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Three charged over Hong Kong video screen fall

Three people have been charged in connection with an incident in Hong Kong where a giant video screen fall on two dancers during a concert by boy band Mirror.

One dancer was critically injured in the incident at Hong Kong Coliseum on 28 July 2022 and remains in hospital, according to local media.

The Hong Kong Free Press reports that a woman and two men aged between 41 and 60 will appear in court next month accused of conspiracy to defraud. The trio, who are reportedly employees of main contractor Engineering Impact Limited, were among five people arrested in a series of dawn raids last November. The other two people have been released “unconditionally”.

Police officers allegedly found some equipment was more than seven times the weight declared and claim the firm deliberately gave false information in order to obtain a permit for a planned 12-concert run by the 12-member boy band. The remaining shows were cancelled in the wake of the incident.

“We were of the view that they made false declaration deliberately, with the view to speed up the approval process for the show”

“The real weights of these mechanical devices were totally different from the data that was given by the company,” said Supt Alan Chung of the Kowloon West regional crime unit. “So we were of the view that they made false declaration deliberately, with the view to speed up the approval process for the show.”

In its official report, a government task force led by the leisure and cultural services department concluded a wire rope tied to the LED panel snapped due to “metal fatigue”.

It stated: “The causes include (1) inferior conditions of the rope, with the breaking strength of the wire rope being lower than the lowest breaking strength of a normal one; (2) the actual weight of the LED panel being much heavier than what was reported; (3) a problematic winch installation system making the rope guard difficult to rotate, causing damage to the rope surface and inducing extra load on the rope, leading to plastic deformation; and (4) poor workmanship on the assembly and installation of the LED panel suspension system.”

 


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Hong Kong Coliseum created in Minecraft for C Allstar show

Earlier this year, Hong Kong digital entertainment company Kre8Lab launched The Show Must Go On, a new online concert concept designed and built inside online video game Minecraft.

Local boy band C Allstar played the first The Show Must Go On concert, dubbed Make it Happen, in August, and a second edition of the show will launch on Minecraft in late December. For the virtual venue, the Kre8Lab team designed and built a performance venue resembling the 12,500-seat Hong Kong Coliseum.

The August show coincided with the 10th anniversary of C Allstar’s debut, and transformed the band members into Minecraft avatars, while fans enjoyed the “full concert experience”, says Minecraft publisher Microsoft, including simulated ticket checks and temperature-tacking followed by finding a seat.

To familiarise new players with Minecraft games, the Kre8Lab spent three months in advance of the show crafting a ‘treasure hunt’ to recreate the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, including the Clock Tower, Star Ferry Pier, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Space Museum, 1881 Heritage and more.

Meanwhile, brands were invited to set up virtual booths in advance of the show, with Deliveroo, McDonald’s and Reebook among the companies to take advantage.

 


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Eason Chan plays to empty Hong Kong Coliseum

Cantopop singer Eason Chan last weekend became the first artist to perform at Hong Kong’s leading large concert venue, the Hong Kong Coliseum, after restrictions on performing at the venue were lifted.

Chan was scheduled to play 25 shows at the 12,500-seat Coliseum in December and January, but the performances were pulled amid unrest in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protesters continue to clash with Beijing-backed security forces. The local star instead played to an empty venue on Saturday 11 July in aid of industry charity HKLPPIA (Hong Kong Live Performance and Production Industry Association), whose pandemic fund is supporting Hongkong artists and crew through the coronavirus shutdown.

The charity event, dubbed ‘Live is So Much Better with Music’, comprised two 30-minute performances: One at 6am local time (‘sunrise’) and one at 5pm (‘sunset’). Despite being performed without a crowd, the shows created nearly 100 jobs for local crew, according to the Straits Times.

At the end of the video, Chan says in Cantonese: “It feels strange to have no audience, so we will clap for ourselves. Even if there is no applause, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard on this performance…”

Live is So Much Better with Music comprised two 30-minute performances: One at 6am local time and one at 5pm

Chan’s performance came as popular Hong Kong festival Clockenflap confirmed it would again not take place this year, this time as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 threat. Clockenflap 2019 was called off at the 11th hour as a result of the same unrest that cancelled Chan’s original Coliseum shows.

Mike Hill, co-founder and CEO of Clockenflap promoter Magnetic Asia, explains the decision: “The biggest challenge for us is the uncertainty of international travel. Would artists be able to come without having to spend 14 days in quarantine? There is a strong chance this may not improve before November. That makes it impossible to create the kind of Clockenflap people want.

“But 2021 will be bigger because we now have a date secured and it’s 18 months away. We have never had that level of venue certainty in the history of the event. That, matched with the hunger to perform, means our booking team should be in the best position ever.”

Clockenflap 2021 will take place from 26 to 28 November.

 


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