Sunday, 29 November 2015

8 Things about Clockenflap

The sunsets on Sunday on the last night of Clockenflap at West Kowloon
This weekend was my first time at Clockenflap -- the first time ever at a music festival. Eight things I learned:

The diversity of the crowd.
Music festivals draw a wide range of people who want to listen to their favourite genres, or they want to sample a variety of things that interest them. It's interesting to see who comes out to these events, and what they like to listen to. For me, I got a good taste of many things I have never heard before, but now I know what they're about. Had a good musical education for three days.

The music is loud.
As a precaution I brought some ear plugs with me, and though they didn't completely block out the loud sounds, at least it toned it down a few decibels and saved my ear drums.

Neon Indian played very poppy tunes reminiscent of the 80s
The food is pretty good.
Several Hong Kong restaurants have stands at Clockenflap. Butcher's Club had a steak burger, but it didn't fill up my Aussie colleague's stomach and cost HK$100... I had a foot-long hotdog for HK$80 and put tons of sauerkraut on it. On the second day I was very full after eating a chicken quesadilla for HK$90 from Little Burro, and then tonight had lots of thin-crust pizza from Pizza Express.

My only major complaint was that the food booths and the drinks area were not together, making it inconvenient to get both at the same time. Some places and dishes were more value for money than others...

It was all cashless, so you had to top up your card of wristband with cash before you could "buy" food or drinks.

The people watching is endless.
This is one of my favourite activities to do and managed to do a lot of it while waiting for things to happen or waiting for people. These concert goers were dressed in various fashions, like hippies with flowers in their hair, and even a group wearing bunny rabbit masks on their heads. Most people were in jeans and T-shirts, others were hipsters with their buttoned up shirts and rolled up trousers and shoes without socks.

My colleague had a fun mental checklist -- white man with rastafarian, Check. Goth girl. Check. Older rockers with faded band T-shirts. Check.

Two German graffiti artists paint containers for HKWalls
The festival is a taster.
There is no need to watch an entire set of a group or musician play. If you don't like it, or you feel hungry, there's no need to stay. Come and hang out for five minutes or the entire one-hour set. It's a great way to check out as many groups/artists as possible though your legs do get tired from standing and walking a lot.

The washrooms are atrocious.
It's all porta-potties and they aren't pretty. The Clockenflap venue is far, far away. The last decent pit stop is the Kowloon station washrooms and then you are testing your bladder. There are major lineups for the loo and be prepared for lots of liquids everywhere...

The weather can change.
Friday evening was freezing thanks to the strong winds and thank goodness I bundled up! Even then I was still kind of cold. However Saturday and Sunday the weather warmed up and there was more of a breeze than gusts. I had to schlep my jacket and cardigan around for part of the day, but as soon as the sun came down, I got warmed up with these two items of clothing.

The point is to have fun.
In the end even though I was working through the weekend (that means a 13-day stretch for me!) I did enjoy some of the music. It was fun seeing others letting loose and expressing themselves, through their dress, their choice of music and dancing. It's great that conservative Hong Kong has an event like this, and the setting -- right by the harbour -- is amazing. A number of overseas acts remarked at how fantastic it was to play with such a stunning view. Maybe the construction of M+ will be delayed indefinitely so Clockenflap can continue holding its festival here...

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