Detuned Radio: the HK indie music festival here to shine a spotlight on regional talent

One of the organisers of an upcoming indie music festival tells us why these events matter to local bands

Chris Gillett |

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Phoon will be part of the Detuned Radio music festival.

On December 8 and 9, local music venue This Town Needs will be hosting the latest home-grown music festival, Detuned Radio. The festival is set to shine a spotlight on some of the most promising and prolific local talent in the region.

Jason Ngan Wai-chung, one of the festival organisers, said his goal is to draw the public’s attention to how an independently-run festival can be a platform for music acts to reach bigger audiences. Chung talked to Young Post about the festival, which revealed its full line-up earlier this month.

How did Detuned Radio come about?

In April, we organised a concert with two bands; Her Name In Blood from Japan, and Random from Taiwan. Our first thought was to arrange a larger-scale event, so that they could reach a larger audience here. This Town Needs owner Joshua Chan then told us, to “just do it. Things will never happen if there’s talk and no action.” So we did.

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What can people expect from this event?

We are selecting music for Detuned from a musician’s perspective; [we’re] investing in audio and lighting production to provide the perfect performing environment. Independent festivals should focus on music. That’s the main thing. Most indie festivals don’t have proper production [budget] or promotion, though.

The Lovesong is coming to Detuned Radio for a one-off reunion.

Artist Carlo Vivary has worked on art for bands such as Tame Impala, Queens of the Stone Age, and Foo Fighters. How did he get involved with Detuned?

We love Carlo’s artwork – and a new festival needs a [certain] vibe. Good illustrations help, so we reached out to him. I described the concept as “pop lovers listening to indie music that they are not used to, but are totally addicted to after listening”.

The artwork explains why the festival is called “Detuned Radio”. There’s research that suggests that the older we get, the more our desire to discover new music is reduced – like a radio that’s been tuned to a static frequency. Detune that frequency, and you might fall in love with what you hear.

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Your website crashed the first day tickets went on sale. Were you expecting such an active response?

It completely exceeded our expectations. It was amazing to witness the passion this festival is getting from the audience.

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What are your ambitions for the festival?

We want to help increase the fan-base of each band on the bill – Hong Kong has so many great indie bands. We want to host Detuned Radio every year. Hopefully, this festival will go on to become one of the best in our city. It won’t be an easy task, and it will need the support of the music scene and all local music lovers.

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What band in the line-up are you most excited to hear?

The Lovesong, for sure. Every time they arrange a show, it is an absolute sensation for indie lovers. We’re so glad that their guitarist, Ephraim, is flying into Hong Kong from the US to perform. This will

be a one-off reunion for them, so if anyone misses them, they’ll regret it.

Tickets are available from their website, and with slots from Phoon, GDJYB, Supper Moment, and more.

Edited by Ginny Wong