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Magnetic Asia ‘pained’ to cancel Clockenflap as crisis worsens

Magnetic Asia announced today (Friday 15 November) that the recent worsening of the situation in Hong Kong has made it “impossible” for Clockenflap festival to go ahead as planned next weekend.

The Clockenflap promoter had previously stated its commitment to putting on the festival, despite the cancellation of other high-profile events due to continuing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Mumford and Sons, Babymetal, Halsey, Metronomy and Bombay Bicyle Club were among acts billed to play the 60,000-capacity festival from 22 to 24 November.

However, due to “the escalation in the crisis this week, and the uncertainty this creates for the coming weeks” the event has now been cancelled.

“We still believe in bringing people together in positive ways, and will continue to unite people through the power of music and arts”

“While it pains every one of us at Magnetic Asia to cancel Clockenflap 2019, we still believe in bringing people together in positive ways, and will continue to unite people through the power of music and arts,” reads the statement from organisers.

Full refunds will be issued to all those who purchased tickets through official channels.

Fans have shown support for Magnetic Asia on Facebook, thanking the team for their efforts and sympathising with what was evidently a “difficult decision”.

Positivity and determination have characterised the live music community in Hong Kong since unrest began in June. Clockenflap music director and Magnetic Asia co-founder Justin Sweeting has been especially vocal in iterating the potential of music and the arts to bring Hongkongers together in positive ways during difficult times.

 


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Clockenflap organisers confirm event will go ahead

The final line-up for Hong Kong’s Clockenflap festival was released last week, as the event’s organisers state the importance of bringing people together “in positive ways” amid continuing unrest.

Bombay Bicycle Club, Metronomy and Nick Murphy are among the final additions to the Clockenflap line-up, which features previously announced acts including Halsey, Baby Metal, Lil Pump and Mumford and Sons.

The final line-up release, confirmation that the festival will go ahead as planned from 22 to 24 November, comes after the cancellation of Live Nation’s inaugural Rolling Loud Hong Kong last month.

The hip-hop festival is one of an array of live music events to be cancelled or postponed since anti-government protests began in June, initiated by the introduction of a controversial extradition bill. The proposal has since been withdrawn but protests for democratic reform in the special administrative region (SAR) of China have continued.

“This is precisely why we feel it is so important for Clockenflap to happen this year, more than ever, and to bring people together in kinship and collective creative inspiration,” Justin Sweeting, co-founder and music director of Clockenflap organiser Magnetic Asia told the South China Morning Post.

“We are 100 percent committed on our side, as are the artists, so now it’s up to the people to get behind us.”

“It has always been our aim to bring Hongkongers together in positive ways, and this mission has never been more relevant”

The organisers state that all artists and their teams have been monitoring the situation and are “fully aware” of what is going on. No acts have dropped out due to the protests. Artists will be allowed to “express themselves fully” at the festival, whatever their political leaning.

Safety of fans is another top priority, with thorough assessments and checks with “relevant local and international parties” taking place to ensure a safe environment.

Speaking to IQ in August, Sweeting noted that Clockenflap sales were up 17 percent from the same period in 2018 and that feedback on the initial line-up announcement was the “most positive yet”, despite many other events struggling in the city.

Sweeting and other Hong Kong-based promoters that IQ consulted at the time referenced the positive relief that live music was providing to a “hurting” city, a sentiment that continues almost three months on.

“It has always been our aim to bring Hongkongers together in positive ways, and this mission has never been more relevant,” comments Magnetic Asia co-founder and CEO Mike Hill. “With the ongoing situation in the city, and with many other events choosing to cancel, we feel that it is particularly important that Hongkongers have a fun and inspiring home-grown event to look forward to.”

Clockenflap 2019 is taking place at Hong Kong’s Central Harbourfront Event Space from 22 to 24 November. Tickets for the event are available here with a three-day pass priced at HK$1,490 (US$190).

 


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New Rolling Loud fest called off amid HK protests

The new Rolling Loud festival has become the latest live music event to fall victim to the protests in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protestors continue to clash with Beijing-backed authorities.

The festival, announced in July, would have become the city’s first two-day hip-hop festival and feature performances by US talent including Wiz Khalifa, Migos, Playboi Carti and Ski Mask the Slump God. A spin-off of the flagship Miami event, Rolling Loud Hong Kong was set to take place this weekend, 19 and 20 October, at the Art Park in West Kowloon Cultural District.

Organiser Live Nation Electronic Asia broke news of the cancellation this morning, announcing on social media that, “after consulting with security experts, it has been determined that it is not possible to organize [sic] the upcoming Rolling Loud Hong Kong edition as we had hoped without endangering the safety and well-being of our fans, artists and staff.”

Posted by Rolling Loud Hong Kong on Sunday, October 13, 2019

 

Fans who bought tickets through Rolling Loud’s own Universe-powered ticketing platform will be refunded within 45 working days, Live Nation adds.

Although many international acts have cancelled shows, Hongkongers have been turning to live entertainment as an escape from the escalating violence in the city, found an IQ report in August.

Vava, mainland China’s biggest female rapper, previously cancelled her appearance at Rolling Loud Hong Kong in support of the Hong Kong government, according to the SCMP.

Hong Kong – a former British territory which has since 1997 been a special administrative region (SAR) of communist China – has been wracked by protests, sparked by the introduction of a controversial bill that would allow Hongkongers to be extradited to the mainland, since July. The proposal has since been retracted, but protests for democratic reform continue.

Yesterday, after peaceful rallies turned into clashes with police, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China and the country’s president, warned that any attempt to “divide” the People’s Republic would lead to “bodies smashed and bones ground to powder”, reports the BBC.

 


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