Apparently uncowed by the ongoing anti-government protests — unlike many acts before them — Hong Kong’s biggest annual music and arts festival, Clockenflap, seems to be going ahead as planned in November, with organizers today announcing the final line-up for the three-day fest.
English indie band Bombay Bicycle Club, Australian singer-songwriter Nick Murphy, English electronic group Metronomy, and experimental rock group These New Puritans are among the new additions joining headliners Halsey, Mumford & Sons, and Lil Pump — announced in August — in the complete lineup for this year’s ‘Flap.
Also featured in the second line-up announcement are a number of Hong Kong indie bands and artists, like Charming Way, Linda Chow, and Room 307. The fest will also see some familiar faces, such as rapper Matt Force, indie rock act N.Y.P.D., and post-punk band David Boring, who we interviewed ahead of their performance at the festival in 2017.
There had been fears that the city’s preeminent music festival would be canceled after a number of entertainment and sports events were nixed amid escalating protests. The fact that the festival’s location, Central Harbourfront, is very close to the Legislative Council in Admiralty has also raised concerns that protests could disrupt the festival.
But last week, organizers sought to put those concerns to bed, saying in a social media post: “We’d like to dispel any rumours – Clockenflap 2019 is full steam ahead!”
As part of today’s announcement, Mike Hill, co-founder and CEO of Clockenflap organizer Magnetic Asia Ltd, said the company was determined to host the festival despite the challenging circumstances.
“It has always been our aim to bring Hongkongers together in positive ways, and this mission has never been more relevant,” he said.
“With the ongoing situation in the city, and with many other events choosing to cancel, we felt that it was particularly important that people have a fun and inspiring homegrown event to look forward to.”
He also stressed that the safety of attendees is important.
“Every year we face different challenges with regard to security and audience safety. These are always diligently planned for, and lead to the implementation of specific protocols each year,” he said. “This year’s situation has been fully assessed according to strict international guidelines as well as liaison with all relevant local and international parties, to ensure we can bring Hong Kong another great weekend of music, arts and fun in a safe environment.”
Since protests began, events such as the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival — which was also going to be held at Central Harbourfront — had to be canceled, and other big names like Carly Rae-Jepsen and Trevor Noah pulled out of their Hong Kong appearances.
So far only one Clockenflap act has pulled out — the indie pop singer-songwriter Cuco, who didn’t give a specific reason beyond saying in a social media message that he needed to “take a step back and stay at home for a while.”
The rest of the Clockenflap line-up includes:
ADRIAN SHERWOOD TIME BOOM X THE UPSETTER DUB SESSIONS
THE BOOGIE PLAYBOYS
SKARRA MUCCI, JADO, MOUSEFX WITH HEAVY HK
SEA ISLAND AND FERRY
RE:FLEX B2B BROADBACK
KEVIN KAHO TSUN
MAGNETIC SOUL/NIKI PARRINGTON
BALL OF SNAKES
CRIMES AGAINST POP
DJ CHI CHUNG
YUEN CHI CHUNG
MIKO VAN CHONG
FILL THE SILENCE