May is usually the month where summer descends in full force onto Nanjing, very quickly earning its deserved nickname as one of the three Furnaces of China. This year, May is also the time when the city is going to really hot up in terms of visiting acts, both foreign and Chinese.
First off, and now mercifully only an hour way from Nanjing, is Avril Lavigne live in Shanghai on 2nd May at the Shanghai Grand Stage. At time of writing most tickets had already sold out, but you may still be able to bag some [here] for either RMB680 or RMB1,280.
Next up, the 2011 Shanghai Midi Fistival kicks off on 6th May for three days in Century Park. On the main stage are Voodoo Kungfu, The On Fires, Your Favourite Enemies, Mr. Big, Miserable Faith, Reflector, Crystal Butterfly, Ming's Pretty Heroes, the Angry Jerks plus many more. In addition, Hello Nanjing friends Antidote also have their own stage with performances by the likes of B6, Caliph-8, R3, Ben Huang, Jay. Soul and Razor. Tickets are only RMB200 for the three days so what are you waiting for?! Call 021 5150 9199 for tickets.
The Shanghai World Music Week held in Shanghai World Expo Garden last year was a huge success, attracting a great deal of international attention. This year, the event will be celebrated at Zhongshan Park from May 21st to May 22nd. 14 groups from home and abroad, such as France’s Gotan Project and Mali’s Amadou & Mariam, will bring some of the best world music to audiences in Shanghai. Tickets can be ordered online through this Chinese only service [here].
If that's too far away, simply too noisy, or if the piano is more your thing, an interesting time is sure to be had at the Nanjing Art Institute Concert Hall on 2nd May at 2.30pm with a lecture by Zhu yafeng, teacher to China's famed pianist Lang Lang. You'll need a decent amount of Chinese to understand this one we assume, and you'll also need the 150-200 RMB necessary to buy a ticket. Still interested? Call 8657 8411.
Now, if you live near Wutaishan then put this date in your diary now - 20th May. Expect some severe disruption in the area on this day when the King of Chinese Pop Mr. Jacky Cheung jets in from his native Hong Kong for an evening of extreme crooning. Want to find out what all the fuss is about? See why this man has been at or near the top of the heap for last two decades with tickets from RMB688-1,988 available [here]. (http://nj.piao.com.cn/ticket_21203.html)
Next, in more familiar territory, our friends at Castle Bar and 61 House have another exciting month of entertainment in store, including punk rockers Rustic from Beijing on the 28th at Castle and Reridence A on the 13th at 61.
Also in May, Brazzaville are coming to China from, well we're not sure where exactly. Their website claims they are a big family with members stretching from L.A. to Barcelona to Siberia and beyond. Catch this truly international act in Nanjing on 24th May. More details [here].
Away from the contemporary scene, your stay in China can hardly be complete without a little experience of traditional Chinese opera. May could be the month to get this box ticked with three suitable shows in Nanjing. First up, on 6th May at the Zijin Theatre is "Kun Opera: The Romantic Love Story Of Liang Shanbo And Zhu Yingtai". More details [here]. Next, enjoy "Huangmei Opera: Love Story Of Fairy" on the evening of 15th May also at the Zijin Theatre. More details [here]. Finally, and ideal for the kids is a Special Performance Of Puppet Opera in the city's Jiangnan Theater on the afternoon of 28th May. More details [here].