Hong Kong’s biggest music festival has been canceled due to ongoing political unrest that began in March as a response to the government’s effort to pass an extradition bill that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.
Clockenflap was scheduled for November 22-24. News of the cancellation was officially announced on Friday via social media. Below is the organizers’ statement:
“Due to the escalation of the crisis this week, and therefore the uncertainty this creates for the coming weeks, Clockenflap 2019 will be canceled.
“Until this week we were fully committed to delivering the festival. Unfortunately the situation has now made this impossible.
“To everyone who bought a ticket for Clockenflap, we’d like to thank you for your support. We will give full refunds on the selling price paid for the tickets purchased from official ticketing channels. Details will be sent directly to the customer who placed the order. The refund process will be completed within 4 weeks.
“While it pains every one of us at Magnetic Asia to cancel Clockenflap 2019, we still believe in bringing people together in positive ways, and will continue to unite people through the power of music and arts …”
Clockenflap was first held in 2005; it has since become one of the most popular music festivals in Asia, drawing artists from all over the world in addition to dozens of local bands.
A number of other events due to take place in Hong Kong have been canceled this year as the political demonstrations became increasingly violent. One event that was held in spite of everything is the Festival de Cannes Film Week, which began Tuesday as planned, though the red carpet event was canceled.
“We wanted to continue with the event and to show solidarity with the industry here,” Cannes managing director Thierry Fremaux told Variety. “But we also felt it right not to do the red carpet, and be seen celebrating at a time when so many people are distressed. It would been the wrong feeling, and have sent the wrong signal.”
Western media coverage of the Hong Kong protests has been extensive and constant while coverage of other political movements—in Iraq, Lebanon, Chile and Ecuador, for example—received comparatively little attention.