Green concert postponed after Taiwanese acts drop out

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 August, 2009, 12:00am

The devastating storm in Taiwan has caused the postponement of a green music festival in Hong Kong because Taiwanese pop singers are staying home to raise money for victims.

The Green Live festival, planned in the West Kowloon Cultural District site this Saturday and Sunday, will now be held in the winter, the organisers say.

About 70 per cent of the tickets, priced at HK$280 and HK$480, had already been sold and organisers will announce arrangements for refunds today.

As well as the absence of the Taiwanese performers, there were problems with the site, which had been softened by recent rainstorms, making it difficult to erect a temporary stage, said Angus Ho Hon-wai, chief executive of Greeners Action, which co-organised the show with the Wow Music company.

The event was to have featured 30 singers and bands from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland, including Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit and local singers Kay Tse On-kei and Paul Wong Koon-chung.

Billing it as the city's first green concert, the organisers were planning to ban glow sticks, bottled water, cans and paper-packaged drinks during the show.

Concert-goers were encouraged to take plastic bottles, to be filled with green beans to create percussion instruments with which to accompany performers.

Those who brought their own cutlery and tissues were to enjoy discounts on food and drinks. Organisers hoped to use only one truck, instead of the four usually needed for an outdoor concert, to clear the litter.

Mr Ho said the West Kowloon site might not be available by the end of the year, as he had been informed by the Lands Department that it would be occupied by other projects. The organisers were considering other outdoor sites, including the Happy Valley racecourse.

'We will definitely bring back the green elements in the coming event in winter,' he said.

It had taken a year to organise the festival and costs were about 30 per cent higher than for traditional ones. The organisers had been collecting fallen leaves to replace paper and fireworks in creating stage effects.

The organisers overcame departmental obstacles last week before being forced to postpone the event. The Home Affairs Department had withheld its support because of residents' objections to the noise. The department only approved the application for renting the site last Friday. Mr Ho said the organisers had little time to prepare.