Festival Intentions Questioned

Two Hong Kong music groups are being asked to pull out of a one-day festival scheduled July 1 in the Chinese territory.

Canto-pop bands Rubberband and Mr. are scheduled to appear at the Hong Kong Dome Festival July 1 along with five Korean pop groups, but pro-democracy organizations are calling on the two local groups to cancel their appearances saying the festival was organized with the intent to lure music fans who would otherwise participate in a huge pro-democracy demonstration set for the same day, according to the South China Morning Post.

The festival takes place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on a stage at the former Kai Tak airport runway, while the march is set to start at 2:30.

On a special Facebook page the march organizers wrote, “The organizers of the festival offer a special low price of HK$99 for the concert and provide coaches for viewers to commute. We are concerned the purpose of the concert is not that pure.”

The Facebook post goes on to describe free concerts were staged during the Malaysian presidential election to distract young potential voters.

In addition to asking the two local bands to boycott the show, the demonstration organizers are preparing a plea for the Korean bands to do the same thing.

The festival is being sponsored by 10 pro-government property developers who expect 18,000 people to attend the concert. Another pro-government group has announced that Hong Kong shoppers will be given a special discount on July 1 in commemoration of the anniversary of the territory’s changeover to Chinese rule. The discount will only be good between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.