Asia News: Clockenflap, Lauv, Jay Chou & More

– Clockenflap

Hong Kong Festival Called Off, Despite Previous Assurances

After announcing several weeks ago that Clockenflap, Hong Kong’s biggest pop music festival, was definitely happening, organizers on Nov. 15 released a statement in English and Chinese saying that the event, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 22-24, was cancelled owing to escalating anti-government protests in the Chinese territory. 
As reported in the South China Morning Post, Clockenflap’s organizers, Magnetic Asia, had been “pushing ahead” with the festival despite the increasing number of large-scale Hong Kong events that had been called off in recent weeks, including the annual Oxfam Trailwalker race, the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival and the Wine & Dine Festival. 
Apparently, the increasing violence infecting the protests in the last two weeks convinced Magnetic Asia that it was just too much of a risk to try and hold the festival at the Central Harbourfront Event Space. 
“Due to the escalation of the crisis this week, and therefore the uncertainty this creates for the coming weeks, Clockenflap 2019 will be cancelled,” said the statement. “Until this week we were fully committed to delivering the festival. Unfortunately, the situation has now made it impossible. While it pains every one of us at Magnetic Asia to cancel…we still believe in bringing people together in positive ways, and will continue to unite people through the power of music and arts.” 
Refunds will be offered in full. Among the 100 artists slated to appear on the festival’s six stages were Halsey, Lil Pump, Mumford & Sons and Babymetal. 
Fans appeared to have expected this outcome, and the festival’s Facebook page was filled with comments supporting the decision. The first Clockenflap, held in 2008, attracted about 1,500 people. Last year, 40,000 showed up.
Another major Hong Kong event, Rise 2020, was also cancelled this past week even though it isn’t scheduled to take place until next March. 
Rise is a tech conference organized by Web Summit, who said that it will return in the spring of 2021. 
According to TechCrunch, the cancellation was announced via an email that read, in part, “Over recent months, we have been monitoring the ongoing situation in Hong Kong. Our number one concern is the well-being, safety and security of attendees at our events. Given the uncertainty of the situation by early 2020 and after consulting with experts and advisories, we have decided to postpone Rise until 2021.”
Rise is considered one of the world’s biggest tech conferences, so it is especially dispiriting to Hong Kong’s marketing community as it serves as a networking opportunity for the city’s many innovators, according to Marketing Interactive. Last spring’s conference attracted 6,000 attendees from 114 countries, including more than 700 startups and 553 tech investors.
Lastly, another major K-pop artist has cancelled his appearances in Hong Kong. Ren of the K-pop boy band Nu’est called off solo concerts in Hong Kong set for the weekend of November 23. 
The Chinese territory is where many K-pop acts launch their Asian tours, and Ren’s is at least the fifth major K-pop show in the past several months to be cancelled due to the unrest. 
According to Pulsenews, the change in Hong Kong’s political situation has prompted Korea’s entertainment industry to shift its focus from Greater China to elsewhere in Asia. One industry official told Pulsenews that artist agencies think business in Chinese-speaking countries is becoming increasingly risky, which is why they are refocusing on Japan, despite the fact that relations between South Korea and Japan are at their lowest in years. 
Lee Yik Keat
– Lauv
Lauv Reschedules Asian Dates

One Western artist who has managed to overcome a previous cancellation owing to political turmoil is the American singer-songwriter Lauv, who was scheduled to make his Indonesian debut last May but had to cancel due to riots in Jakarta. 
Last week, it was announced that he would be performing in the Indonesian capital on June 27 as part of his 2020 Asian tour, which kicks off in Bangalore on June 16 before heading on to Mumbai, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta and Taipei.
Thieves Target Jay Chou Glowsticks
A popular fixture for Asian pop concerts are lightsticks, those candy-colored plastic glow wands that fans wave in unison during their favorite songs. Generally, organizers provide ticketholders with the sticks at no extra charge and place them on the seats prior to opening the doors for the show.
Things have been no different for Jay Chou’s sold-out Carnival World Tour, but some of the people who attended his Nov. 17 performance in Hangzhou, China, found a rude surprise when they entered the venue, according to Today Online. 
All the seats in the east and west blocks of the venue had no lightsticks, though all the other seats did. 
Apparently, a group of thieves had “gained early access to the stadium” and stolen the sticks. One thief even uploaded a photo onto a social media site showing a man with a bag full of lightsticks.
Jay Chou
AP Photo / Lai Seng Sin
– Jay Chou
Putra Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The purpose of the theft was to sell the sticks online, and people who had attended Jay Chou concerts in other cities eventually commented on media sites that they, too, were deprived of their glow wands. 
It was unclear at publication time how much the sticks were selling for on the web.
Ukrainian Saxophonist Denied Entry Into Japan
Ukraine’s political problems are not limited to Washington D.C. this week. Apparently, they also prevented a young Russian saxophonist from performing in Japan. 
Veronika Kozhukharova was supposed to accompany harpist and composer Aleksandr Boldachev to Tokyo for a special performance on Nov. 17, but at the last minute she was refused a performance visa by the Japanese embassy in Moscow. 
Kozhukharova is from Crimea in the Ukraine, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, an act that the Japanese government deemed illegal. 
Following the annexation, Kozhukharova was issued a Russian passport, which the Japanese embassy does not recognize because she is Ukrainian, and so she would have to obtain a Japanese visa in Kyiv.
According to QHA Media, Boldachev tried to convince the Japanese diplomat in Moscow that the annexation was justified, but the diplomat was unmoved, though polite.