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The best things to do in Shanghai this October

Here are all the brilliant events happening this month

Photograph: @aaronburden via Unslpash
Golden Week aside, there's a whole heap of great things to do around Shanghai this October and we've conveniently listed our pick of them below. Because we're nice like that. From pop superstars Mariah Carey and Sam Smith coming to town to the return of the Shanghai Rolex Masters tennis and Shanghai Comic Con, as well as the exciting arrival of hit theatre show Stomp, this month is shaping up to be a good one. Read on for the best that October has to offer.

Food & Drink

Comma grand opening

Japanese bar Comma is holding five days of events from Oct 17-21 to celebrate its grand opening. Wed 17 is the grand opening party with complimentary sake, Thurs 18 has a Craft Republic guest keg, Fri 19 welcomes guest bartender Ruslan Kapstan, Sat 20 has brunch specials, guest DJ Shawn Livewire and friends and a beer pong tournament and Sun 21 will include a Street Fighter tournament and a playlist party with Skinny Brown.

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Comma , 178 Xinle Lu 17-21 Oct

Zeitgeist Oktoberfest

An Oktoberfest Beer Garden at the courtyard behind Zeitgeist. Expect a big beer garden with delicious Bavarian food available all day.

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Zeitgeist , 537 Haifang Lu 20 Oct

BADLANDS: Shanghai Supperclub five year anniversary

The people behind FEAST, SIP and Cocktail Cinema are celebrating five years of parties and events in Shanghai with 'an evening of Shanghai vice set in the 1930s.' BADLANDS will be taking over three-storeys of the private member's club, One Xintiandi, with the best of fashion, food and drinks. In classic Supperclub manner, expect street food vendors, pop-up restaurants, open bar, street-side games, jazz and lots more.

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One Xintiandi , Lane 181 Taicang Lu 27 Oct

Music & Nightlife

Alter.: Lunar Dance

Alter. takes over The Cut Rooftop. Expect a musical journey tracing a line through Italo disco, funk, soul, house, from Chicago to groove, to deep and acid strains, to endless dance.

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THE CUT Rooftop , 999 Huaihai Zhong Lu 20 Oct

Sam Smith

Critics' pick

Sam Smith, the British pop star behind hits such as 'I'm Not the Only One', 'Stay With Me' and the Bond film-soundtracking 'Writing's On the Wall', makes his long-awaited Shanghai debut at Mercedes-Benz Arena.

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Mercedes-Benz Arena , 1200 Expo Avenue 23 Oct Buy tickets

The Fratellis

Scottish glam-fuelled rugged rock trio The Fratellis – whose tracks such as 'Chelsea Dagger' were near-inescapable in the mid-00s – hit Shanghai.

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Modernsky Lab Shanghai , 3F Moon Shopping Mall, 188 Ruihong Lu (瑞虹路188号3楼) Hongkou Shanghai Shanghai 23 Oct Buy tickets

Mariah Carey

Critics' pick

Megawatt singer and diva extraordinaire Mariah Carey is set to return to the Chinese mainland for the first time in four years. Expect all the hits to be belted out at Mercedes-Benz Arena.

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Mercedes-Benz Arena , 1200 Expo Avenue 24 Oct

YYT Halloween Tribute Show

Critics' pick

A Halloween bash at underground music venue Yuyintang Park and the best of rock with Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Blur and Devo to kick off the sickest Halloween weekend.

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Yuyintang Park , 1398 Yuyuan Lu 27 Oct

Frisky Disco

Un Caffe Bar is hosting a combined roller-disco/Halloween party that is guaranteed to get weird. Household names Deeper Joy, James Brown and the Temple of Boom will be soundtracking the event in collaboration with RollerDisco Camp. All costumes are encouraged (well maybe not ones that would get caught in your skates). Beware of falls and late night frisks.

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Un Caffe Bar , 77 Jiangning Lu 27 Oct

Things to Do

Das Days

Critics' pick

Das Days, adidas Skateboarding's world tour comes to Shanghai for its last stop of 2018, bringing with it a jam-packed nine-day programme all revolving around the local skating scene. Think team rider-led experiences, creative workshops, content premieres, film screenings, an exclusive adidas Skateboarding x Alltimers product launch, the latest iteration of the renowned Showcase X art exhibition plus heaps of skating with City Copa. Visit the official Das Days website or check out @adidasskateboarding on Instagram for more info.

Address details: The festival is at multiple locations, but the main hub is the Community Center at 232 Anfu Lu, near Wulumuqi Zhong Lu.

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BaseCo (Anfu Lu) , 322 Anfu Lu 12-20 Oct

Eco Design Fair 2018

Eco Design Fair is Shanghai’s longest running eco-initiative, bringing green awareness to the city’s residents. Their 2018 event will mark their tenth year and is inspired and empowered by prominent eco leaders, businesses and community groups, all driven to 'interACT!' Expect over 45 exhibitors and a packed programme featuring the Change Starts With Myself photo booth, Zero Waste stations, hands-on workshops, fitness classes, dedicated children’s areas, live performances and more.

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HKRI Taikoo Hui , 789 Nanjing Xi Lu 20 Oct , 21 Oct Free

Charity Pumpkin Carving Contest at The Rooster

Get down to The Rooster and help raise some money for a good cause at their Charity Halloween Pumpkin Carving Competition. Proceeds will go towards YBC healthcare to support children with Down's Syndrome, a partnership built with the help of Rotaract Club of Shanghai. It's a 100RMB donation to enter and the winner receives a free Budweiser keg party at The Rooster. Follow 'RoosterChina' on WeChat for more details.

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The Rooster, Jingan , 455 Shaanxi Bei Lu 20 Oct

Craft & Farmers Market

GermanEvents will be hosting their fourth Craft & Farmers Market at Zeitgeist. Expect over 30 vendors offering food, drinks, crafts, design and many fresh local and handmade products. There will also be bouncy castle and DIY courses to entertain kids and an animal adoption day. 

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Zeitgeist , 537 Haifang Lu 21 Oct


Lost, Found

Directed by Lu Yue, a cinematographer and frequent collaborator with Zhang Yimou among other Chinese cinema heavyweights, Lost, Found (找到你) follows a lawyer and the nanny she hires. The latter helps the former care for her daughter while she juggles her career and divorce proceedings.

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Early Man

Remember Wallace and Gromit? Chicken Run? Same guy directing this one. Nick Park goes prehistoric with his signature clay animation aesthetic, following Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his porcine pal Hognob as they take on Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston).

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Cinemas around Shanghai 19 Oct - 10 Nov

The Spy Who Dumped Me

This action buddy comedy follows best friends Morgan Freeman (A+ gag right off the bat) and Audrey Stockton, played by Kate McKinnon (Jeff Sessions on SNL) and Mila Kunis (the voice of Meg from Family Guy), who stumble into a high stakes global espionage plot.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 19 Oct - 10 Nov


A yeti named Migo is out to prove to his fellow yetis that humans exist. Upon doing so, he finds himself bridging the xenophobic tensions between either group.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 19 Oct - 10 Nov

The Predator

The Predator promises to bring back everything you loved about 90s Hollywood action blockbusters, in particular those purring aliens with triangular death lasers. 

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Cinemas around Shanghai 26 Oct - 17 Nov

Ala Changso

Ala Changso won the screenplay and grand jury prizes as the recent Shanghai Film Festival for its deeply intimate, but not overly sentimental, story and how it captures Tibet's awe-inspiring natural beauty on screen.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 26 Oct - 17 Nov

Time Out Film Screening: Assembly

This month's film is Feng Xiaogang's Assembly, A noisy epic set across the Chinese Civil War and subsequent Korean War. A PLA captain, Gu Zidi, is fighting to reclaim the honour of his fallen comrades after a calamitous battle which casts their actions in a dubious light.

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Glam , 20 Guangdong Lu 28 Oct


Shen Wei: Exploring the Unknown

Shen Wei is a prolific Chinese artist known for his multi-disciplinary mastery, often blending painting, dance and other visual arts in powerful ways. He won a MacArthur Genius Grant in 2007, directed part of the Beijing Summer Olympics opening ceremony in 2008 and was more recently awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. 

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Power Station of Art , 200 Huayuangang Lu Every day except Monday Free


Alice’s Adventures Underground

Critics' pick

The much-raved-about Alice's Underground Adventures has made its China debut here in Shanghai with its first show in Mandarin. The immersive and interactive play lets you will walk through the Wonderland yourself and watch the events unfold as if you were part of it all.

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Daning Little Manor , 666 Guangzhong Xi Lu 05 Oct - 04 Nov Buy tickets

The Motherfucker With The Hat

The Mother Fucker With The Hat is a high-voltage 'tragicomic' play about love, betrayal and addiction which premiered on Broadway in 2011. Set in the New York City hood, the story follows an explosive couple as they cycle through patterns of infidelity and drug abuse. While outwardly absurdist, there is a lot below the surface of Stephen Adly Guirgis' breakout play. The show starts are 6.30pm on Sunday and at 7.30pm on all other days.

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MIXPACE , Level B, 1398 Yu Yuan Road Changning Shanghai Shanghai 18-21 Oct , 18-21 Oct , 25-28 Oct

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