The Garden of Joy

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Map of Venue

General information

The Garden of Joy
City Beijing
Active 1999 - 2001

The Garden of Joy, Beijing venue around 1999-2001

Propably opened its doors in the beginning of 1999-?- nearby WuDaoKou. The owner was the father-in-law of Tongue's keyboard player Guo Dagang.

The people that went to the Midi Festival in May 2000 also frequented this bar. The incrowd of this bar were called tietuo 铁托, which can be translated as iron henchman or die-hard, and is a play on the Chinese name of Tito, the onetime dictator of former Yugoslavia and ally of China. In his slang-dictionary of the underground scene Yan Jun explains iron henchmen as ‘extremely loyal supporters’, and credits the out-of-towners of Tree Village for coining the term in 1999.[1]

Later The Garden of Joy moved a bit west, to a larger place. Nan Qing, the new manager of this larger place, had hardly had education. Without any professional equipment or management-background she succeeded in making The Garden of Joy a home for a large variety of rock bands and their fans.[2]

"The Garden of Joy was worn-out, but for the rockers it was heaven. The Garden of Joy was very important because before that, there was no place in Beijing for these poor, young rock musicians. It felt extremely free."[3]

By the end of 2001 there were progressively fewer shows at The Garden of Joy, and finally it closed as a rock venue. This was probably due to financial problems: making money off poor young people proved difficult. Unfortunately the budding subculture could not find another venue that was as suitable – that is: as cheap – for its development as The Garden of Joy.[2]

Further information


  1. Yan 2002: Yan Jun, 地地下(Undergroundground). 􁭛􀣪􃡎􁴃􀟎􂠜􂼒, Beijing.:396.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Groenewegen, J. (2005). Tongue - Making sense of Beijing underground rock, 1997-2004. University of Leiden.
  3. by Zhang Fan, conversation with Jeroen Groenewegen, 9 July 2004.
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