Shanghai’s party scene is in flux. While local nightlife is still known for being excessively gaudy and glitzy, a small group of ambitious party promoters are determined to cast off the bling in search of something a little more genuine. At the forefront of these creative agencies is The Ice Cream Truck, which is turning three this weekend.
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Founded in 2009, The Ice Cream Truck has hosted some of Shanghai’s hippest parties, becoming virtually synonymous with the city’s alternative party scene. It hasn't always been easy, though, especially in Shanghai, where conventional parties seem to inevitably revolve around spending large sums of money on private tables and drinks.
“In a city like this, where everyone seems to see in dollar signs, the biggest difficulty has been to balance our company’s growth while maintaining our concept and core values,” commented David Lin, creative director of The Ice Cream Truck. “We’ve been told many times that we can make more money by doing things this way or that way, all at the expense of our standards, but we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing if we didn’t care about doing it right.”
It’s true. For three years The Ice Cream Truck has hosted a never-ending series of rooftop bashes, beach parties, and warehouse raves, unwaveringly sticking to its roots despite the potential profit from organizing more traditional parties. While other party promoters might use gold-plated tables to bait the rich and famous, The Ice Cream Truck instead focuses on creating edgy environments to attract the young and stylish. The result is the fun-loving, energetic crowd that many have come to expect at a TICT party.
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“The Chinese party scene in general is still all about VIP tables, bottle service, dice games, and showing off your cash, which isn’t really our thing,” David said. “We’re trying to push this nightlife culture towards one that is more focused on quality music and production, dancing and having fun.”
As far as mission statements go, The Ice Cream Truck pretty much hits the nail on the head. More and more brands are going to them for possible collaborations, and they’re trying to work more closely with some in the future. Other than that, the guys over at The Ice Cream Truck don’t seem too worried about the future. “We want to develop naturally – I think that’s a big reason for our success thus far,” said David.
The Ice Cream Truck is hosting their third anniversary beach party on Saturday, June 30 from 11am-10pm at the Bund Beach, Waima Lu near Maojiayuan Lu,外马路近毛家园路. 100RMB entrance fee.
WORDS: ANDREW WEN
PICTURES: THE ICE CREAM TRUCK