The best things to do in Shanghai this July

Summer is officially here, guys, and it's hot

Photograph: Yu Zhiming (Daniel Arsham: Perpetual Present)
Summer is officially here, guys, and it's hot. We're talking about all the great events rolling through town this month. We've got Daniel Arsham's interactive new exhibition at HOW Museum, the live action reboot of The Lion King (which hits Shanghai cinemas on Friday 12, a full week before the rest of the world), and loads of pop-ups, parties and relaunches in the food scene. Here are our top picks for July.

Things to Do

Unravel: Natural

'From everything in us to the wild world around us; what made us, what we are made of, and what we make up. What are some of the moments we feel stripped down to our true selves?' This July, Unravel explores what 'natural' means. Tickets available on midday on Mon 15.

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TBA 25 Jul Buy tickets

Eating and Drinking

Rosé Sunset

Party in pink at the sister event of The Flying Winemaker’s annual fest Rosé Revolution (which will also be turning up to town in September). For this warm-up of sorts, it’s all about the party vibes and all the rosé. Expect DJs, dancing and excellent rooftop sunset views of the Lujiazui skyline.

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Music and Nightlife

Hologram Dreams 全息梦境

DJs Heatwolves and Jianz take DADA's dance floor on a hyperloop journey from city pop, Italo disco and Chicago house into New Wave, electro and cybernetic madness. Seminal classics, brand new sounds, unknown pleasures and rare anime visuals abound.

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DADA , 115 Xingfu Lu 27 Jul Free

Bisiugroup

Debuted in 2016, Bisiugroup (formerly Amazing Show) has a retro Taiwanese grassroots colour that blends into rock and folk. Its signature hit 'Roll-Cig' has over 3 million hits on YouTube. 

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LOFAS , 230 Ruiping Lu 20 Jul Buy tickets

The Browning & Four Five Live in Shanghai

The Browning could very well be heavy music’s answer to the Terminator. Just as everybody’s favourite cyborg hid an exoskeleton under a sheath of skin, the Kansas City quartet thinly veils a hard rock edge beneath a casing of skittering electronic dance music, hip-hop grime, metallic brutality and industrial expanse. That signature style is back in a big way on its third full-length album and first for Spinefarm Records, Isolation.

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Tujamo at Bar Rouge

Bar Rouge Shanghai welcomes German-born DJ and producer Tujamo for a one-night-only set of infectious electronic dance music as part of the Asian leg of his 2019 summer tour. 

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Bar Rouge , 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu 19 Jul

Courtney Barnett China Tour 2019

Courtney Barnett puts a lot of effort into sounding effortless. Her songs are wild and wordy, her lyrics plainspoken and delivered like she’s making them up on the spot. Courtney Barnett started Milk! Records in 2012 to release her first EP I've Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris. In 2015 Barnett released her album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit to worldwide acclaim.

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Modern Sky Lab Shanghai , 188 Ruihong Lu 24 Jul Buy tickets

American Independence Day Party at The Pearl

Party like it's 1776 with this US Independence Day party, complete with hot dogs, burgers and wings and cheap deals on margaritas, beers and house pours. Featuring an all-night live band playing American rock and pop, with everything from the Eagles to Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga. The first 50 people to arrive get a free beer. Happy hour from 6-8pm.

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Film

Men on the Dragon

Dubbed one of the biggest hits out of Hong Kong recently, Men on the Dragon sees a team of employees (Francis Ng Chun-yu, Poon Chan-Leung and Tony Wu Tsz-tung) and their boss (Kenny Wong Tak-bun) join the company’s dragon boat team in hopes of escaping layoffs. 

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Cinemas around Shanghai 28 Jun - 28 Jul

Spider-Man: Far from Home

Much anticipated Marvel’s superhero Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is back. Directed again by Jon Watts, this instalment takes Peter Parker to Europe where he must face new threats posed by Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

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Cinemas around Shanghai 28 Jun - 28 Jul

If You Are Happy

After agreeing to sell his apartment to a cleaner, a university professor is faced with a dilemma when he receives a higher bid. Now, Fu Xue must decide between sticking to his word (and principles), or make the decision that guarantees he has enough money to give his daughter the best possible education.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 28 Jun - 28 Jul

Toy Story 4

Nearly 25 years after their debut, the sweetly selfless plastic pals return in a fourth Toy Story, one charged by the animated series’ thematic essence of finding purpose in being useful to others. It’s a hopeful, immensely human chapter that echoes the franchise’s complex notions of loyalty, displacement and self-worth, doing so with humour and warmth.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 21 Jun - 21 Jul

Spinning Man

When a high school student disappears, a university professor with a past record of relationships with students (Guy Pearce) is suspected, with his wife (Minnie Driver) and a police detective (Pierce Brosnan) questioning his alibi.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 21 Jun - 21 Jul

Art

Summer Dream

The exhibition shows two artists' modern representation of beauty in ancient China. Wang Qifeng's free-flowing ink-wash brushstrokes call for co-existence with nature while Yan Xiaoqian's inspiration comes from China’s earliest collection of poems, Book of Songs, which she considers the most vivid representation of the ancient aesthetic ideals.

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Noeli Gallery , 150 Yueyang Lu Every day except Monday Free

EXCEPTION

Shanghai-based artist Wu Houting’s show EXCEPTION opens at Gallery 55 with a dozen newly created sculptures demonstrating 'the gaps between neighbouring objects'. 

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Gallery 55 , 50 Moganshan Lu Every day except Monday Free

Yoshitaka Amano: Fantasy in Daylight

The creator behind Speed RacerG-Force and video game franchise Final Fantasy, Yoshitaka Amano's Fantasy in Daylight shows nearly 200 original paintings, dozens of newly created drawings, animated films and a Shanghai Girl series that he created exclusively for the exhibition.

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Giovanni Ozzola and Yang Fudong

Expect Giovanni Ozzola’s simplistic yet highly emotional photographs and video projects along with Yang Fudong’s video installation work 'Push the Door Softly and Walk in, or Just Stay Standing Where You are'.

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Fosun Foundation Art Center , 600 Zhongshan Dong'er Lu Every day except Monday Buy tickets

Daniel Arsham: Perpetual Present

New York-based artist Daniel Arsham's Perpetual Present has larger-than-life sculptures and an archeological dig site, sprinkled with everyday objects like cellphones, instrumentments and radios, getting viewers to consider what the people who'll discover the objects in 1,000 years might think. 

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Tatsuo Miyajima: Being Coming

Meditative and philosophical, Tatsuo Miyajima is one of the most representative contemporary artists from Japan and famous for making art with electric circuits. This exhibition takes a look at his career since the ‘80s.

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Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum , 210 Wenshui Lu Every day except Monday

Sensory Canvas

Sensory Canvas is a peculiar collection of pieces that aims to have its audience rethink how human perception works. Featuring nine different works from eight artists, this exhibit aims to help deconstruct preconceptions of reality.

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Ming Contemporary Art Museum , 436 Yonghe Dong Lu 25 May - 04 Aug

Stage

Moscow State LM. Lavrovsky Ballet: Gala

Founded in 1993, the non-profit Moscow State LM. Lavrovsky Ballet has taught and graduated over 250 ballerinas. This month, it'll be performing a slew of short ballet pieces as part of its gala event. The programme line-up includes iconic pieces like Swan Lake and Eugene Onegin, among others.

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Daning Theatre , 1222 Pingxingguan Lu (平型关路1222号) Zhabei Shanghai Shanghai 26 Jul Buy tickets

Kneehigh Theatre: Dead Dog in a Suitcase

Based on The Beggar’s Opera, John Gay’s classic musical satire Dead Dog in a Suitcase tells a story in which Mayor Goodman and his dog have been assassinated after which the killer escapes and gets married. Bursting with wit, Kneehigh’s cast of actor-musicians shoot, hoot and shimmy their way through this twisted morality tale.

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Great Theatre of China , 704 Niuzhuang Road (牛庄路704号) Huangpu Shanghai Shanghai 26 Jul Buy tickets

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