Hidden Agenda launches crowdfunding appeal as managers announce they have found new home

Staff at much-loved venue reveal hopes to raise HK$500,000 or face closure

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 3:50pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 10:15pm

Managers of live music venue Hidden Agenda have launched a crowdfunding appeal to keep it alive as they announced they had their sights set on a new home.

Details of the potential site remained a closely guarded secret, but insiders said the club was likely to remain in the Kwun Tong area.

The Lands Department had warned Hidden Agenda’s management they had to leave their current premises by October 14 because they did not have or qualify for an entertainment licence and so were operating illegally.

During a Facebook live discussion on Monday night, the club’s founder Hui Chung-wo said he was looking at ways to re-launch Hidden Agenda, currently based in the Winful Industrial Building, as a “takeaway food stall” by getting a food factory licence from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. He said he hoped that by becoming a certified restaurant business, he would be able to legally host music acts alongside the food trade.

But, he added, he needed to raise HK$500,000 by September 15th to make his dream a reality.

In a statement posted on the club’s Facebook page after the discussion, the managers said they would return all donations if they failed to meet their target.

Why Hong Kong music venue Hidden Agenda is on the hunt for a new home

“We need direct funding from the public to make our plan feasible,” they said.

“This includes the whole expenditure from the rent to the FEHD licence applications. Hidden Agenda requires a huge investment that the production team cannot afford solely. All in all, we have already paid the first batch of deposit to the new venue.

“Before September 15, we need to pay a total sum of HK$500,000 approximately, which includes the licensing fee. If we cannot raise the money in time, the worst outcome could be Hidden Agenda shall be closed for good.”

Eviction looms again for live house Hidden Agenda, a nurturing ground for indie music

Music lovers regard the club, which has provided a spotlight for hundreds of local and international bands since its launch in 2009, as integral to Hong Kong’s alternative music scene.

Some fans voiced their support for the crowdfunding campaign on Facebook.

Jon Chang wrote: “Please help Hidden Agenda continue its legacy by donating money!”

Niko Wong said: “It will be hard, but come on!”

And Karena Hiu Wai-chan posted: “We can achieve this!”