After a string of canceled performances amid the coronavirus outbreak, Hong Kong live house This Town Needs closed its doors for good after hosting a final farewell show last night.
The news comes after several bands and artists such as H.J.Freaks, Nervosa, and Crown The Empire canceled performances at the venue over the last two months.
HK01 reports that TTN had made almost no income over the past two months, and still had to pay rent and other expenses for the space. The owners decided to shut down the venue, and it’s not clear if TTN will reopen later at another location.
At around 6pm, TTN announced on Facebook that all early-bird tickets had sold out and that they had to turn away a lot of people as at-the-door tickets had also sold out.
TTN has a reputation for being staunchly pro-democracy, and last night drew a large crowd of people wearing the 3M respirators ubiquitous during last year’s months of anti-government protests. Some in the crowd even chanted pro-democracy slogans such as “liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times,” and “Hong Kong independence, the only way out” in between sets.
The show must go on. pic.twitter.com/pCFipHjBsK
— Galileo Cheng (@galileocheng) February 27, 2020
It is a rather different scene from other apolitical live concerts. Whenever there is a break, audience chant #antiELAB slogans. “Free Hong Kong; Revolution of Our Times,” is one that is most heard here at this live house. pic.twitter.com/zBmoCxVjf1
— Ezra Cheung (@ezracheungtoto) February 27, 2020
One of the people who did manage to get in was pro-democracy lawmaker Jeremy Tam, who posted on social media a photo of himself with TTN founder Hui Chung-wo with the caption, “Thank you for bringing so many kinds of music, live shows, and memories to the people of Hong Kong for many years. It’s been an honor to work with you and I promise I will continue to help indie bands! I still believe that #ThisTownNeeds #Music! Dreams never die!”
Farewell Hidden Agenda:多謝阿和咁多年為香港人帶來唔同類型嘅音樂、live show同回憶，都叫有幸同你一齊奮鬥過！應承你，我會繼續幫工廈band仔！到呢一刻我仍然相信 #ThisTownNeeds #Music！夢想不死！
TTN is the fifth iteration of the famous indie live house Hidden Agenda, which was founded by Hui in 2009, and has been a staple of Hong Kong’s underground music scene for years, hosting hundreds of local and international artists.