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A magical mystery into the weekend

An unprecendented choice of Nanjing social events starts tonight with some wine tasting and then explodes into a pair of major musical festivals and a couple of club events over the weekend. Follow Brainiac on the magical mystery tour for all the details.

{xtypo_dropcap}B{/xtypo_dropcap}raniac has computed that the coming days leading to the weekend will see a fresh surge of social energy that will culminate with a sizzling weekend of unprecedented social options for the international community.

Things get started tonight with a wine-tasting at Prime Restaurant. If you don't know, Prime is the 78th-floor wine bar, cigar lounge and gourmet dining space that the Intercontinental Hotel runs as the tallest (and most upscale) food and drink venue in all of Jiangsu Province.

Recently, Executive Chef Edwin Kats took over management of the Intercontinental's F&B operation, on top of his Executive Chef duties. Working together with Prime Manager Forrest  Zhao, he seems intent on making a mark now, by establishing Prime as a key social component in the city.

Tonight, Mr. Giulia Lazzarini from Donnafugata winery of Sicily will present six kinds of wines, while Chef Edwin assures that a number of gourmet food items will be served, specifically prepared to enhance the rich flavors of the wines.

HN staffers and buddies will be there, along with noted wine connoisseur John Teo, owner and operator of popular Nanjing wine bar and eatery My Place. JT knows his wines, so HN is keen to get his feedback on the pairings of the food and the plonk. Tix are 288 RMB per person. If that's doable for you, rest assured it's going to be a blast (not to mention the best city night view in the province).

A pair of major music festivals

What are the chances that not one but two major music festivals will roll into Nanjing over the same weekend?

On Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th, there will be the first ever Nanjing International Music Festival. In the past few months, several different organizing groups have been jockeying to pull this one off, and one of them actually did it.

There's going to be a whole bunch of different bands on hand, a killer stage and lighting setup, all sorts of side attractions (camping space, knick-knack booths, art exhibitions, etc) and without a doubt heaps of Chinese and foreign hipsters getting into it.

Tix are 70 RMB for one day and 110 RMB for both days. In Brainiac's opinion, punters should consider checking out at least one day, ideally Saturday if the weather is right. Chill out there, and then at 9:30pm, head back over to Prime for a jazz performance with US troupe Cangelosi Cards.

That performance is part of the 2010 Nanjing International Jazz Festival. However, with four shows booked, Prime's got a mini-festival of their own going.

Thanks to HN user Bjoern, we've discovered that this year's Jazz Fest has their own website, with easy methods of purchasing tickets – in English.

However, Brainiac is licking his chops over the Saturday night show at Prime, because it's in the coolest upscale space in town, – plus entry is 100% free. HN and accomplices (after doling out the 288 RMB for the wine-tasting tix) are gonna be skint by then. Brainiac suggests they go to Prime, order a cocktail, and then sit back and watch the show freely and cheaply (don't tell anyone else, we don't want too many people showing up).

In total, Prime will be hosting four bands as part of the NJ Jazz Fest. However, if Prime doesn't float your boat, the 2010 Nanjing International Jazz Festival runs from Friday October 22nd until Tuesday October 26, at various locations around town.

Clubbin' Saturday night

Two music festivals on the same weekend, and two notable club events on the same Saturday? Yes indeed. On Saturday Oct. 23rd at Castle Bar, Beijing heavy-hitters DJ Yang Bing and DJ Thomas will be spinning up a refined mixture of techno and house tunage (check out the HN interview with DJ Yang Bing, prior to his last Castle show in April 2010).

If techno isn't your thing, over at 61 House, hip-hop stylings are on the menu with DJ IcyC playing hip-hop, r&b, mashup and dub step, plus dashes of scratch and remix drumming. A variety of guest DJs will also be on hand including DJs Pioneer, Numark and Vestax, plus a bunch of break-dancing B-boys.

Tix for the Yang Bing show are 30 RMB at the door and tix for the IcyC show are 20 RMB for gents and free for ladies.

Sunday chillout

If you choose to head over the the outdoor music festival on Sunday as well, a nice way to finish off the evening is at Jimmy's, where their Sunday chillout burger nights are consistently drawing strong turnouts. One punter told HN: "The burgers are the best in town, and the crowd is very chilled out, it's nice to just pull up a chair, have some beers, and get ready for the work week again."

Speaking of Jimmy's, word on the street is that he's going all out to top the success of his massive Halloween 2009 bash (by far the biggest bash in town last year). In addition, birds on the street are chirping about do-it-yourself bars crawls down the Shanghai Lu strip. HN will post up another story in a couple of days, to help get you ready..

Have fun this weekend!

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