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The 2018 Yearly [Agenda]

The big events and holidays to look out for in the new year.
By Jan 8, 2018 Activities
Here's a big ole list of the holidays and marquee events to watch out for in 2018. We love it when a plan comes together...



January 9-January 14: Riverdance


The first name in Irish step-dancing, Riverdance returns to Shanghai. (!) Now over twenty years old, the show has visited over 450 venues worldwide and been seen by over 25 million people, making it one of the most successful dance productions in the world. Riverdance is a consistent favorite in China, ever since debuting here back in 2008. Experience the full show on a stage in Shanghai — they’re back with their new performance. The sights, the sounds, the music, the dance. Get tickets right here.

January 31: Hurts: Desire Tour

Having established themselves as one of Europe's more successful pop acts (top ten albums and numerous hit singles in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Ireland, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Finland, the Netherlands and the UK), Hurt is on its biggest tour yet, with a stop in Shanghai. Earlier this year, Hurts released their first single from the new album, Beautiful Ones , described by the band as a “celebration of individuality.” Tickets available right here.


February 3: Beijing Show: The xx 'I See You Tour' 2018

Modernsky present electro-pop phenomenon The xx show at the Beijing Exhibition Centre Theatre, featuring a full production of spectacular sound and lighting. This is the only ONE show of this "I SEE YOU TOUR" within mainland China, and also is the first time The XX play in the Mainland. Please Note: This show is in Beijing. The band is only playing in Beijing on this tour. SmartShanghai can get you your tickets in Shanghai and then you've got to make your own way up to catch the concert. Tickets available right here.

February 3-February 4: Mark Seibert Live Concert

World famous German vocalist Mark Seibert is bringing a medley of musical theater show tunes to perform in Shanghai, from his own experience performing them on stage to international audience. Program includes numbers from ‘Elisabeth’, ‘Les Mis’, ‘Wicked’, with a few Elton John and Leonard Cohen covers mixed in for good measure. Power musical theater voice on stage in Shanghai. Tickets available right here.

February 14: Valentine's Day

The day for lovers. And singles to go out and get blasted. Look for SmSh's dedicated Valentine's Day Dinners and Party pages late January for everything that's on in Shanghai for the big night.

February 15-February 21: Spring Festival / Chinese New Year

Expect crippling shortages in everything colored red around those days. (Make-up days are Sunday, February 11 and Saturday, February 24.)


March 8: International Women's Day

Sisters gonna work it out for themselves. International Women's Day falls on March 8 this year, so look out for Shanghai's owne Ladyfest to return around this time, with arts, music, and cultural events dedicated to womens' experiences.

March 8: John Legend: Darkness and Light Tour Live in Shanghai


Just announced last week, this is already shaping up to be a highly anticipated concert by the RnB superstar. We're still awaiting the official announcement of Bruno Mars among others for 2018, but you can get you JLeg tickets right now right here.

March 14-March 18: Design Shanghai 2018

Some 300 home design brands set up shop in the Shanghai Exhibition Center in March for this annual showcase. As ever, the fair is divided into three main sections: contemporary, classic and collectibles, with big brands including Vitra, HAY and Swarovski all sharing their wares alongside a host of locally-based designers. There's also a program of events, lectures and workshops -- check the official website for those.

March 14-March 16: IWF: Health, Wellness, Fitness Expo

IWF Shanghai the largest professional trade event in fitness industry, which is annually organized during March in Shanghai with 33697 visitors checking out exhibitions in fitness/sport equipment and accessories, fitness apparel, nutrition and supplements, club supplies and facilities, smart health products, sport leisure products, and more. More info on the 2018 version right here.

March 15-28: Shanghai International Literary Festival

Bund bastion of literary pursuits and diversions hosts the 2017 iteration of their International Literary Festival from March 10 to March 17. Full schedule of writers and ticketing info TBA. Keep tabs on updates with M's Lit Fest right here.

March 17: St. Patrick's Day

As usual with St. Patrick's Day, expect a lot of daytime drinking and non-Irish folks playing Irish for the day. For all the big events and parties, stay tuned to our tag page.

March 27-April 3: Shanghai Fashion Week

The Spring iteration (it also returns in Fall in October) of Shanghai Fashion Week (SFW) takes over Xintiandi, with loads of domestic brands and a few foreign ones. Most of the events are invite-only but it's a fine opportunity to hang around Xintiandi and people-watch. Keep track of announcements on the Shanghai Fashion Week website. In general, each day has around eight shows, which run from around 1pm-8pm.


April 1: Easter

This year Easter falls on April 1. Celebrating Jesus' return with eggs and chocolate bunnies... Stay tuned to our Easter page for a full list of brunches, egg hunts, and church services.

April 5-April 7: Qingming / Tomb Sweeping Festival

Time to dust off the ol' grave and eat some qingtuan. This year's Qingming Jie falls on April 5, with three days of holidays scheduled from April 5-April 7. This is usually a good weekend to travel in China. (Make-up work day is Sunday, April 8.)

April 13-15: Shanghai Formula 1 Grand Prix (F1)


From April 13 to April 15, the F1 Grand Prix returns to Shanghai with all your favorite racing teams and celebrity drivers doing 56 laps on a 5.5km circuit shaped like the Chinese character "上" ("Shang"). Head on down to check out the fastest cars on earth, exceeding speeds of 370 kph. While General Admission areas offer some of the best views in Formula 1, the Main Grandstand's 29, 000 seats provide panoramic views of over 80% of the circuit. Tickets already available right here.

April 20-April 22: Longines Global Champions Tour Shanghai

Experience this international horse jumping sport live in an exclusive ambience. The Longines Global Champions Tour hosts the top riders of the sport with their best horses in the most difficult classes. More info at their official website. Tickets will be available on SmartTicket closer to the date of the event.

April 29-May 1: Labor Day Holidays

A nice little break from work heading into the summer in Shanghai. Expect a bunch of competing rock and electronic music festivals hosting in international artists like...

TBA (But always transpiring during the May Holiday): Strawberry Festival 2018

China's biggest indie label Modern Sky throws one of Shanghai's biggest music festivals in the lush Expo Park. Headliners last year included The Prodigy, Modestep, and Disclosure. Other acts include a big sampling of the Modern Sky roster and some familiar Shanghai DJs and bands. Music at Strawberry is on the trendier side, in the vein of dance rock, electro rock, indie pop, modern rock, and pop punk. Check back on the SmSh Wire for updates.


TBA (But always transpiring during May Holiday): Midi Taihu 2018

MIDI is China's oldest, rawest rock music festival. With no more MIDI in Beijing or Shanghai (at least last year), they've been relegated to an old amusement park / campsite by Lake Taihu in Jiangsu Province. Rock, metal and more, mostly from Beijing, with a few international headliners at this camping festival.


JZ Spring Music In The Park

Every spring, the JZ dynasty brings over 100 musicians to Jing'an Park (which used to be a cemetary), the streets, and in "many other places in Jing'an that you would not imagine". It's free, it's fun, it's outside, and it's family friendly. This one's also TBA. Check back for updates on the SmSh wire.


May 24-27: World Travel Fair


As a comprehensive platform for professional networking and consumers marketing, the 15th Shanghai World Travel Fair is the to-do of the year for tourism industry professionals around the world. They're offering "a unique opportunity to understand the market and find local partners, as well as the best way to offer potential customers a first glimpse at offers they would not otherwise consider." More details at the official page right here.

May 27-May 30: GeoShanghai 2018

GeoShanghai is a series international conference on geotechnical engineering held in Shanghai once every four years. The conference was inaugurated in 2006 and was successfully held again in 2010 and 2014, with more than 1200 participants in total. Since the last conference, the geotechnical communities have witnessed many advances both in fundamental understandings and in engineering practices. To showcase the latest developments and promote collaborations in geotechnical engineering and related topics, the organizers of GeoShanghai International Conference would like to invite you to participate in the 4th GeoShanghai International Conference to be held in Shanghai in May 2018. More info at the webpage right here.


June 7-June 30: Cats the Musical


One of the most successful musicals of all time returns to China. This is an English-language production (with Chinese subs) of Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-running hit musical. Originally adapted from TS Eliot's whimsical poems about the personalities and sociology of cats, the performance features the classic songs “Memory” and “Magical Mr. Mistoffelees”. It's the story of the hidden society, rules and manners of felines, and it's won over fans across the globe. Jelical cats come out tonight! Tickets already available right here.

June 8-June 18: Shanghai PRIDE

Founded in 2009, Shanghai PRIDE is the first and only LGBT Pride season in mainland China, celebrating diversity for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community and friends. The week-long festival features numerous events and activities including Pride opening and closing parties, a “Pink Picnic”, film and theatre nights, panel discussion, sport events and art exhibitions. More info released via their website.

June 13-June 15: Asia CES 2018

Big trade event showcasing the newest products from major tech companies, such as 3D printing, mobile phones, household appliances, sports and fitness trackers, and VR gear. The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been running for 48 years, and this is its third year in Shanghai. More info at the webpage right here.

June 16-June 18: Dragon Boat Festival

You get a couple days off to watch the Dragon Boats. The big one is always on Suzhou Creek, happening at 2pm on Thursday and Friday. Also a good time to get out of town on a shorter trip. (No make-up days.)

June 16–25, 2018: Shanghai International Film Festival

Highlight of the year for movie nerds. Hundred of international movies and films screened in over 40 cinemas across Shanghai, as well as a few big-time movies stars popping around to Shanghai to say hello. Information on the specifics of this year's festival is TBA but the dates are these. Keep tabs on the SIFF at their website.

June 27-June 29: Mobile World Congress Shanghai

Over 600 exhibitors will gather in Shanghai to showcase the most innovative products & services and the big ideas that will influence the future of the mobile industry. Big conference for technology people. More details at their website right here.


July 4: American Independence Day

USA is doing A-Okay. The biggest event for the American expat community in Shanghai, expect the official once from AmCham (TBA), as well as BBQs and parties at Yank bars all over town. Keep tabs on our July 4th tag for details closer to the date.

July 5-July 7: ISPO Shanghai 2018

Shanghai's biggest sporting industry expo. The ISPO is a multi-segment summer trade show with visiting exhibitors a fusion of international brands and domestic Chinese exhibitors. Overview segments including Running, Health & Fitness, Water Sports, Outdoor and Manufacturing & Suppliers. More information at the official website.

July 18-22: Shanghai Auto Show 2018


Cars, cars, cars. Electric vehicles is the main theme of this year's annual Shanghai Auto Expo. As in recent years, expect more cars than scantily-clad models. More information at their website.


August 3-August 6: China Joy

Shanghai's big gaming exhibition returns with showgirls, cosplayers, otaku, fanboys, photographers, and companies running their games on the latest hardware. It's not as sleazy as it used to be, but that's good if you're coming for the games instead of the cos-play ratchets. More info at the China Joy website right here.

August 30-September 5: Rent the Musical


In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson's Rent continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohème, Rent follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters - love. Tickets already available on SmartTicket right here.


TBA: Concrete and Grass


Pormoters Split Works' yearly two-day multi-stage open air festival is slated for September, with an international line-up of rock, pop, metal, hip hop, and electronic music from China an beyond. Usually one of the less cookie cutter-type of musical festivals in China for the year. Still waiting on the official announcement of the 2018 edition. Check back on the SmSh wire for updates.

September 11 to September 14: The 25th China International Furniture Expo

A massive, massive furniture expo that's been taking place in Shanghai for the last 25 years. International brand, contemporary furniture, office, commercial, home, and more from over 3,500 exhibitors. More details on the website right here.

September 21-September 23: PHOTOFAIRS 2018

The biggest and best art fair for photography spanning vintage to contemporary. Last year's iteration 50 galleries from 15 countries, highlights include the newly launched Insights section: a curated exhibition of museum-quality works set to tour all PHOTOFAIRS destinations. The main galleries section includes a slew of Shanghai stalwarts. No to be missed for photographers and fans of phorographic art. Details on this year's TBA but the dates have been released. More info at the website right here.

September 22-September 24: Mid-Autumn Festival

A summer-ending holiday with no make-up days. You know the deal: mooncakes, mooncakes, mooncakes, and family.


TBA: JZ Festival 2018

One of Shanghai's biggest and best festivals throws down for the 14th year, out in the lush Expo Park. Expect multiple stages, some big international acts (past years have seen Bootsie Collins, Victor Wooten, Earth Wind And Fire, Joss Stone, Mos Def, and Robert Glasper), and a lot of talented, smaller acts you might not have heard but will probably dig. Details TBA.

TBA: Shanghai Comic Con

Shanghai Comic Convention (a.k.a. SHCC) brings Chinese fans the coolest pop culture content, including comics, movies, TV shows, toys and video games. We invite famous celebrities, comic creators and performance artists to attend panels and sign for Chinese fans. We also attracting well-known industry professionals and exhibitors. SHCC extends to a three-day event in 2018. They haven't released the specific dates yet. Tickets and more info on SmartShanghai closre to the date.

October 1-October 7: National Day

Golden Week, a.k.a. the worst time to travel domestically. You get a week off work from October 1-7, but you've gotta work on extra days. So... yeah. In previous years, we've had lots going on around town, including STORM, Ultra, and possibly MIDI Festival. Bit too early to call on any of those. Check back on SmartShanghai later on when the info gets released. (Make-up days for the holiday are Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30.)

October 7-October 14: Shanghai Rolex Masters


Shanghai's biggest tennis event returns. The annual Shanghai Masters is a pro knockout tournament played on hard outdoor courts down in Minhang. Part of the ATP World Tour Masters, the tournament sees the world's greatest players competing for over four million USD in prize money. Tickets will be available on SmartTicket here.

October 31: Halloween

This is Halloween, this is halloween! Shanghai's biggest party night of the year outside of New Year's. Keep track of what's going on with the SmSh Halloween tag.


November 8-November 11: West Bund Art & Design Fair


Back for its fifth edition, West Bund Art + Design Fair hits up Shanghai's 'cultural corridor' once again in 2016. Expect a who's who of international galleries, and if previous forays are anything to go by, top-notch curation. More info as we get it. Coming off a successful year last, organizers have already announced the 2018 version of the West Bund Art & Design Fair, scheduled for November 8 to 11. More information at the website right here.

November 10: Shanghai Bienalle

The 13th edition of the Shanghai Biennale will take place at the start of November. Most details are still TBA but they've already announced 2018's chief curator: Mexican mover Cuauhtemoc Medina.

November 11: Shanghai International Marathon

The Shanghai International Marathon is an annual marathon held in Shanghai, China during late Fall. Having the highest price pool and the highest completion rate, the Shanghai International Marathon is one of the top-tier athletic events held in China. Over 35,223 individuals participated in the various events last year with over 300,000 spectators live. More details right here.

November 9-November 11: Art 021

This high-end art fair, named after Shanghai's area code, is now in its fourth edition and always good for a look-see. If previous incarnations are anything to go by, expect a who's who of blue-chip international galleries and top-notch curated exhibitions. More details at the website.


December 25: Christmas


Yeah, there's going to be some stuff happening in Shanghai for Christmas. High-end dining, low-end misery drinking, markets, markets, markets. Check back on SmartShanghai in... like 11 months for our dedicated Christmas listings pages.

December 31: New Year's Eve

Ditto for New Year's Eve.




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