Alec Benjamin, Chvrches Hong Kong Shows Canceled Following Protests

Hong Kong Protests
AP Photo / Vincent Yu
– Hong Kong Protests
Protesters use luggage trolleys to block the walkway to the departure gates during a demonstration at the Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. Protesters severely crippled operations at Hong Kong

Three concerts by foreign artists scheduled for Hong Kong last week were canceled at the last minute due to protests against the Chinese government that have tied up the international airport in the city. 

On Aug. 12, American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin called off his show, and the next day the Scottish electropop band Chvrches and K-pop star Daniel Kang canceled their shows. Kang’s management cited “safety concerns” for the cancellation, while Chvrches blamed “unforeseen circumstances.” Both Benjamin and Chvrches were to proceed on to Japan to play the Summer Sonic festival the weekend of Aug.16-18.
In addition, the South China Morning Post reports that Chinese singer Lay Zhang Yixing canceled his Aug. 17 concert in Hong Kong “over security concerns amid ongoing anti-government protests in the city.” Zhang’s concert had been slated to take place at the AsiaWorld-Expo, which is adjacent to the airport. Zhang zoomed to fame as a Chinese member of the K-pop band Exo, and in 2017 was listed by Forbes as No. 20 on its list of money-earners among Chinese celebrities. The cancellation received mixed reactions on social media. 
Many fans felt that Zhang’s management was justified in calling off the concert for security reasons, but others wondered why he bailed when his former band, Exo, played two concerts in Hong Kong during the height of the protests “and nothing bad happened.”