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Long Time No See: Clockenflap gets back to live

Clockenflap Presents, the concert series organised by Clockenflap, Hong Kong’s biggest annual music festival, has announced Long Time No See, a one-day festival featuring some of the brightest musical talent in Hong Kong.

Taking place on Saturday 18 September at the 1,800-seat MacPherson Stadium in Mongkok, the show will mix much-loved veteran acts with up-and-coming stars. Among those performing are YellowPeril (featuring LMF’s Mc Yan), breakthrough acts such as Anna Hisbbur and Charming Way, and a full-band set from singer-songwriter Cehryl.

Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival last took place in 2018, the final pre-coronavirus edition (2019) cancelled at the last minute due to pro-democracy protests in the former British territory, which has been a special administrative region of communist China since 1997. Its 2021 edition is scheduled for 26–28 November at the Central Harbourfront Event Space in Central, Hong Kong Island.

Tickets for Long Time No See are priced at HK$480 (€52) + booking fee.

 


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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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New socially distanced outdoor venue opens in HK

The Grounds, Hong Kong’s first socially distanced outdoor entertainment venue, has opened at AIA Vitality Park in the city’s Central district.

Located below the Hong Kong Observation Wheel on the Central Waterfront, The Grounds at AIA Vitality Park is the first venue in Hong Kong purpose built for the pandemic. It can seat up to 400 people in 100 private ‘pods’, each equipped with two to four deck chairs, with eventgoers able to order food and drink to their seats by scanning a QR code.

Each pod is sanitised, and visitors will have to comply with a range of anti-Covid-19 measures, including temperature checks, pre-registration and health declarations, and the wearing of face masks.

“The Grounds is designed to allow guests to play, socialise and be entertained responsibly”

Entertainment at The Grounds, which opened on 6 November, includes live music, film screenings, game shows, stand-up comedy and health and wellbeing events, says The Grounds MD Simon Wilson.

“We want to give Hong Kong something new to look forward to, while at the same time creating an opportunity for the local entertainment and hospitality industries to engage with audiences in an innovative, comfortable and safe environment,” he comments.

New events and tickets for events at The Grounds are released at midday local time every Wednesday.

“As we navigate this new global normal, The Grounds is designed to allow guests to play, socialise and be entertained responsibly,” adds Wilson.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Magnetic Asia team launches Total Ticketing

The team behind Hong Kong promoter Magnetic Asia (Clockenflap, Sónar HK, Feast) and ticketing platform Ticketflap are rebranding their ticketing division from Asia Ticketing to Total Ticketing in a push to take the brand global.

“From our beginnings as technology experts and event promoters, we are very proud to have been able bring all of our skills and experience together to provide a fantastic ticketing experience for staff, customers and stakeholders alike,” comments Magnetic Asia CEO Mike Hill. “While we remain proud of our Asian roots and will continue to focus on serving the varied markets in the region, we are extremely excited about this new chapter in our evolution to a truly global offering.”

Central to Total Ticketing’s offering is its new Enterprise Ticketing Solution (ETS), designed to meet the needs of promoters, ticket agencies, integrated resorts, attractions and theme parks, and multi-venue businesses such as convention centres, theatres and stadium complexes. The company is active in Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan and the UK.

“We are currently leveraging our feature-rich systems to further diversify”

Peter Gordon, MD of Total Ticketing, explains: “Our ETS has the power to help so many different types of businesses turn their ticketing operations from a cost centre into a profit centre and to open up manifold business development opportunities with valuable new stakeholders.

“As well as helping our clients to transform their ticketing operations and profitability, we are currently leveraging our feature-rich systems to further diversify into cutting edge skill-sharing and booking platforms, live video streaming and immersive audience experiences – with some exciting new product news coming very soon.”

Ticketflap is one of the five major primary ticketing companies in Hong Kong, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.


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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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Show producers offer venue disinfection

As venues in many markets prepare for a gradual reopening process, a number of show producers and production companies are adapting their business model to help spaces of all sizes maintain stringent hygiene conditions once back in business.

Sanitisation has been identified as a key issue for venues preparing to open their doors, with industry bodies warning that failure by those reopening first to maintain hygiene standards could “set back the entire event industry”.

One of those currently advising in the space is theatre producer and marketing firm Right Angle Entertainment, which has pivoted to develop a healthy venue solutions programme. The company claims its equipment and protocols can be used to disinfect event spaces in just half an hour.

As Right Angle Consulting, its portable machines can be used to disinfect auditoriums, backstage areas and lobbies in a short amount of time. “The live entertainment industry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. As we plan for the future, we can help these venues and productions provide a safe experience for workers and guests that complies with local, state and federal guidelines,” says Justin Sudds, co-founder of Right Angle Entertainment.

“We can help these venues and productions provide a safe experience for workers and guests that complies with local, state and federal guidelines”

“As each venue has different needs, we are offering a variety of packages to fit any scenario so we can all gather again to experience live entertainment.”

Another company providing sanitary venue solutions is Baltimore-based Revolution Event Design and Production – the brains behind the social distancing cocktail table – which has developed a range of air purifier systems for use in venues. With a range of 2,000 square metres, the purification machines provide continual sanitisation of the air in a given space.

Walk-through sanitiser stations are another option for venues looking to maintain top hygiene standards. Hong Kong convention centre, AsiaWorld-Expo, recently began testing out santising pods, dubbed CleanTech.

The three-in-one device combines air sanitising and purifying technology, anti-bacterial application and negative room pressure to provide effective, non-toxic sanitisation in just 12 seconds. A temperature check is also in place to detect whether the person inside has a fever.

 


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Eventbrite hires Asia-Pacific GM Josh McNicol

Eventbrite has hired a new general manager for the Asia-Pacific region.

Tech industry veteran Josh McNicol, most recently of mobile payments company Square, will oversee a team of over 40 ‘Britelings’ in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

“I was immediately inspired by the company’s mission: to bring the world together through live experiences,” says McNicol. “We’re doing this by connecting an underserved market with world-class technology that helps event creators run and grow their events and their businesses.

“We’re … connecting an underserved market with world-class technology”

“Events and live experiences offer people the unique opportunity to create memories, build community and connect with the world around them. In this new role, I’m excited to have the opportunity to help people throughout Asia Pacific create and discover even more live experiences that excite and inspire them.”

Over the past 12 months, ticketing and technology company Eventbrite entered Asia by launching a localised platform in Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as expanded its presence in New Zealand. Eventbrite’s Asia-Pacific team, which has grown by 25% in 2019, has processed more than 17 million tickets to over 330,000 events in the region this year.

 


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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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Promoters positive despite sales drop in Barcelona

Concert promoters in Barcelona, Spain, have noticed a decrease in ticket sales as the result of protests in the city, sparked by the jailing of nine Catalan politicians and activists two weeks ago.

Promoters including Live Nation and Barcelona-based The Project, as well as venues such as el Palau de la Música and el Gran Teatre del Liceu have seen a decline in sales since 14 October, when the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced the organisers of the 2017 Catalan independence referendum to 9 – 13 years in prison.

“Sales have fallen and we still haven’t recovered the rates that we had before,” Tito Ramoneda, co-founder of The Project and vice president of Spanish Promoters’ Association APMusicales told El Periódico. According to Ramoneda, sales have dropped by around 30% over the past two weeks.

El Palau de la Música, which closed its doors due to difficulties in accessing the venue during the height of the protests, has seen a 69% decrease in concert ticket sales, with organised visits to the building dropping by 5%.

“We have to preserve cultural life,” says el Palau director Joan Oller, echoing a sentiment expressed to IQ by Hong Kong-based promoters in August. “We can’t forget that el Palau maintained its musical offering during the civil war. Beyond the crisis we’re going through, it is always important to keep our link with culture.”

“Sales have fallen and we still haven’t recovered the rates that we had before”

Ticket sales for Live Nation-promoted concerts in Barcelona have also been lower than usual, a source told El Periódico. However, unlike in 2017 – when the Catalan leaders were originally arrested – shows are going ahead as planned.

The Project promoted a Herbie Hancock concert as part of Barcelona Jazz Festival over the weekend and Live Nation has upcoming shows from Daniel Caesar, Royal Republic, Bear’s Den and Vampire Weekend.

Concert and festival promoter Cruilla has noted a “good rate of sales”, selling out shows by a selection of Catalan and Spanish acts including Iseo and Dodosound, Manel, León Benavente, Buhos and Els Catarres.

Primavera Sound, one of the first representatives of the music industry to speak out against the sentencing, states that “more passes than normal” were sold in the week following the sentencing.

Political upheaval has taken its toll on live music across the world in recent months, with protests in leading to the cancellation of the inaugural edition of Rolling Loud Hong Kong and multiple concerts and festivals in Santiago, Chile.

 


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