top of page

Beijing's comedy crackdown is hitting its music scene

The mosh pit expands and contracts with bodies crashing into one another.

What might appear violent and aggressive is actually a friendly, high-spirited celebration of music and collective enjoyment.

After years spent waiting to shake off China's Covid restrictions, there are smiles all round.

Relief. Fun. Hilarity.

A friend passes me a drink just as the human wave approaches and I get dragged in, spraying the contents of my cup over all those around me. Nobody cares. It only adds to the desired chaos. It's a hot evening and we'll all dry off quickly.

In a country where cultural events are closely monitored by the Communist Party, the underground music scene in the capital has remained energetic, real, cheeky and innovative. It's a world, for the most part, beyond the grasp of dullard officials.

A venue owner once told me about a visit he'd had from a local government representative who looked around the area at the front of the stage and asked where the tables and chairs were.


bottom of page