In 2013, I got an e-mail. It was Benjamin Fawks, who owns Rozz Tox in Rock, Island, Illinois. America. He told me about his place in Guangzhou, Loft345. I was elated to have such a supremely crazy connection. A few weeks later, actually dropping into Mainland China on tour with P.K.14, I trekked down an alley while rain poured everywhere around me. It took me a long time to actually find the place. To me, nestled next to a public swimming pool, this place was amazing. Filled with art, geckos, good drinks, and great conversation.
I am excited to spread the word that Benjamin has created a new space in Shenyang, China. I asked him, "why the hell are you opening this in Shenyang", but I already kind of knew the answer.
Per their website : "We like putting our culture cells in areas where they are needed, where culture is lacking and where people are needing it the most-- Shenyang is just that. We hope to bring some interesting local, national and international minds together here and stir the pot."
I've been to Shenzhen. Filmed GUIGUISUISUI and Noise Arcade play a show there. The kids were rowdy as hell! However, like much of the Northeast that's not Dalian, the scene could use a leg up. What automatically came to mind for me, was that this could be another attempt at circuit builder, connecting Dalian, and hell, God forbid...Harbin. It's what we've worked for in Heilongjiang for the last year. I'm not entirely hopeless in the matter, and that's because China grows so insanely quickly, and you have people like Benjamin taking risks, just like this.
They've partnered with a craft brewer, and the whole thing looks as beautiful as that green, lush, striking Guangzhou hub, Loft345.
It's a 2 hour train from Harbin, if you catch the right time, so I'll be heading there before summer's end to take a look.
Until then, read about it here : http://www.rozztox.com/shenyang.html
It's closed on Monday's, which is my only day off. Figures. We'll get there anyway.
Cheers, Benjamin, and everyone who made this happen!