Facing the music
Among the upcoming AsiaWorld-Expo attractions are concerts by the Flaming Lips, the Gorillaz and reformed Japanese rockers Luna Sea - and while such a fertile period, as far as gig-hosting in Hong Kong goes, is thrilling, that excitement is tempered by the knowledge that ... groan ... we've all got to get there - and back.
True, the venue is not excessively inaccessible if you happen to work and live close to one or other of the stations on the Airport Express Line - Hong Kong, Kowloon or Tsing Yi - but, if we ignore those antisocial oddballs who live in Tung Chung, AsiaWorld's arena and halls are not exactly convenient for anyone.
We have plenty of space for concerts in town - for instance at the Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), the International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Hitec), Sha Tin Town Hall and even the stadium (although the natives are hostile in those parts) - but, oh no, to see a good show we often must migrate en masse, paying for the privilege and enlarging our carbon footprint as we go. Not only that, but after having been wowed by artists who have come from afar only to find themselves with little opportunity to show their appreciation with a decent encore, concert-goers are denied the chance to have a post-show wind-down, drink and reflection as they are shepherded onto the last trains back to town. Those who have driven have little choice but to begin their expedition home, too.
As with almost everything else that exists in this unfair city of ours, you can bet someone is making a pretty penny from this arrangement.