Summer music festival lines up fewer artists for shorter concerts

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 June, 2010, 12:00am

It is supposed to be a special music festival that appeals to tourists, but Summer Pop Live appears to be nothing more than an ordinary concert this year, with all non-local acts eliminated and the line-up narrowed from more than 80 artists to a mere four acts.

Summer Pop Live in Hong Kong, funded by the Performing Industry Association and promoted by the Tourism Board, will feature local artists Joey Yung Cho-yee, Ekin Cheng Yee-kin, the Big Four and the Grasshoppers from August 27 to 28.

Gone are popular Taiwanese act May Day, mainland rocker Cui Jian and tens of pop singers, hip hoppers and bands who made for a crowded scene last year at the festival's debut.

The two-day show ran over eight hours each day at AsiaWorld-Expo last summer, but will be shortened to a four-hour concert per day at the Coliseum this time.

The association suffered a seven-digit loss for organising the festival last year, chairwoman Florence Chan Suk-fun said. Chan said the loss was not the reason for hiring fewer artists; rather, Hongkongers and mainlanders could be more comfortable with a four-hour concert than a whole-day festival.

Although the festival has been scaled back, the Tourism Board will spend HK$1 million on promoting it.

Up to 80 per cent of more than 10,000 seats were filled last year. Board chairman James Tien Pei-chun said he expected a sell-out this year, as effects from the swine flu outbreak and financial downturn had eased.

This year's theme is 'Under the Lion Rock' - the name of a song sung by the late Roman Tam Pak-sin. Artists at the festival will perform Tam's classic songs.