We picked up through the grapevine that the writing was on the wall for Red Town, and that the whole area was facing closure in the near future. According to the people in the compound, the Red Town management told the owners of the boutiques, restaurants, and galleries back in November that they were going to be tearing up the central area and building something else there. There was some muttering about office blocks. The construction plans are going ahead this summer and several of the businesses currently operating therein are shuttering up.
Red Town tenants... on the move.
While the shops around the central lawn are technically staying untouched, most of their tennants are moving out, according to the guys at Both Music. The affable guy behind the bar said, "We're all going to move because it'll be like two years of *makes a bunch of construction site sounds*. Customers wont come."
Both Music is closing up shop when the construction starts.
While I was down there, I saw them moving fridges and office chairs out of Shanghai Sculpture Space. The On Stage fellows say they're moving somewhere else, but they don't know where yet. They projected that around June they would be hosting their last shows at the concert space. We'll keep you updated when (if) they find a new spot to settle.
Curtains for On Stage.
It seems like there won't be a new "Red Town" springing up anywhere else; the people that were there are just dissipating out. Sculpting in Time Cafe at least said they were going to set up a new shop somewhere in the area, so there's always that. Meanwhile, I couldn't get anyone to tell me what's happening with the sculptures. Hopefully they don't just get dumped in a warehouse somewhere.
Most of the stuff down there'll stay open until late June, early July, so if you've never been, clock's running out. Last chance to paint the town red. Before the town runs red with the blood of venues. Puns.