"Give me back my money.”
“F*** I’m not going any more.”
“Find a decent replacement or refund!”
“What is this bulls***tery?”
This is how a range of supposed adults reacted when Clockenflap organisers announced on its Facebook page that South African rap-rave outfit Die Antwoord had pulled out of this year’s festival.
It should go without saying that nobody was more shocked or disappointed than the Clockenflap organisers themselves. But HOW DARE those mean Clockenflap people be the victims of a volatile, unpredictable group who pulled out, seemingly on a whim, and gave no explanation?
Many of the commentators seem to think Clockenflap is a taxpayer-funded event and that they have a right to dictate how it’s run. These are the same kind of entitled brats who throw tantrums in nightclubs when DJs refuse their song requests.
Perhaps it’s because music-festival culture is still quite new to Hong Kong – and, by the way, it’s been pretty much nurtured here by the Clockenflap team alone, which makes the vitriol even more unfair. But in cities with mature festival scenes, most punters roll with the punches when the inevitable happens and events with more than 100 acts in their line-ups lose one or two along the way.
If you think the most important thing about a three-day music festival is seeing your favourite artists, then you’re doing it wrong. Have you forgotten that tingling feeling you experienced when you heard a certain song for the first time? Have you never been swept up in a crowd wide-eyed with joy at the sound of a band you can’t believe you’ve never heard before?
Music festivals are about discovery – and they are the sum of all their parts, not just the big acts playing on the main stage at the end of each night.
If you’re only interested in hearing music you already know, why waste money on festival tickets? Please stay at home and listen to your iTunes playlists, and let the rest of us get on with enjoying the festival like grown-ups.