After shutting down operations at their long-standing location in Shuangjing in August, Mako Live House has proven resilient and is now plying their trade in the most unconventional of locales—in amongst the slick dance clubs of Gongti, with nary a grubby mosh pit in sight.
A low-key opening of that second location (in Workers Stadium No.88, close to the south gate) began three months ago, and gigs have been held there regularly to growing fanfare. And while the neighborhood may seem far from ideal for a rough-and-tumble livehouse, the new location actually couldn’t have been more enticing to Mako manager, founder and frequent DJ Di “DiZ" Zhong.
“The venue was a posh night club before, but somehow the club owners realized they could do some cultural events which could be more competitive amongst the tons of night clubs in Gongti,” Zhong said. “We don’t even need to pay the rent.”
That generous deal was especially appealing for Zhong, because Shuangjing’s skyrocketing rent rates lead to the original Mako’s closure. He was also impressed by the gorgeous design of those new digs, like a “nice big rooftop floor, where we can rock the town during summer.”
Despite those considerable benefits, Zhong still struggles to run Mako in this snazzier neighborhood.
“It is so f***ed up in Gongti. People here are different, the clubbing culture is different, and they have different tastes in music. Do they even care about independent, underground music? Real live music?” he says.
However, a chance is a chance, and he's still grateful for the unique opportunity afforded by the former club’s owners. “It’s good because it's in Gongti, so we have a chance to stand in the middle of the entertainment industry, and represent a different voice, different values, and different lifestyles than what this neighbordhood is used to.”
Those incentives are enough to make Zhong stay put for now, though he is not ceasing his incessant scouting for the perfect permanent home.
In the meantime, he hopes that Mako’s ethos will rub off on Sanlitun’s typically high rolling club goers. “It’s good to add different flavors to people's nightlife,” he said.
Workers Stadium No.88, close to the south gate
Images: Mako Live House
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