Indie Venue Hidden Agenda Announces Closure
The legendary gig space will close in October.
Indie rock haven Hidden Agenda announced its closure on their Facebook page Wednesday, stating that the 4,000 sq. ft. space will be returned to its owners by mid-October.
It’s not the first time that the live music venue has been headed for closure, having relocated twice prior to the announcement. It was founded in 2009 by a group of post-80s music lovers, and the place has since hosted thousands of music gigs by artists from all over the world. It has stood out among music venues in Hong Kong with its focus on bringing quality live music to the city at reasonable ticket prices, and giving lesser known bands and artists a platform. In 2012 it was named one of the “Top 10 Bars and Clubs in Hong Kong” by The Guardian. Hidden Agenda gained widespread recognition within indie circles in its 7 years. The French Consulate asked for regular schedule updates so that they could inform French expats of upcoming gigs.
But in May this year, the government's Lands Department issued a rectification order to the venue, stating it was in violation of land lease agreements, and specifying that the space Hidden Agenda occupies is for “industrial and/or warehouse” use only, SCMP reported.
Ironically, it has been reported that the government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department once rented Hidden Agenda's venue for Jazz Festival rehearsal purposes.
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Hidden Agenda will continue hosting performances until early October. Volunteer Katy Ng told HK Mag: “The Lands Department told our landlord earlier this month that they will impose a direct encumbrance to the space if we don’t move out. We were given such short notice that we have no choice but to close our doors in October.”
Ng said that there were currently no plans to re-open anytime soon. “We would love to continue Hidden Agenda, but we'll only be faced with the same prosecutions if we re-open in another industrial building, which are the only affordable large spaces available."