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Hong Kong gigs

Seven Hong Kong music festivals to look forward to this autumn, from Clockenflap to Creamfields

Starting with next weekend’s Rock am Depot, music fans in Hong Kong have plenty of festivals to look forward to between now and the end of the year

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 August, 2018, 10:00am

Hong Kong’s sweltering summer isn’t ideal for music festivals – unpredictable downpours pose a constant threat, and sweat patches on your clothes is never a good look.

But festivals will pop up all over the city like mushrooms as the mercury drops over the coming months, and the music-starved masses will emerge from their air-conditioned cocoons to celebrate.

Updated: David Byrne, Interpol to perform at this year’s Clockenflap

Here are seven Hong Kong music festivals to look forward to between now and the end of the year.

Rock am Depot

The Weekend, the annual Hong Kong indie music celebration hosted by Wow and Flutter, may not be happening this year, but an upstart event has emerged to fill its place.

Rock am Depot will take place next weekend at the very indie Cattle Depot Artist Village in Kowloon featuring many of Hong Kong’s top alternative bands including Teenage Riot, David Boring, and Edges and Corners.

The event is experimenting with an interesting pricing model: either pay HK$685 for a full-day pass or just catch the bands you want to see for HK$185 each.

Aug 31-Sep 2, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Rd, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, from HK$185

Freespace Happening

Now in its third year, Freespace Happening is making a return to the West Kowloon Cultural District in September with another two days of eclectic music – and all for free.

Acclaimed local singer-songwriter Jun Kung will be making an appearance with his full band, while other stand-out performers include electronic act Gravity Alterstra, indie-folk rockers Esimorp and alternative groove-funk band Site Access.

Freespace is also this year introducing a handicraft market selling sustainable local products and green alternatives.

Sep 8-9, West Kowloon Cultural District, free

ABGT300

While not strictly a festival, trance music legends Above and Beyond will be going, well, above and beyond for their next Hong Kong performance.

On September 29, the trio will be broadcasting the next instalment of their now-iconic Above and Beyond Group Therapy live stream from AsiaWorld-Expo. Previous destinations for the streams have included New York City’s Madison Square Garden and London’s Alexandra Palace.

It will be followed the next day by an official daytime after party at West Kowloon featuring a yoga session hosted by Above and Beyond, and performances by DJs including Ben Bohmer and Jody Wisternoff.

Sep 29, AsiaWorld-Expo, HK$800; Sep 30, West Kowloon Cultural District, HK$493

Shi Fu Miz

Shi Fu Miz is one of a number of electronic music festivals that have emerged in recent years, with its first two instalments in 2016 and last year held at the picturesque Life Base in Pui O, Lantau.

This year, the two-day festival is moving to the equally pretty Saiyuen Camping and Adventure Park on Cheung Chau, and has a heavy-hitting international DJ line-up including Britain’s Ben UFO, Skatebard from Norway and American Glenn Underground.

A range of cool camping options is also available, including safari tents and tepees, and youngsters are welcome.

Oct 27-28, Saiyuen Camping and Adventure Park, Cheung Chau, from HK$380

Clockenflap

Hong Kong’s biggest annual music festival is returning for its 11th instalment this November.

Clockenflap will be staged over the sprawling Central Harbourfront site for the third year running, and although only the first wave of acts has been announced, there’s plenty to get excited about.

Headline acts so far include US post-punk revivalists Interpol, rising American singer-songwriter Khalid, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and UK indie heroes The Vaccines, who are returning after last playing the festival four years ago. Keep an eye out for the second wave of acts in the coming months.

Nov 9-11, Central Harbourfront, from HK$890

ALTN8

ALTN8 is another upstart electronic music festival. The organisers made a huge splash on their debut at the start of last year by presenting a full 40 acts – including German techno legend Stephan Bodzin and British house DJ and rave originator Danny Rampling – at nine venues on one single day.

Catch Danny Rampling, Preditah, Stephan Bodzin at ALTN8 festival

For this year’s event, ALTN8 is consolidating all artists at a single venue: the Qube black-box venue inside the historic PMQ complex.

While the full line-up won’t be announced until next week, we hear that German techno DJ Sven Dohse – who blew up a storm on the ALTN8 stage at Thailand’s Wonderfruit festival last year – will be on the bill.

Nov 24, PMQ, HK$840

Creamfields Hong Kong

Launched in the UK in 1998, Creamfields is one of the world’s largest electronic dance music festivals and it made its Hong Kong debut last December with a huge two-day blowout at AsiaWorld-Expo, featuring EDM stars such as Marshmello, Kaskade, Tiesto and Flume.

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Creamfields is returning for its second Hong Kong edition this December. Although no details on the line-up or venue have been revealed yet, we would put money on a similar line-up of EDM icons being presented at AsiaWorld-Expo once again.

Dec 15-16, TBA