Last year it looked like the curtain was finally drawn on underground music venue Hidden Agenda after it announced that it would shut its doors for good at the end of October.
But, we’re pleased to report, the show is set to go on.
On Monday, fans of the music venue were given a surprise when it was announced it will reopen at a new location with a new name: This Town Needs.
The post, which included pictures of the new venue, read: “We hope the new name will encourage people to reflect on what the city needs, and that each one of us will do our part to make Hong Kong a better place.
“Hopefully, the new venue and space will provide more creative possibilities. For instance, concerts can be held at the same time as exhibitions, and there will also be a space for people to relax and enjoy a refreshment.
It’s certainly welcome news given the uncertainty that surrounded the closure of the popular Kwun Tong venue, which was the last of several locations used by the club following several run-ins with authorities.
Hidden Agenda did not reveal the exact location of the new venue, but only told fans that it was located in a mall “east of Kowloon East”, and that a soft launch will be held on Feb. 24.
According to HKFP, the new name is a reference to This Town Needs Guns (TTNG), which is one of the bands who were arrested for performing at Hidden Agenda without a work visa in May.
Two weeks ago, TTNG announced that legal charges against them and another band Mylets have been dropped and no further action will be taken.
Hidden Agenda was founded by Hui Chung-wo in 2009, and has been a staple of Hong Kong’s underground music scene for years, hosting hundreds of local and international artists. It moved into its last location — an industrial building in Kwun Tong — in late 2016.
Since then, the fate of the live house had been hanging in the balance after run-ins with the authorities including the Lands Department, the Immigration Department, and the Food and Environmental Hygeine Department.
Hidden Agenda — which did not have a public entertainment licence as it is located in an industrial building — had been operating under a food factory license since it moved to Kwun Tong.
However, it came under scrutiny from the FEHD for breaching the conditions of their lease and license.