Hong Kong’s premier music and arts festival has cancelled its 2021 event citing the city’s strict, ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Clockenflap organisers announced on Wednesday that November’s event had been axed, partially because the authorities required attendees to be seated, with no food or drink allowed on site.

Clockenflap 2016. Photo: Kitmin Lee.

“Until recently, we were confident Clockenflap could be run in a way that would be safe and deliver a great festival experience,” a statement posted to social media said. “Unfortunately with further tightening of the Food and Health Bureau framework of pandemic restrictions concerning event licensing… it is impossible to deliver a true Clockenflap festival experience.

The cancellation comes despite the fact that Hong Kong has recorded no local infections since August 17, when an airport worker was found to have a local case of unknown origins.

Earlier this month, Clockenflap held a musical showcase at MacPherson Stadium in Mong Kok. However, the event was occasionally halted as audience members got up to dance near the stage. All attendees had to remain masked, at their seats, and could not bring food or drink into the venue.

Clockenflap’s Long Time, No See event in Mong Kok. Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Those who bought tickets to Clockenflap 2021 will be offered refunds, or can use them for a future festival.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.