First published on 16 Aug 2011. Updated on 10 Mar 2013.
Having promoted themselves with club nights, festivals and large-scale parties, in 2009 Acupuncture Records (now with actual records) took the next logical step and opened a club. After the the demise of the White Rabbit brand, Lantern became a beacon for underground dance music, and Beijing’s promoters flocked there to ply their trade. Sadly, it didn’t last long, but now it’s back, and bigger – it appears – is better.
The new location for Lantern is found in a converted snooker hall and it is huge. A set of stairs leads you down past photos of Beijing’s superstar DJs (Mickey Zhang, Dio, Weng Weng etc) into an underground cavern. Here, a long bar spans one end of the room, with a mezzanine offering more seating and views down on to the dancefloor.
Lantern is comfortably split in two by the DJ booth, with the back half of the club (this has fewer seats and a huge dancefloor) being opened only on weekends. During the week, half the dancefloor is closed off so as not to seem empty to the hardcore Tuesday night clubbers. Drinks are fairly priced, with standard house pours costing 30RMB, mojitos going for 45RMB and Tsingtao for 25RMB. Meanwhile the music policy – although painted in distinctly techno hues – is set to be a mix of Beijing promoters playing every electronic genre you can dance to.