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The Shelter

Overall
Editor
Editor Rating (Review): 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)
Address:
5 Yongfu Lu
Address in Chinese:
永福路5号
Nearest Metro Station:
Changshu Road
Directions in English:
near Fuxing Lu
Directions in Chinese:
近复兴路
Opening Hours:
8pm-4am
Phone:
6437-0400
Price range:
Less than ¥99
Category:
Features:
Neighborhood:
Posted by:

Description

Shanghai's haven for those who choose dancing over posing, this former bomb shelter is the place to come for underground dance music, including frequent appearances by international DJs. A dark, hot main room complemented by a comfortable chill out area in the back and inexpensive bar.

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Directions in English:

5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Lu


Directions in Chinese:

永福路5号, 近复兴路


Phone:
6437-0400

Comments

Comments

amandhallvard

I am surprised to see many bad reviews for the shelter as I have only had good experience with the venue. for me it is for sure one of the places for partying in shanghai. good line up of parties and events. good atmosphere. it is better later at night when more touristic people have left and the party has got really good. Cheap drinks, cool decor (kinda) I love this place, reminds me of my student days too.
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thefatdragon

Went to Shelter for their weekly hip-hop night on wednesday. The Shelter is not for everyone. If you really like the music at M2, Muse, M1nt, then The Shelter is going to be really different for you. It's dark with loud music. The tunnels feel like the Chamber of Secrets. People actually dance. They play great music. I've been a few times since, and sometimes its a hit, sometimes its a miss. Thats the nature of underground spots in Shanghai (Dada, Downtown, Lola). Check it out. And if it doesn't work, there are a bunch of other bars in the area.
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hyenalol's picture

hyenalol

This place is a joke nothing to add
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jonashb

The doormen might be one of biggest assholes in whole China. He just wanted to beat one of my female friends, but we could stop him. Shit club
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maace

Crap music, middle price drinks, the only place where you will pay for entrance and see no one besides the bar staff inside. If you happen to be on Yongfu lu drinking in the other bars along side, don't bother with this joint and go elsewhere
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david_loves2party

The place was an absolute disgrace and I lay all the blame on the doorman he was rude to me and my friends as we entered we walked into the club and probably because the doorman was so rude to people the place was completely empty, me and my friends all decide to leave and want a refund because of how empty the place was and he was still being as rude as he wanted and told us all to "fuck off" never going there again and hopefully people reading this won't go there and have their night ruined the same way I did.
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wangqitian

Used to be my favorite location in Shanghai. Brought two friends there last night to show them the place. Payed 50 Yuan entrance fee each. The club was totally empty at 1.30. When we complained at the door they first ignored us but when other people who just arrived saw us complaining and decided to leave, the doormen wanted to force us to go back into the club. We wanted to calm them down but they even attacked us physically, broke my jacket and my friend got a bloody nose. We are thinking about contacting police / lawyer. If anybody saw the scene please contact us.
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markk's picture

markk

Some really good DJs at Shelter. Must be some of the best that come to Shanghai!
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angmohtsao's picture

angmohtsao

A tedious and dreary place. well probably it;s because I didn't realise it was actually a real shelter. I don't like place without pretty views.
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sazzy

Stay away from this place. I heard that it was supposed to be good but I went there twice just to make sure and it was awful. The security dorrman is a horrible person and is very rude to everyone. He should be fired!!!!!!
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ginajameson's picture

ginajameson

if u have no ideas where to go, go shelter!
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Geoff Ng's picture

Geoff Ng

@lrosemblom Haven't been for a while so don't have anything to say about the crowds or the music, but Shelter was around for years before the other bars on the block were there...totally unfair to blame it for the scene the area's become. In fact, I'd say
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backflash

Lrosembloom: a few comments. A minor point: you may have some basis for some of your comments, but in all the times I have visited shelter, DJs have not been playing pre-programmed lists. I didn't attend DJ Krush, but I very much doubt he was pretend-djing. What I really must take exception with is this comment: "Shelter is responsible for turning Yongfu lu, what was a cool area full of venues into a distasteful street, full of drug dealers and unclassified losers much to the despair of the other bars in the area." Shelter was the only venue on that stretch of Yongfu lu for well over a year before the area above was developed. Up until that development opened Shelter policed the area outside to ensure that there was no antisocial behaviour or excess noise. It is, in fact, the development of the other almost exclusively bar venues on that section of the street, with no thought of tenant mix and solely with an eye for rental income, that has made Yongfu Lu such an unpleasant area of town late at night. A further point, which always seems to cause confusion here: the door at Shelter goes to the promoters of the night, the venue itself solely profits from drinks sales.
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lrosembloom

Once an unrivaled venue for djs and music lovers, Shelter today is nothing but a frat house gone wrong. People like Free The Wax worked really hard to turn this place into an institution, which is now just feeding off its past glories. Musically speaking, it is only once every few months that an actual good dj comes by its otherwise lame programming. Shelter's character has become synonymous to mediocre gigs, where very often djs don't even do live sets, and instead plug library playlists. What is worse , often djs - which was the case of even Dj Krush a few months back to my great disappointment!- pretend to be dj'ng because the clowns and the losers are easily fooled and they like the charade. Real aficionados don't appreciate this insult to their intelligence and, what is more, feel that Shelter is evidently lowering the standards of music to cater to the phonies and what to expect from live sets in Shanghai. People that call themselves DJs, more notable or less know, now come to Shelter to "put music on" but that is it. Goodbye to live sets, selected sessions or virtuoso performances. Also, the sound system of this stinky bone fide dive bar is terrible and, if you know the first thing about acoustics or if you have dj there, you know perfectly well it is a joke. Everybody goes to Shelter for its cheap beer and because there are not too many obvious venues with live sets in this city but it is a true embarrassment to be there. The most uncool experience you can think of full of frat boys, drunks and people looking for trouble to get their penis pumped. It is a desperate meeting ground. It ain't that hard to get laid in Shanghai so why go to this rodeo. The place is a total sh*thole and without grace, the service is terrible and I hope for your own good nothing happens while you are there because the management of the venue is ran by monkeys and nobody is in control. Instead the bartenders, runners, "bouncers" and even cleaning staff will be rude, aggressive and very insulting to foreigners specially -which is something I really do not understand since 85% of its audience is not local. Guess their current motto is "ah the kids are too high to care, charge the entrance fee and screw them". Fights are getting increasingly frequent and, if you are lucky, the staff will take you outside to fight it off much to their amusement. Additionally, if you have ever been to Shelter you know it is an accident ready to happen any day now, with the uncontrollable mob of prepubescent druggies and drunks, the negligent staff of bozos and the mere layout of the space. It is a firetrap. Shelter is responsible for turning Yongfu lu, what was a cool area full of venues into a distasteful street, full of drug dealers and unclassified losers much to the despair of the other bars in the area. If you think this is your only entrainment option in Shanghai, you are wrong. you just need a bit of personality to find another spot and not buy into this joke of a tourist trap. it is definitely not worth it. note: if you are a girl and decide to go, have your back cover or go there in larger group cause you are at risk of being harassed, groped and seriously threatened by drunks and hooligans. these situations to the management's enjoyment often lead to violent situations. you are a target. If on the other hand you are looking to get drunk and have sex easily, this might be the place: it is full of people lurking from the sticky walls seeking the same at whatever cost.
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Claire Miles's picture

Claire Miles

Hey CW users, we had to squash the discussion about cover charges and move it over to this blog: http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/articles/blogs-shanghai/cw-radar/are-cover-charges-in-shanghai-bars-and-clubs-justified/ Please feel free to re-post your comments there!
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carlonseider's picture

carlonseider

Planetree, I'm not sure what you were expecting of Shelter. It's not an all-singing, all-dancing cabaret! The 50 kuai cover charge goes to "cover" the expenses associated with running a club in Shanghai. I was there over the weekend and found it to be as great as ever.
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planetree's picture

planetree

Went to Yongfu Road on Saturday only to find out it opened as late as 10pm. What I disliked the most was that I get to pay 50 bucks just to get a stamp on my forearm, and there was no ticket issued even when I insisted from the door man. A great way to escape tax!! Unlike some others, the 50 Kuai was nothing but an entrance fee, you cannot claim any drink from that. And the "shelter" was nothing but, shelter. Not flamboyant lighting, no entertaining bartenders. Talking about the bartenders, they were 4 young girls who refused to tell you their names but only code named themselves as "north, south, east, west". Stayed in the tunnel for half and hour with 2 drinks and left without any turning back.
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urinaldeuce

What makes the shelter such a great place that it is. I'd say cheap drink, very good DJs, nice atmosphere and you people. Often people here are very easygoing and friendly, good place to make new contacts. No posing and this snoby s**t that you might come across in some places in shanghai..
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tingbudong's picture

tingbudong

perfect place for classy people like myself, fluff yeah--i love it! GREAT music
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sherrysplanet's picture

sherrysplanet

i can not go there, i just took a peek then feel so smothering....maybe i have claustrophobia to be in the basement...
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caseyprich's picture

caseyprich

i don't go here enough - but that's because i've been trying to avoid the wrong side of sunrises lately. the most highly recommended place for dancing late into the night.
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leemack

@berex. Please direct your attention to the right side of this page. There you will see all the upcoming events at this venue.
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berex

Hi can anyone tell me where i can find an events listing for this club? Do they have a website?
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milanjahnke's picture

milanjahnke

Love this place. From what I experienced, know and hear Shelter is at the frontier of a so called "unerground resistance" in a Hip Hop and Mashup domiated city. If you want to catch up with some real music culture and see some of the leading artists in (real) Hip Hop, Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Raggae and Techno then Shelter provides weekly parties with international artists and guest DJs. If you DJ they have a screen showing what the DJ in the booth is doing so if your favourite DJ happends to play in Shelter you can watch his fingers. Drinks are cheap and of good quality. Staff is friendly (be quiete when your infront of the club though since they get in trouble with neighbours when it gets too loud). Tables and sofas are available "come first get first".
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luciawrighte

Reminds me of all the wicked things I love at home but can enjoy in Shanghai. Awesome venue! The crowd are really mixed and staff are friendly.
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kiibbeerrllyy

The concept is great, the drinks are great and the service is great. You walk down a tunnel towards the entrace and it just makes you wanna know what is happening on the otherside. The music is great, with jamican vides to high energy trance, they never fail to create a unique atmosphere. Overall, must say that this is an interesting bar. Have to check it out at least once.
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tominsh's picture

tominsh

Good Jamaican vibes. I dig this place. Somehow reminds me of the long-gone Tresor in Berlin, without the German technofreaks on pills.
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funshanghai's picture

funshanghai

"The shelter" oops sorry that comment about trance was wrote by one of our old staff who erm wasn't really clued up. Well shelter gets thumbs up from me no dice rolling, no table wars, and lack of posing= a BIG yes please!:) and of course not to forget the pleasant shortage of 1970 style tight panted Chinese dudes with Elvis wannabe hair styles
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zammo's picture

zammo

#Hey Shelter Lovers #Win **free entry to the club all next year** - every party - any night - click [here](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/events/58435/) to enter
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kimberley198's picture

kimberley198

just cannot forget the once that they invited the Dj from Canada, what a scene! i was melting with the catchy and electric constellation viberation of Moon River, the atmosphere is just so so dreamy, even more interesting when you get drunk a bit, the music hit the spots, and i think the entrance a bit high. actually, 4.5 the score here.
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hunter's picture

hunter

uh...no thanks unless you are on something this is a place to skip.
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eml

It's nice to go to a place have a drink, and dance without any pretentious expats trying to be someone they're not. This place is a gem!
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assman

Come on. This is just some cheap dive bar with all riff-raff in there
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kwee's picture

kwee

i like this place, just nice and relax people. sometimes the music can be better. but not a bad place.
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samqwe

It's the fifth time to visit the underground bar. Not so crowded as it used to be coz the hot weather. I arrive the entrance at 12am. Many interesting persons there dance and chat in a very natural manner. I love the bar, here's my first choice in weekend.
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flyingdutchman

Love going to this dungeon place. The dark tunnel leading to the bar+dancefloor area already gets you in the mood (but dont go there if you're claustrophobic). Its surely an alternative scene place, not the usual glamour style clubs. Thats what's so nice about it. Music can vary quite a bit from reggae rap/toasting to more mainstream. Per the other comments "its a club where its all about dancing" and very relaxed about clothes and outfits (non posh)
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the_regulator's picture

the_regulator

t's good. I could begin every sentence with "to its credit": ...it's the only club in Shanghai where the emphasis is purely on the music, and it hosts a wide range of reputable artists. You probably won't have heard of whichever Detroit-minimalist-Mongolian-throat-singing-fusion-techo artist is playing, but chances are he'll be pretty good. ...it does this without being snobbish or veering into the realms of unlistenable wankiness that you can't dance to. It's always full of people dancing. Granted, you'll still be able to spot a fair few irritating individuals who have squeezed into their tight trousers and cardigans, but don't fret about them as they are only continental Europeans who don't really get it. ...unbelievably for a CLUB in Shanghai, drinks prices are reasonable. You can pretty sloshed for less than 200rmb or, if you're American or Chinese, less than 100rmb. But I do realise that I'm one of the few people in the city who doesn't feel cheated if they've gotten drunk without spending more than they would have done on a night out in Reykjavik, so perhaps this factor is irrelevant to most. ...it's got a big space for the music, and a big space away from the music where you can actually have a conversation with people. ...it's an infinitely more interesting and memorable venue than anywhere else in Shanghai. Yes it gets smokey when it gets busy, but where else doesn't in China? ...the crowd is overwhelmingly foreign. A sure sign that the place is not for people who are attracted to generic RnB fraff or silly, badly mixed hard house for people who don't really like music (I.E. the Chinese), and that it's not a suitable venue for people who like to sit around in a group not enjoying themselves with a tub of dice whilst making no conversation with anyone else before being dragged home covered in their own vomit. I.E. the Chinese. Don't pretend this isn't a good thing for political correctness' sake please. A few qualified quibbles, it's underground so don't come here if panoramic views of the Bund are what you have in mind, it's a bit dingy and the clientele aren't particularly attractive (even by Shanghai expats' less than dazzling standards), but this all adds to the charm.
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Geoff Ng's picture

Geoff Ng

Know that friend you’ve got who’s a little run down from always going out but really just can’t help himself? The guy who’s all night, telling you about random new music and making new friends? Well, the Shelter is a lot like that friend. It’s got graffiti in the washrooms, cracks in the walls, cheap drinks, a dance-crazed crowd and savvy DJs…mix a few live shows a month, and really, what’s there not to love?
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becka

Oh if anyone from Shelter who works there is reading this, please consider investing in an air-ventilation system!
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becka

Love Shelter! Its becoming more known so come earlier if you want a place to sit with a large group of friends. Very open atmosphere.I don't recommend you come if you are asthmatic!
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vx's picture

vx

juan atkins was a great night but I am getting really effing sick of losing things here b/c the coat check is always full. not that I ever found the first scarf I lost, but now a second one gone. after 3 times going back, coat check guy still wont let me look for it despite his lack of english. sorry shelter, but I have lost too much shit at your club for a 5 star review. until I get some of it back, or the summer hits, 3 stars for inconvenience.
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gaellette

Love that place!
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the_shelter

@ funshanghai hahahaha, i dont think there has ever been one trance song played on the shelter soundsystem, not even as a joke!
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vx's picture

vx

new to the city and just from the reviews too easy to separate the true techno heads from the sucka chump tourist types. looking forward to dj vadim tomorrow night. its all about the music...
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itwontstop's picture

itwontstop

to funshanghai: the shelter has nothing to do with trance music and saying it's not like a bund club is.. well.. missing the point. the shelter is in most ways the exact opposite of a fancy Bund club, and on purpose.
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funshanghai's picture

funshanghai

not a bad club , if your into underground trance nation type places, well as long as your not expecting a bund club quality environment i think its a fair place to trance the odd night out. www.shanghaifun.ning.com Shanghai`s party and nightlife social network
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agathejiale's picture

agathejiale

My favourite late-night venue in Shanghai ! Great quality and variety of music, nice decor, very cheap drinks, interesting customers. I would pitch my tent there if they find a solution about the annoying smoke problem.
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ispyshanghai's picture

ispyshanghai

Love the Shelter, love it, love it, love it. Great music, very reasonable drinks, good crowd, and the more popular it gets the more they strip down the decor. In the end it's going to be a completely black tunnel with hundreds of people dancing up a storm to the best music in the city. There's an album by Kerri Chandler called "A Basement, A Red Light And A Feeling" (as in all you need is...) which could have been written about this place.
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itwontstop's picture

itwontstop

The Shelter is imho not smokier than other clubs and is the perfect place for all those who are not looking for the fancy schmancy, glamorous bars and clubs Shanghai has aplenty. Various non-mainstream styles are music are being played (electro, anti-bling hip-hop, reggae, drum'n'bass, trip-hop, broken beats, soul & funk etc.) and the drinks are reasonably priced.
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moneyinabox's picture

moneyinabox

Everybody please note, in the event of a fire, there is an exit at the back of the club as well as the front entrance.
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