BooshKaBaash shows raided, event cancelled

BooshKaBaash cancelledShanghai’s multi-venue BooshKaBaash Festival, meant to run over this past and next weekend, has been cancelled after police raided venues and detained foreign performers.

Organizers posted the following on the BooshKaBaash site: “As many people may already know, the infamous Friday Police raid at Melting Pot led to the cancellation of all Booshkabaash Festival shows. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and full ticket refunds are available via Shanghai247. We thank our sponsor for sticking by the band as they were hauled away for questioning, and thank the Shanghai music community for all their support. May the Boosh live to rock another day.”

Also, from Slinkrat:

Within the last week or so, cops have been targeting events looking for foreign musicians playing without permits or playing for money (In case any police are reading, there aren’t any! If I was getting paid for shows, I wouldn’t be setting my alarm every morning for 6am to catch a crowded subway to job that makes me cry).

No one has any real idea if this is part of an on going thing or an intense kind of blitz that will move on after it has made the appropriate noise and scared everyone out of venues and in to poorly ventilated internet cafes.

Yesterday (May 25th) at an outdoor event in Shanghai had local police in attendance. The band who played second last were allowed to finish their set but then taken in to the police station for questioning. Organisers and stage managers were also asked to go in and answer questions. Word is the questions, spoken in English, that were asked were similar to:

Where do you work?
How do you know about the event?
How much are you getting paid?
When was the last time you entered the country?
Why don’t you call or write anymore?

The cops took photos of certain people, got phone numbers and looked at passports. Allegedly, some people were scrutinized much more intensely than others.

The night before, an indoor venue in Shanghai was raided with cops in blue uniforms and officers in black uniforms who looked an awful lot like a SWAT team. Pretty extreme considering a student band had finished playing around 20 minutes before they came in and took the foreign musicians in for questioning.


  1. But I thought China was promoting its “cultural industry”? Nothing like cancelling “cultural events” to get it going I guess. First no Mao paintings at the Andy Warhol exhibit and now this.

    Next time get Ai Weiwei on the ticket to preform “Dumbass”!

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