Police arrested seven people, including visiting British math rock band TTNG and American musician Mylets, for alleged visa violations after raiding a concert at Hidden Agenda, the Kwun Tong livehouse last night.
According to a post shared on Hidden Agenda’s Facebook page, police and immigration officers on the scene said the visiting musicians were hired as “illegal immigrants” after “issues” their visas. The venue’s founder, Hui Chung-wo, was arrested alongside another staff member and an audience member.
Concertgoers wrote online that two plainclothes officers attended the concert to prove that the bands performed despite their visa issues before revealing their identities and arresting the musicians. A fight reportedly broke out between the officers, Hidden Agenda staff, and audience members.
Just before midnight, more police officers arrived on the scene with riot shields and police dogs after receiving a call about the fight. An immigration department worker was taken to hospital after sustaining injuries. Audience-filmed footage (which has since been removed from Facebook) showed Hui being dragged by several police officers and reports state that he asked for medical attention, but photos showed him being taken away in a police van.
【更新】今晚 This Town Needs Guns 演出有入境處職員到場放蛇，指樂隊簽證有問題，並指 Hidden Agenda 場地負責人涉嫌聘請黑工；其間入境處人員企圖強行帶走HA負責人阿和，令阿和受傷；事後有大批警察喺現場介入，指…
All three members of TTNG and Mylets were arrested on suspicion of violating the terms of their visas. They were released in the early hours of today and are required to report back to the Immigration Department’s Kowloon Bay office this afternoon.
Hidden Agenda, which is regarded as the city’s premier livehouse and an integral part of the grassroots music scene, has been raided multiple times over its eight-year tenure and forced to relocate three times after run-ins with the Lands Department, Fire Services Department, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.
This graphic by local artist DDED shows law enforcement officers gearing up in bulletproof vests and storming into Hidden Agenda to yell “drop the microphone” at performers.
Following multiple warnings from the Lands Department for operating without an entertainment license at their previous location, Hidden Agenda raised HKD500,000 through crowdfunding to obtain a Food Factory License and opened a restaurant on their new premises. However, the troubled venue was raided yet again last month during a concert by Canadian and Hong Kong bands Braids and So It Goes after plainclothes Food and Environmental Hygiene Department staff accused the operators of violating their license.