Canadian art rock band Braids nearly had their Kwun Tong show unraveled when undercover hygiene officers tried to stop the gig before it even started, saying the venue Hidden Agenda was operating illegally.
Hidden Agenda is a well-known underground hub that hosts live shows in the musicians’ area of Kwun Tong’s industrial heartland near Kowloon Bay.
At 8pm on Tuesday, two undercover officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and Lands Department showed their ID badges and warned the operators of Hidden Agenda for running an entertainment venue without a license, HK01.com reported.
The officers said they had bought tickets to show and collected enough evidence to prove that Hidden Agenda was illegally offering entertainment activities in an industrial building.
Hui Chung-wo, founder of Hidden Agenda, said it was not fair if only they were charged when most pubs and restaurants in the city were playing music without an entertainment license.
He said the industrial building regulations were outdated and the government’s policy to revitalize industrial buildings did nothing to promote music culture at all.
He said Hidden Agenda aimed to help promote a local indie band culture, but failed to find a suitable venue for shows over the past eight years due to strict regulations.
Dozens of police officers later arrived while the organizers posted on Facebook Live to raise awareness among netizens. At 9.45pm, the police and hygiene officers left after giving a verbal warning to Hidden Agenda, Apple Daily reported.
And Braids did get to play their gig.