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The best things to do in Shanghai this September

Here are all the brilliant events happening this month

Image: Miao Xiaochun, Samsara. 2009-2011, video still. Courtesy of Video Bureau Archive (Beijing)
There's a whole heap of great things to do around Shanghai this month and we've conveniently listed our pick of them below. Because we're nice like that. From pop divas Dua Lipa and Jessie J coming to town to the return of SIP Cocktail Festival, and former SNL star Dean Edwards doing his thing at KFK to the latest edition of Concrete & Grass, there's all sorts going down this month. Read on for the best that September has to offer.

Food & Drink

Shake's Tribute to The Kings of Soul

Shake pays tribute to eight kings who changed music history forever. Singer REDIC, Tony Hall, and Courtney Knott join SHAKE's six-piece band for a night of music by James Brown, Luther Vandross, Ben E. King, Wilson Pickett, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Otis Reading, and Ray Charles.

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Shake , 46 Maoming Nan Lu 21-22 Sep , 28-29 Sep

Sunday Folks Pop-up

Ten ice cream flavours inspired by food from Asia will be on rotation (some of which have never debuted in Singapore) – Kaya Toast as a tribute to Singapore's traditional breakfast, Mango Steamed Glutinous Rice from Thailand and Akai Miso from Japan, just to name a few. All-time best-sellers Earl Grey Flower Tea and Gula Melaka are also set to feature.

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Jingan Kerry Centre , 1515 Nanjing Xi Lu 15 Aug - 15 Oct

Music & Nightlife

Steve Aoki

Infamous EDM head Steve Aoki returns to Shanghai to jump around a lot and drop big beats at Linx. As ever, expect a high-energy set from the DJ Mag, Billboard and MTV Award winner.

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Buy tickets

World Music Shanghai

World Music Shanghai is back and will feature new and traditional ethnic music from all over the world. Artists such as American blues harmonica man Sugar Blue, pop star Ding Dang and art-rock act Hai Qing will be performing at various venues across the city, including Shanghai Grand Stage, XIntiandi and Hongqiao Tiandi.

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Shanghai Grand Stage , 1111 Caoxi Bei Lu 15-23 Sep

Shanghai Soul Club

Critics' pick

Shanghai's only dedicated all-vinyl Northern Soul and Motown night is back at punk rock dive Specters. If you were at one of these, you'll know this is one not to miss. The night features DJ Glen who will be bringing '60s tunes to the dance floor.

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Specters , 1485 Beijing Xi Lu 22 Sep

JZ Festival 2018

Critics' pick

Shanghai's long-running jazz fest returns – with a new location for 2018. After years putting on their festival beside Mercedes-Benz Arena on the former Expo site in Pudong, they're hopping across the Huangpu to host this year's festival at the 'West Bund' area, near the Yuz Museum and southern Xuhui's burgeoning art district.

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West Bund Art & Culture Pilot Zone , 2599 Longteng Dadao 22-23 Sep Buy tickets

Hogchoker world record LP releases

Help Shanghai band Hogchoker celebrate the end of an ambitious musical project as they release seven different versions of the same LP, which is a certified Guinness World Record. There will be performances from at least eight bands, including Roundeye and Dahaha.

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Yuyintang , 851 Kaixuan Lu 23 Sep

Things to Do

Shanghai Tourism Festival

Just about any attraction worth going to in Shanghai that charges an entry fee will be 50 percent off for a week between September 15 and 21 to coincide with the annual Shanghai Tourism Festival.

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By: Daniel Wu

World of Ghibli

Critics' pick

The World of Ghibli in China opened their first ever mainland exhibit on Sunday (1 Jul) at the World Financial Center. This year for Studio Ghibli marks the 30th anniversary to one of their most successful films, My Neighbor Totoro. The exhibit features the Catbus from Totoro, presented as a plush, life-sized replica, a half-scale recreation of Satsuki and Mei’s house and a life sized Totoro. The exhibition also continues on the 94th floor to see the Castle in the Sky 8 metre air ship replica.

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Shanghai World Financial Centre (SWFC) , 100 Century Avenue 01 Jul - 07 Oct Buy tickets

The Egg House

The egg-themed pop-up that was a hit in New York City is now hatching in Shanghai. Filled with interactive installations and Instagrammable exhibits, this dreamscape is the weirdly wonderful imagined home of Ellis the egg. This pop-up will be open for three-months from Sunday, 22 July to Thursday, 18 October on the third floor of Joy City, North Wing.

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Joy City , 166 Xizang Bei Lu 22 Jul - 18 Oct


Shanghai Queer Film Festival 2018

The six-day film festival returns for its third year with the theme ‘Generation Q.’ Aimed at discussing the development of queer film characters through different generations, the festival will see various events and screenings from all cultural backgrounds. For more info, visit shqff.org.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp

The tiniest Marvel hero may turn out to be the mightiest – or at least that's what is implied by his absence in Avengers: Infinity War. For now, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) rocks dad life and pines for another adventure.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 24 Aug - 25 Sep Buy tickets

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Actor Tom Cruise and Director Christopher McQuarrie are back with another Mission Impossible. This time, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team find themselves wanted by assassins and in a race against time. Be prepared for more death-defying stunts and Cruise jumping out of planes.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 31 Aug - 30 Sep Buy tickets


Ever wondered what The Revenant would be like as a feel-good movie for dog lovers? Set in the Ice Age, a boy separated from his tribe befriends a wolf as he fights to survive the elements.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 07 Sep - 02 Oct Buy tickets

Ash Is Purest White

Top Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke’s still got it, it seems. His latest effort, a story of troubled romance that deftly winds its way through the last 20 years of change and modernisation in China, was chosen to compete for the Palme d’Or in May.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 21 Sep - 12 Oct

Time Out Film Screening: Cow

This month's film is Cow. The black comical absurdist tale set in the midst of the Japanese occupation in WWII tells the story of a peasant, played by famed Chinese comedy actor Huang Bo, and his will to care for a Dutch cow that is the sole survivor of a Japanese bombing on his village.

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Glam , 20 Guangdong Lu 23 Sep Free


Acclaimed Chinese film director Zhang Yimou is back with the formula that made him famous – with a heavily stylised martial arts period drama set during China's Three Kingdoms era and somehow involving doppelgangers. The film stars Deng Chao, Sun Li, Zheng Kai and Guan Xiaotong.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 30 Sep - 13 Oct


Interstices by Dubravka Vidović

ArtCN hosts Dubravka Vidović’s third solo exhibition in Shanghai. Expect unique reflections on urban culture from her photo and video installations, influenced by her background working and exhibiting in Croatia and Italy as well as China.

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ARTCN Gallery , 876 Jiangsu Lu Every day except Monday

Maya Kramer: Decoy

American artist and Shanghai resident Maya Kramer explores the discord between humans and nature with this exhibition of sculpture work. Her surreal installations are all made with pollutants such as detergent, coal and acid.

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Capsule Gallery , Lane 275 Anfu Lu Every day except Monday Free

David Shrigley: Lose Your Mind

Expect wit, wordplay and absurdity from British artist David Shrigley’s premiere solo exhibition. A selection of his signature sculptures and installations will be on display, including a replica of acclaimed ‘Really Good’, a surrealist sculpture of a thumbs-up.

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Power Station of Art , 200 Huayuangang Lu 08 Sep - 14 Nov Free

Photofairs Shanghai

The international photography gala is returning for its fifth year in Shanghai with a curated program of installations and photo galleries from over 16 countries. Their Conversations programme will also bring in artists and curators for talks open to visitors. See the Photofairs website for more details.

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Shanghai Exhibition Center , 1000 Yan'an Middle Road (延安中路1000号) Jing'an Shanghai Shanghai 22-23 Sep

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