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The best things to do in Beijing this June

Know more, do more this June

Artwork: The Kiss (1969) by Pablo Picasso © Succession Picasso 2019
Incredible stage shows, chart-topping musicians and breathtaking art are just some of the things April has in store for Beijing. Embrace the greatness of spring with these incredible things to do around town.

Read on to take a peek at our top picks of the best films, gigs, nightlife events and exhibitions to keep you busy all through the month. Make sure you also check back every now and then, we'll be regularly updating this blog as events get announced!

Things to do

EU-China International Literary Festival 2019

The fourth EU-China International Literary Festival will bring leading writers from all across the European Union to China in a celebration of books, writers and readers. European and Chinese writers will gather to showcase their combined wealth of literary talents, discuss their craft, and share ideas and experiences.

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Fête de la Musique

Fête de la Musique is an annual festival of live music that's celebrated in over one hundred countries around the world, as part of World Music Day. Launched in France in 1982, it's now been in Beijing since 2012. Taking place in live houses across Beijing (for free!), this year's line-up features MNNQNS, KIZ, Lewis OfMan, Oré and more. Check our site closer to the date for the full line-up.

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Unspecified Venue 14-26 Jun

UnTour Food Tours: Beijing Hutong Breakfast

Heard about Beijing’s hutong alleyways, but not sure what to do or where to go? Join UnTour Food Tours for breakfast and sample the most authentic and delicious snacks that are hiding in plain sight. Over the course of three hours, you’ll eat your way through China’s 5,000 years of culinary history, try new foods and gain an appreciation for the artisans making these handmade treats.

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Unspecified Venue Every Wednesday
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Christopher Nissen

With supermodel good looks and a winning falsetto, Danish pop sensation Christopher Nissen was manufactured for international success. Nissen appeared seemingly out of nowhere in August 2011, rising to fame after a video of an acoustic cover of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend" was uploaded onto YouTube. This video instantly garnered thousands of hits, paving the way for Nissen's latest single and debut album.

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Tango , 79 Hepingli Xijie 23 Jun Buy tickets

The Score

Eddie Anthony and Edan Dover have unapologetically clung onto a defined identity, which they've defined as "a kick ass band”. Their energetic performances have made the New York-born and Los Angeles-based duo into a genre-defying phenomenon, crossing the lines between rock, pop, indie, and electronic music. Powered by anthems such as “Legend,” and “Unstoppable,” The Score has since reached hundreds of millions of cumulative streams within three years and over the course of two EPs.

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Tango , 79 Hepingli Xijie 22 Jun Buy tickets


MTA Festival 2019

Critics' pick

Returning for another year, two-day music fiesta MTA Festival takes over Tianmo Desert this June, this time with local icons Higher Brothers, Re-Tros and Omnipotent Youth Society leading the charge. A desert rave featuring music, technology and art (that's what MTA stands for, in case you were curious), dedicated festivalgoers can also camp out for the entire duration.

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Tianmo Nature Scenic Area , Tianmo Huailai Zhangjiakou Hebei 29-30 Jun Buy tickets

Pete Herbert

Dance to the beats of UK based DJ and producer Pete Herbert. With a musical career spanning over two decades since he set up the infamous Atlas Records shop in Soho in the early 90s, DJ Pete has been playing on dance floors all across the world. Combining disco, balearic and house beats, Pete's music style is a vibe of its own. Party to his music on the top balcony of Guomao, for a great summer party time.

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Migas Mercado , 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie 28 Jun Free


Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Critics' pick

If monsters are your thing, then there's quite a few in this upcoming sequel to 2014's Godzilla reboot. A crypto-zoological agency called Monarch faces off with creatures of titanic proportions including the mighty Godzilla and other similar monsters like Mohtra, Rodan and now his ultimate nemesis, a three-headed beast called King Ghidorah. When these ancient supersized monsters, previously thought to be myths, start vying for supremacy, humanity's very existence is put under threat.

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Cinemas around Beijing 27 May - 27 Jun

Thomas and Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie

Critics' pick

Nearly a year after screening at English theatres abroad, Thomas and his friends finally chug their way to the Mainland where fans of the beloved show can enjoy watching the trains on their exciting cross-continental adventures as well. This time, Thomas ventures off from his home island Sodor to see the rest of the world. In this film, the little boy locomotive travels through five continents across deserts, through jungles and over dangerous mountains where he also encounters a train engine named Nia, a female locomotive from Kenya who becomes his travelling companion.

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Cinemas around Beijing 31 May - 30 Jun


Critics' pick

Disney brings Aladdin to a whole new world in this live adaptation, with Will Smith attempting to fill the very big shoes left behind by Robin Williams. For those of you already familiar with the animation, Aladdinshould tread some pretty familiar ground (but we'll nevertheless still be catching it in cinemas).

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Cinemas around Beijing 24 May - 24 Jun


Art Fair in Hotel 2019

Using the hotel as a medium and its suites as exhibition units, AIFH brings art out of its traditional white cubes. AFIH aims to create a platform for art dealing and communication, positively affecting the art ecosystem in Beijing. AIFH 2019 will feature 24 local and international galleries, with more than 1000 artworks including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, new media art and design arts.

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The Peninsula Beijing (王府半岛酒店) , 8 Jinyu Hutong 21-23 Jun

Bowie by Mick Rock

Critics' pick

Bowie by Mick Rock is a special exhibition co-sponsored by the Seattle Museum of Popular Culture (MOPOP) and Modern Sky. Between 1972 and 1973, as David Bowie was redefining glam rock as the androgynous alien rock star Ziggy Stardust, fellow Londoner Mick Rock was the musician’s official photographer. Catch snapshots of 65 rare Bowie moments, from the extraterrestrial fashion outfits on album covers to intimate dressing moments and private performances.

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798 Art Factory , 4 Jiu Xian Qiao Lu Chaoyang Beijing Beijing 29 May - 04 Aug Buy tickets

Picasso Birth of a Genius

Arriving this June, 'Picasso – Birth of a Genius' is the most significant exhibition of work by Pablo Picasso ever to take place in China. Offering a comprehensive overview of the first three decades of Picasso’s career, the exhibition includes 103 works drawn entirely from the collection of the Musée national Picasso-Paris, tracing Picasso’s development from childhood to middle age and promising an indepth insight into the life of one of the most influential artists in the history of modern art.

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Tobias Rehberger: Blind and a Little Less

Critics' pick

Galerie Urs Meile presents Blind and a Little Less by German artist Tobias Rehberger. This marks Rehberger's second solo exhibition with the gallery since 2014. Following a major solo exhibition at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai (If You Don’t Use Your Eyes To See, You Will Use Them To Cry), Blind and a Little Less draws upon the Shanghai exhibition and delves further into the existing themes and series of works.

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Galerie Urs Meile (麦勒画廊) , 2 Jiuxianqiao Lu Every day except Monday

Zhang Xuerui: The Everyday As Oncology

In the first solo exhibition of Chinese artist Zhang Xuerui titled The Everyday As Oncology, the exhibition will present Zhang Xuerui’s most recent paintings combined with her textile installations. For the artists of Zhang Xuerui’s generation, the visual resources of Western contemporary art have appeared before them in a fragmentary form. Abstraction is merely one of the many styles available to reference. In Zhang Xuerui’s case, her architecture major has influenced her precise grid style and sophisticated painting method, a process of aestheticisation of the everyday time and body labour.

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Galerie Urs Meile (麦勒画廊) , 2 Jiuxianqiao Lu Every weekday


Shanghai Ballet: The White-Haired Girl

The Shanghai Ballet was formally renamed in 1979 at the base of The White-haired Girl performing team. The White-haired Girl, which has been staged nearly 2000 times, won the Gold Medal at the Best Classical Dance Works of the 20th Century in China. Since its founding, the Shanghai Ballet has also seen many young dancers gain many awards in international dance competitions. The company not only tours nationwide, but regularly performs internationally both across Europe and Asia.

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NCPA , 2 Xi Chang'an Jie 25-26 Jun Buy tickets

The Wizard of Oz

Critics' pick

Celebrating the beloved 1930's film that saw a generation of young girls want sparkly red shoes (just us?), The Wizard of Oz musical heads to the Beijing stage with a cacophony of timeless songs, bright sets and much heel-clicking. Take a trip back down the yellow brick lane with Dorothy and all her friends in need.

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Tianqiao Performing Arts Centre (天桥艺术中心) , Tianqiao Nandajie Every day except Monday , Every weekend Buy tickets

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