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ESF The First 50 Years - People stories

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English Schools Foundation

Where the Clockenflap music phenomenon started

ESF alumnus: Justin Sweeting

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 June, 2017, 10:18am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 June, 2017, 10:18am

[Sponsored article] “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans” is a quote generally attributed to John Lennon of the Beatles. But, it could just as easily apply to Glenealy and Island School alumnus Justin Sweeting, who graduated in 1994.

After moving to England after his studies, he joined a band that eventually got signed to an indie label, and ended up touring around the UK. After what was a fun and rewarding experience, Justin ended up back in Hong Kong to work on ”Rockit”, arguably Hong Kong’s first true large-scale rock music festival that ran from 2003 to 2006.

After Rockit ended, Justin teamed up with friends Mike Hill and Jay Forster to start ”Clockenflap”,which now attracts over 60 thousand visitors a year including A-list musicians from all over the world. 

Justin highly appreciates his time spent at ESF school. He recalls fond memories and the tremendous learning atmosphere from his school days, saying:  “I really valued the multi-cultural and open environment that was cultivated there. I hope my children enjoy schooling throughout where they are encouraged to not just learn, but discover and explore as much as possible”.

Justin says the friendships he formed at ESF are those that will last a lifetime. “Absolutely, the friends I made during my school years were, and still are, my nearest and dearest,” he says. “They’re the group I keep in touch with the most.”

In terms of what he might have done differently in school if he had to do it all over again, Justin says - “I feel I had a pretty balanced time overall in school in terms of my interests at the time, which were largely my friends, music and football, and wouldn’t change too much.”

Now that he is riding high as organiser of a globally-renowned music festival, Justin has some valuable advice to pass along to those attending ESF schools today.

“School is a wonderful time to try new things, see what resonates and where interests may blossom from there,” he says. “I’d encourage students to try as many things as they can because now is the time to explore!”