8 live music venues we love in Shanghai

From smooth jazz to head-banging heavy metal, a rich assortment of music genres have found a home in Shanghai [Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2024]

Photo by Shot In The Dark, courtesy of Singer Space
From smooth jazz to head-banging heavy metal, all kinds of music have found a home in Shanghai, though you’ll have to know whose door to knock on to cater to your specific taste. These live music venues set the stage for unforgettable performances that will get you dancing, singing or tapping your feet to the rhythm all night long.


Punk rock, death metal, folk and other music genres rub shoulders at this underground spot that attracts musical misfits.

The intimate venue is worth visiting in itself for the eccentric ambiance, which is best explored in a slightly altered state — think fluorescent paint jobs, a pulsating dance floor and mannequin parts.

C's Bar is loudly and proudly different.

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685 Dingxi Lu


Happy 6th year anniversary to Specters, which recently celebrated its milestone on December 29, 2023!

Get ready to rock the night away at the only dive bar devoted to punk rock in Shanghai, making it the ultimate destination for fans of the music genre. That said, you'll also hear other genres of rock, such as alternative rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and metal, not to mention DJ sets.

Save for a few special events, this event space by the Yuyintang group offers free entry — another reason for its popularity. 

TIME OUT TIP: Pool tables and foosball tables also add to a night of fun here. 

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753 Yuyuan Lu

The Pearl

The Pearl is known for hosting tribute concerts to renowned rock artists, and has one of the strongest in-house bands we've seen anywhere.

This historic venue also goes beyond live music — think aerial acts, circus tricks, different genres of dance, and theatrical performances, including an immersive pirates performance that we reviewed.

TIME OUT TIP: Chef Montrealer Lung runs a full-service kitchen serving dinner and late-night snacks. Tuck into his Canadian specialities like poutine, Monstreal-style smoked meat, and Pâté Chinois, Quebec's answer to Shepherd's Pie.

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471 Zhapu Lu

Keep It Quiet

We love the hush-hush vibe of Keep It Quiet, where classical music, world music and musical improvisation keep audiences riveted and conversations to a minimum.

Keep It Quiet strives to deliver first-class performances to discerning audiences while running a dynamic cocktail bar. In fact, Time Out Shanghai bestowed them with the 'Music Venue of the Year' award in 2018 for their dedication to creating memorable experiences for music lovers.

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200 Yongfu Lu


One of the newest additions to the INS entertainment complex in Fuxing Park, KEZEE is spread out over 4,000 square metres, easily seats between 700 to 800 guests during a single show, and sees state-of-the-art audio and visual technology by industry titans Meyer Sound and FINEART. Expect sensory-overload in the best possible way.

KEZEE's style of presenting performances is atypical. While most live music venues present 45 to 60-minute-long sets, the rotation here is rapid to say the least (half an hour at most), so there's never a moment of boredom. Plus, the bands are absolutely stacked, with about 15 performers on stage at a time.

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471 Zhapu Road, Luxun Park


A legendary venue that has served as a landing pad for independent artists for almost two decades (since 2004), Yuyintang Kaixuan plays a vital role in reflecting Shanghai's distinct and ever-evolving music scene. Both established and undiscovered bands have found a home here. 

The venue mostly features rock, folk and metal acts, but is not a purist, and opens the floor to all music genres. Take note that the the  space is standing room-only, but you'll get to get up close and personal with the musicians and other music fans.

TIME OUT TIP: International talent such as Japanese Breakfast, Julie Doiron, Mac DeMarco, and St. Vincent have graced the halls of Yuyintang's three live music venue and one dive bar in Shanghai.

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851 Kaixuan Lu

Yuyintang Park

A second, slightly bigger iteration of the long-running Shanghai livehouse, Yuyintang Park is a plectrum's throw from Zhongshan Park. It has the same eclectic music policy and a similarly cosy, community feel as its elder sibling. If you're not feeling like a hard night of partying, this is the place for cold beers in a chill atmosphere bolstered by good tunes.

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1398 Yuyuan Lu

Singer Space

An exciting new venture created by Yuyintang in collaboration with the Changning Worker's Cultural Palace, this multifaceted space hosts a diverse range of artistic and cultural events. Besides concerts, there are also comedy shows, musicals, lectures, and more on the roster. 

But on the topic of music performances, Singer Space presents a wide array of genres, including pop, rock, jazz, and folk music.

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1250 Yuyuan Road

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