We wrote in a previous blog about the latest closure to affect Hidden Agenda and now the music venue with more lives than a cat has announced new plans to ensure its future survival.
The aim is to apply for a food factory license, required for ‘any person who intends to prepare and/or manufacture food for sale for human consumption off the premises’. Basically, Hidden Agenda intends to become a glorified food stall. At least to begin with. If the venue can secure that license and become a legal business, they intend to ‘improve [the] business by introducing music in the restaurant’. All of which makes the proposed HA sound a little like a scuzzy, industrial version of Full Cup Café.
Since Hidden Agenda’s problems have always stemmed from the illegality of hosting commercial events in an industrial space, rather than issues of noise pollution, the plan, if it comes off, seems like it should guarantee the underground venue a degree of permanency wherever it settles in its new iteration. Unfortunately, Hidden Agenda needs to raise $500,000 before September 15 in order to pay government fees and to have the funds necessary to establish a ”food factory” in compliance with government regulations. Punk and metal not being the most popular of genres in Hong kong, the venue is banking on the kindness of all Hong Kong music fans to help them reach the target and have posted details for bank transfers on their Facebook page. If the target is not met, all funds will be returned. A final night band tribute show has also been announced for Monday October 10.
Hidden Agenda is a pillar of the local scene and it’s loss could do irreparable damage to an underground music scene that already has to struggle with limited touring opportunities and record labels uninterested in managing bands over solo artists. If any venue deserves saving, it’s this one. Reach into your wallet and do what you can over the next nine days.