Clockenflap festival is upon us, and it looks like it could be a chilly one. Luckily, the festival is now located at Central Harbourfront, which means there are lots of shops nearby if you need to dash out for essentials. Festivals can take practice, but here’s a quick guide of things to keep in mind.
It’s safe to say this probably won’t be a weekend for flip-flops. The forecast is for chilly temperatures, wind and rain – especially on Sunday. At festivals, you spend a lot of time waiting for bands to come onstage, so you’ll need to bring a warm sweater. You may have spent all week planning out a badass get-up to get you spotted by the many photographers onsite, but those high heels aren’t gonna be kind to your feet after hours of standing. Also, check out the merch tent for cool, unique festival chic gear.
Tear yourself from the music stages
This year’s theme is Future Human, and the organisers have pulled it out of the bag, with dozens of dazzling robots, gadgets, and illusions. Send a message to the installation Talk2Me, and huge wooden speakers will blare it out for all the world to hear. No swearing now! Perhaps the weirdest activity is Kimi, a contraption known as a “shared spine”, which allows participants to experience the world as part of a conjoined duo. For all of these cool attractions, you can beat the queues by showing up early in the day and booking a time slot. Essential, if you have a jam-packed schedule.
Turn up on time
The festival starts at noon and ends at 10.30pm all weekend. Just because the first band you want to see goes onstage at 4pm doesn’t mean you should arrive at 3.30pm. There’s tonnes of visual art and scientific wizardry to see at the festival this year, so make sure you make the most of it.
Even if the sun is hidden by clouds, you still need to drink lots of water. Deliveroo is providing free water with reusable water bottles will be provided over the weekend, so make sure you take advantage and have water on you at all times.
Make a meet point
It’s easy to get split up from the squad, especially when everyone wants to watch a different band performing at the same time. Phone signal can be bad at crowded festivals, where lots of people in the same area are all trying to share on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WeChat and whatever else. Play it old school and agree on an unambiguous meeting point where you can re-group at key times.
With so much to see, do and selfie, Clockenflap is going to be rough on your data and battery. Carry a spare power pack for your phone, or get it topped up at a GP Batteries charging station located throughout the venue.
Stay off the substances
The festival website reads: “Clockenflap has a zero tolerance policy to illegal substances and drugs. Anyone suspected or found in possession will be escorted from the grounds and handed over to the Hong Kong police. Officers will also be actively searching for offenders.” You heard them.
Download the app
It’s really useful for finding out who is playing on which stage at what time, and you can build your own festival timetable to make sure you have time to get from one stage to another without missing your favourite band.
As well as looking out for your friends, look out for others too. Everyone wants a nice, clear shot of a band, but your phone or tablet might be blocking the view of someone behind you. Equally, if you’re stuck behind someone holding an iPad aloft for the entirety of Sigur Ros’s Svefn-g-englar, it’s better to politely ask them to put it down. The days of throwing urine at festivals are over. Let’s keep the Clock’ classy.
Bring enough money
Festivals are pricey, there’s no doubt. With more than 40 restaurants setting up shop at Clockenflap this year, there’ll be countless tempting options for dinner. But bear in mind, a meal like a burger and fries can cost up to HK$100.
On arrival at Clockenflap, all ticketholders get a wristband that lets them pay for things on-site, including food, drink, merchandise and products in the craft market. The wristband is the only way to make purchases on-site. You can add money to your wristband using cash, credit card or EPS, at any of the manuy Add Value stations. After the festival, you can apply for a refund of any unspent value online.
Hong Kong and Clockenflap festival in general are safe places, but you’ll still want to keep your possessions safe while you’re crammed together with hundreds of other people in a crowd. There are lots of security staff and medics onsite, so if you see someone looking ill or acting suspiciously, make sure you grab a staff member’s attention. If you think you’ve had something stolen, call the police.
Don’t just lob that cup on the floor – the festival has got lots of bins for waste separation. The festival recycles 70 per cent of its plastic cups last year, and is amping up its programme this year. Do your part!
‘Nough said. And don't forget to tag us with @youngposthk when you snap a cool shot!