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What to expect on the music and nightlife front in Shanghai in 2018

2017 was a relatively quiet one for big name international pop stars visiting Shanghai. You had a chance to enjoy shows by the likes of Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande and, of course, November saw the Victoria’s Secret show with Harry Styles and Miguel hit town. One of the many headlines to come out of that event was Katy Perry's apparent China 'ban' and it'll be interesting to see how much guanxi can be flexed between now and early April in an attempt to revive the Mainland China leg of her 2018 Asia tour. Otherwise, pop fans will now be hoping the invite-only lingerie event was a signifier of an upcoming (public) concert at Mercedes-Benz Arena for heartthrob Styles – he will be in Hong Kong in May, setting tongues wagging about the prospect of him hopping over to the Mainland for a show. At the moment, it doesn't look as though his Asia tour dates quite leave room for a trip here however.

Many a furtive glance is also being thrust toward the Special Administrative Region from these parts thanks to forthcoming bookings for the XX and Bruno Mars – as with Styles, Shanghai appearances for either act are far from a certainty at the moment, although the latter seems more likely.

Slightly more concretely, Imagine Dragons are set for a return to these parts in January and James Blunt is nailed on for a Shanghai show in 2018, so there's that.

Also guaranteed to return will be a slew of music festivals. In 2017, more established China brands such as Strawberry, Midi, JZ, Concrete & Grass and Storm were joined by international new entrants Ultra and Summer Sonic, along with a crop of homegrown upstarts. Despite some events suffering from patchy attendance numbers and permit problems, don’t expect the festival frenzy to die down in 2018.