The Hong Kong authorities have denied that British indie band Blur were denied entry to perform in Hong Kong, despite claims on Monday by bassist Alex James.

Immigration logo emblem department
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

“The Immigration Department has not received the relevant visa application. The spread of misleading information is unacceptable and has to be condemned,” a spokesperson for the Immigration Department told HKFP on Tuesday.

During a Monday BBC Radio 6 show, James said that the band had hoped to finish their live tour in Hong Kong: “[W]e were gonna finish it off in Hong Kong, which we thought would be brilliant because ‘The Magic Whip’ – the album prior to ‘Ballad of Darren’ – was all recorded in Hong Kong… but then, apparently, the Chinese government consider us to be bad actors, so we’re not allowed back in Hong Kong sadly.”

HKFP has contacted James, and the band’s agent, for comment.

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Tom founded Hong Kong Free Press in 2015 and is the editor-in-chief. In addition to editing, he is responsible for managing the newsroom and company - including fundraising, recruitment and overseeing HKFP's web presence and ethical guidelines.

He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He previously led an NGO advocating for domestic worker rights, and has contributed to the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Al-Jazeera and others.