China Club Shutdown

Authorities shut down one of Beijing’s most popular live music venues, MAO, two weeks ago because it failed to meet safety regulations.

The live house was shut April 16 for “an alleged breach of fire codes” and has until May 16 “to meet fire regulations or face permanent closure,” according to the Global Times.

The Dongcheng fire department, which is under the authority of the local police, inspected and sealed off the venue after receiving a tip from a former club employee.

Apparently, MAO has never passed a fire inspection since it opened in 2007, and was shut down once before in December 2008.

The commented that it seems “a little odd” that the building’s safety standards have suddenly come under scrutiny now that it is presenting “high-profile events.”

The Global Times reports that when it asked a police officer involved in the closure why it took so long to finally shut the venue after it had been warned more than a year ago, the officer said MAO tends to operate at night when the police are off-duty, so “it is very hard for us to catch them.”

When asked MAO’s management about the closure, the booking manager said she suspected someone had “stabbed them in the back.”

Meanwhile, the Shanghai version of MAO, which has been open for only six months, is also under threat of closure, though for a much different reason.

According to China Music Radar, the owners of the land underneath the venue may decide to develop it more thoroughly, which would mean tearing down MAO.