Next weekend will see the launch of a brand-new rock music festival in Hong Kong. From next Friday to Sunday, the Cattle Depot Artist Village in To Kwa Wan will host the first ever Rock Am Depot, with 12 local bands performing exciting, original music.
Rock Am Depot prides itself on diversity, with a range of genres on display, including shoegaze, post punk, and ambient, from both new acts and more established groups.
Friday night will see a 30-minute set from alternative rock five-piece Woollen, before a headline set from the unconventional post-rock and ambient trio Vanish. Progressive rockers Virt will kick off Saturday’s proceedings from 4pm, followed by sets from psychedelic shoegaze newcomers Happy Friday and indie veterans Teenage Riot.
Edges And Corners will be performing their own blend of post-rock from 8pm, in their first outing since 2017, and they are certain to play some new material for the first time. Darkwave three-piece Maenad & The Ravers will close the night with an hour-long slot.
“The festival’s concept is intriguing,” says Maenad & The Ravers singer Cecilia Nox. “It’s like providing a mini-universe for each band [where they] can try anything.” Her band will be combining props, costumes and physical movement, in what Nox called, “a two-act theatre performance”.
“Playing the whole thing is like a ritual for me and I can’t wait to see everything put together,” she said.
The final day of the festival is packed with a great mix of acts, opening with the cool ambience of electronic duo Came Slowly, going on to power-pop act Say You Care, and then to one of the most exciting bands currently doing the Hong Kong underground circuit, goth-inspired The Pafala. Rockers Opposite Opposite will fill the main support slot, before noise and art-rockers David Boring perform the final set of the festival from 9.30pm.
Festival organiser Alex Yeung sees Rock Am Depot as a much-needed springboard for Hong Kong-based musicians, explaining: “We’ve had so many great bands over the last 10 years, but we lack a sustainable indie music development platform.” Yeung has organised dozens of gigs over the past three years, and hopes with this venture to refocus the spotlight on home-grown art and music.
“No one is talking about or investing in creativity anymore, and the creativity of the city is dying because of it! Our aim is to bring it back,” Yeung said.
Held in the 100-year-old Cattle Depot Artist Village, Yeung came up with the idea of running a festival last October, with plans to run it next year – most government venues were already booked up for 2018. But in February, there was a cancellation, freeing up the space for Rock Am Depot and requiring Yeung and his team to work very quickly to put the event together. And boy, are we glad they managed to do so.
Pre-sale tickets are available for HK$185 for individual sets, or for HK$685 for day passes from www.rockamdepot.com