft beers and single malt whiskeys available that you can savor whilst listening to the music. Don’t expect big names, as the venue has only 40 tables, but there are some really polished acts. DDC offers many international bands as well as local Chinese acts and the sound quality is always excellent. It’s great for DJs and dance music too, with a good nightclub feel. In 2017 it was listed as That’s Beijing’s “Live Music Venue of the Year.” 

Beijing is on the map as a city of culture, and the quality of the live music venues around the city reflects this. You can find every kind of music from folk to heavy metal, with some great local bands. While you are visiting China, soak in the great nightlife and atmosphere of some of these excellent music venues.

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