Organisers of the annual Clockenflap Music & Arts Festival have released discounted tickets for the November event despite lingering pandemic concerns. As the city begins to roll out Covid-19 vaccines, co-founders of the festival Mike Hill and Justin Sweeting told HKFP there were “good indications” the festival will be able to take place.

“Clockenflap is nine months away and we are seeing good indications that by then we will have the right circumstances to allow a proper Clockenflap,” they said in an email in response to HKFP. “What shape this will take will unfold as the year progresses, but it has to be a Clockenflap as we know and love it.”

clockenflap hong kong 2018
Photo: Kitmin/Clockenflap.

The discounted tickets, which range from HK$698 for a single day to HK$1,188 for the full three-day weekend, are available online until March 16.

Organisers have promised a “full cancellation refunds” on all tickets sold: “Given our confidence we wanted to offer our fans the seasonal blind bird discount, and providing the reassurance that if the event cancels then there will be full ticket refunds given,” they said.

They also promised to take health and safety precautions, but promised a “proper” Clockenflap experience: “Health and safety has always been top of mind. It needs to be a proper Clockenflap experience, we’re not doing it if it’s not going to be what folks have come to expect, and the event has always got health and safety deeply baked into it.

Wednesday Campanella
Wednesday Campanella. Photo: Chris Lusher.

However there is no indication yet of what the lineup will look like: “Now that we’re seeing some light begin to flicker more brightly at the end of the tunnel, and with various countries announcing roadmaps for opening up including the live music sector, there is growing confidence that touring can return safely by the end of the year.”

Over the past year, the brand has supported local artists through an online “Clockenflap Presents” series.

Virtual events

Hong Kong’s flagship music festival usually attracts crowds of tens of thousands. It remains to be seen how Covid-19 will affect interest and numbers.

The city currently has strict Covid-19 regulations in place, limiting gatherings to groups of four. Restaurant dine-in operations are banned past 10pm and facemasks are also mandatory in public spaces.

Massive Attack
Massive Attack. Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Organisers also didn’t rule out virtual performances: “Of course we can’t wait for that, though equally, we see livestreams and other digital events as being here for the long term too, even when in-person events can start again. They’re just different experiences which can be offered in parallel, and both have value.”

The festival is set to take place on the last weekend of November at the Central Harbourfront.

The last time the city’s largest music festival took place was in 2018. It had been cancelled amid the city’s political unrest in 2019 and due to Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Previous headliners included international acts such as The Prodigy, Massive Attack, MIA, Khalid and The Vaccines.

Additional reporting: Tom Grundy.

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Rhoda Kwan is HKFP's Assistant Editor. She has previously written for TimeOut Hong Kong and worked at Meanjin, a literary journal. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Law and Literature from the University of Hong Kong.