Creamfields confirms Hardwell for Asia this year in...Hong Kong
It’s hard to fathom, but could large events in Hong Kong be making a comeback?
Two weeks ago, we ran a simple story teasing Creamfields’ debut festival in Thailand this year. It quite literally blew up.
Earlier this week, the global festival and events giant teased yet another event in Asia this year, this time in Hong Kong, announcing that Hardwell would be bringing his Rebels Never Die show to Creamfields in Hong Kong this December 17 - 19.
While our fingers are crossed, considering the state of affairs in Hong Kong over the last few years, even before COVID, we’ve been let down before (remember Clockenflap?) and can’t help but ask….how?
But there’s hope. Despite Hong Kong being in the midst of its deadliest COVID outbreak since the pandemic began, and its close alignment with China’s zero-covid policy, the SAR seems to be optimistic and moving forward with event planning in the latter part of the year.
Earlier this month, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po confirmed that the Hong Kong Sevens would return to Hong Kong between November 4 and 6. The rugby games are usually held in April and draw around 120,000 spectators but have been delayed five times since the onset of the pandemic. While Hong Kong continues to have some of the toughest restrictions in the world, including near impossible entry for tourists without even talking about a lengthy and expensive mandatory quarantine for all travellers, the minister cited an accelerated vaccination rate as the reason for his optimism that in eight months from now, Hong Kong will be in a better place to host a “fantastic event”. Alongside the games, a summit of sorts is expected to happen too and the government has said that around 100 finance leaders will be invited to Hong Kong around the time of the games.
That all said, just yesterday, the government flipped the script and also announced that several pandemic era restrictions that were set to expire this month would be extended until September 30, another six months. They include masks to be worn in public, compulsory quarantine for all arrivals, restrictions on certain designated premises, limits on the number of individuals in gatherings, compulsory testing orders and lockdowns, as well as restrictions on vehicles and individuals crossing the border between the mainland and Hong Kong, as published on HKFP. Fines of up to HK$25,000 (US$3,200) and up to six months in prison are expected for anyone caught not adhering to restrictions.
At the time of writing, Hong Kong has recorded 1,150,769 cases of COVID and 7,706 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with a large chunk of this number incurred just in the last few months. Initially escaping relatively unscathed, the SAR enjoyed many facets of normal life, like eating in restaurants, drinking in bars and even some club nights, while the rest of us were locked down.
We don’t have a crystal ball and can’t at all guess what’s ahead for Hong Kong, but Creamfields is slated for December 17 - 18, which would place it in good timing following the Rugby Sevens in November, a government bolstered event. While there hasn’t been any peep from Clockenflap, which usually takes place in November, considering the run they’ve had first with the protests and then the pandemic, we’re expecting them to proceed with extreme, extreme caution. As far as we can recall, and memories from those prehistoric days are fuzzy, Clockenflap in 2018 and Creamfields in 2019 were the last large scale music festivals to take place in Hong Kong.
Like the Thailand edition, which is now confirmed to be taking place between May 28 and 29, Creamfields in Hong Kong is organised by Live Nation who, despite their rep for monopolising the festival market, know what they’re doing — so all the best to them and we hope they do a stellar job testing the waters for the smaller guys who don't have the luxury of cash flow.
We support the return of music in any way, shape, or form!