The Revival of Underground Rave Parties in Hong Kong
The Resurgence of Underground Parties
A wave of underground rave parties, reminiscent of those that were popular but declined due to issues such as drug use, fighting, and unlicensed operations, appears to be making a comeback in Hong Kong. Party organizers are capitalizing on the government’s push to stimulate the nightlife economy and are hosting these parties in remote locations. The events are frequently promoted online. One such party was recently held in Sai Kung’s Clear Water Bay, attracting nearly a hundred participants. The party, which lasted from dusk till dawn, was characterized by loud music and psychedelic lighting, which led to complaints from local residents about noise disturbance and concerns about safety and public order issues.
The Controversial Venue
The party took place on a vacant lot near a public pier and a temple, which raised concerns about disrespect towards the gods. The organizers, however, maintained that the event was a private gathering and pledged to reduce the noise level. Upon inquiry, one participant revealed that the entrance fee was 50 US dollars and that this was her first time attending such a party. Security personnel from a nearby club confirmed that these parties are held every few months.
Legal Concerns and Safety
A local councilor, Elizabeth Quat, voiced concerns about the safety and legality of these parties. She learned from villagers that the land on which the party was held is government land, which led her to question the legality of the event. Villagers who discovered the event were enraged and viewed it as disrespectful to the gods. Quat recalled that similar parties had been held in Sai Kung’s Lobster Bay before, but were discontinued after complaints from villagers and intervention from law enforcement. She expressed worries about attendees getting drunk or taking drugs and falling into the sea, leading to potential tragedies.
In response to the situation, a spokesperson from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department stated that no applications for public entertainment licenses were received for the party. The department will investigate the matter and take appropriate action if any violations are found. The Chinese Temples Committee and law enforcement agencies have been contacted for further information.
The Future of Underground Parties
Despite the concerns and potential legal issues, it appears that the trend of underground parties in Hong Kong is on the rise. The appeal of these events lies in their secrecy, their break from the mainstream, and their ability to offer a unique experience that can’t be found in conventional clubs or venues. However, as these events continue to grow in popularity, it is crucial that organizers take into consideration the potential disturbances and safety risks they may cause, and work collaboratively with local authorities to ensure that these parties can be held safely and legally.
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