The biggest music festival on Hong Kong's calendar begins tonight at Central Harbourfront, kicking off a weekend of some of the best local and international talent. But as with Hong Kong, there is always too little space, too many people, too much to see and too little time to do it all, so it's important to know your way around the festival. Whether you're a diehard veteran of the musical weekend or checking it out for the first time, don't forget these five tips to make your Clockenflap weekend the best yet.
Bring cash. Lots of it.
We cannot emphasise this enough. One would think that the Harbourfront being so near to our city's financial district that cash points wouldn't be too hard to come by, but according to our resident team of number-crunching monkeys, the average meandering walk over skybridge back to IFC takes around 15 minutes – and that's just one way. That's a huge chunk out of your favourite band's set!
Smuggle in a hip flask (but don't say we told you so)
Even with the extra cash, you can bet on long lines at the many food and drink vendors, so, including the long waits, we wouldn't be surprised if by the end of each day the festival ran a bit dry. While we're never certain how stringent security is at these events, it will be chilly this weekend, so make use of that jacket and take a cheeky bev with you. Lines in Hong Kong ruin many of our daily schedules, but this is not the weekend to let that happen!
Get to bands early
With over 100 bands spread over two-and-a-half days, it is literally impossible to see every act. Hell, it'll be difficult to see all of even your favourite bands, but with some expertly meticulous scheduling you will be able to catch all your favourites. Nothing, though, ruins an experience quite like standing at the back of a large crowd, the stage an infuriating dot in the distance. Especially this year, with the festival moving to the rather more, well, intimate Central Harbourfront, it definitely pays to allow a good 15 minutes' headroom before each of your anticipated sets to settle in nicely at the front, much to the dismay of the less timetable-inclined plebs behind you.
Shelled out for a three-day pass but had your fill by Saturday afternoon? Got really hyped while at the festival for something happening on Sunday when you only paid for Friday? Have no fear, there are a plethora of Facebook groups that will feature people selling their passes or individual day tickets that you can snatch often for amazing prices that makes even the early bird look like a splurge – check Hong Kong's many buying and selling and swapping pages, as well as community pages like the notorious Hong Kong Moms. Watch them like a hawk.
It's about the music...and a whole lot more
Hong Kong's arts and music scenes have never been more diverse or authentic, and Clockenflap's continued success not just as a music festival but as a celebration of the arts, too, is a testament to that. Certainly there are many international acts, but with so many stages showcasing so much music, there are ample chances to check out the best in local talent. And as well as the music, there are many on-site workshops and visual artists who look to colour Clockenflap in every shade of Hong Kong possible. If there was any weekend to hear or see something new, this would be it. We'll see you there!
For full schedule and further details, check out clockenflap.com