Photo Essay: Goodbye (For Now) To Hong Kong’s Hipster Paradise Hidden Agenda

By Sing Lee

HONG KONG- Hidden Agenda, the largest performing venue dedicated to indie music in Hong Kong, is being evicted for its third time since its founding seven years ago, due to “land use abuses”.

The current 3,600-square-foot unit, which can accommodate about 300 people, is located in Ngau Tau Kok industrial district, a home to a lot of band rooms, movie production studios, churches and martial art training centers.




These alternative uses of industrial buildings are violating the land lease agreements, which ban the sites from being use as any purpose other than “industrial and/or warehouse”.

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The venus received a rectification order from the Lands Department in June this year, while they made an agreement with the landlord to move out this month.




The order was based on two land lease agreements issued by the government in 1967 and 1973, when manufacturing industries was still a pillar economic sector of Hong Kong.

Industrial building users has been asking for legislative amendment on the regulations including place for public entertainment licences, fire safety regulations and land lease terms, to adapt to the change of usages as time goes by.

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Open in 2009, Hidden Agenda has been a home to shows performed by both local and international units, such as the American recording artist Toro Y Moi.

The live house’s team initialed a crowd-funding project its fourth generation in September, raising HK $517,000 in a week from the public.


ha-54They are acquiring a food factory licence, rather than a place for public entertainment licences they failed to apply for, to operate legally as a tuck shop which provide live music for its customers.

The venue will be re-opened in December this year at its new address, while its last show for now, called “Continue to Grow”, was held on 10 October.

This photo essay records the yet final performance at what the audience called “HA 3.0”, indicating its third location, and the disassembling of the stage immediately afterwards.

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Photo Credits: Sing Lee

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