Back in 2016, music promoter and champion of local music, Chris B of The Underground, launched the first ever Mellow Yellow night.
Differing from the long-established rock and metal nights run by The Underground, Mellow Yellow gives a platform to the acoustic, folk, and laid-back music on offer in the city. Fast-forward to 2019, and Mellow Yellow has grown into a family-friendly, free-entry festival at the Central Harbourfront Event Space on July 5, offering a full line-up of established and up-and-coming local acts.
Kick-starting the event from 3pm on the Main Stage will be jazz singer Brigitte Mitchell, who has recorded albums with Grammy award-winning producers, before Young Post favourite Dixie Lynne opens the Busking Stage. The 18-year-old singer-songwriter has been praised for her soulful, indie-acoustic originals.
City folk-sters Ewan Ho & Movement have become well-known for their Cantonese and Mandarin songs, having busked internationally in more than 20 different countries, before the must-see Canto-pop songwriter Mark Tai follows up on the Main Stage. He won the 25th Song Writers Quest for best song and lyrics in 2013.
Writing collective Gryphon Music will keep things running with their original music on the Busking Stage before Jennachord captivates the audience with her relaxing acoustic songs from 6.15pm.
Having performed at major music festivals in Taiwan, local Brit-pop band 12.8 are setting their sights on home turf to pick up the pace as the sun sets over the Harbourfront, setting the party mood for local favourites Another Kitchen, who are guaranteed to get the audience bopping to their carefree funk-pop bangers.
Meanwhile, the Busking Stage will host local acoustic singer-songwriter Charlie Chan & Watergold, who are renowned for rearranging Cantonese tunes into modern styles.
Bayan Bay Ensemble will push the range of genres even wider with their classic mix of bluegrass, country blues and swing music, performed by a collective of professional musicians from around the world.
Hunting Unicorns will then perform a mix of originals and classic singalong hits, featuring American singer Ben Tully who has earned his chops as a resident musician at the BP International hotel in Kowloon.
Headlining the Busking Stage is acoustic indie folk band Spam, a band formed at Solomon’s Porch church.
With a blend of original singer-songwriter anthems and acoustic interpretations of classic chart hits, Spam are set to close the night with a bang.
Then headlining Main Stage is local jazz act R.O.O.T, a band formed by world touring guitarist and Chochukmo singer Jan Curious in 2016.
Having performed for Freespace Happening and getting two songs Walk The Walk and Boys And Girls featured on the first volume of the Freespace Mixtape, R.O.O.T are set to deliver a set that will live long in the memory.
The Underground’s founder and director Chris B, who is a mum to twin girls, says that the idea for Mellow Yellow was partly inspired when she first wanted to introduce her children to live music when they were six years old, but they found it too loud.
“That’s why we were so keen to establish Mellow Yellow – a low-key festival that allows the whole family to appreciate diverse, quality music while spending time outdoors, enjoying great food in a lively and fun environment,” Chris explains, with the festival being part of the SummerFest 2019 programme co-organised with Central Venue Management, and sponsored by insurance company FWD Hong Kong.
Paul Tse from FWD, who aims to enrich the diversity of family-friendly activities in 852, adds, “Mellow Yellow gives us another opportunity to introduce more family-friendly and inspiring activities for everyone in our beloved city to enjoy.”
With an array of food stalls alongside the vast array of local talent performing throughout the day, Chris B is adamant that this is just the beginning for the festival, stating, “We’re confident Mellow Yellow will become a key event on Hong Kong’s musical calendar.”
Mellow Yellow Music Festival is free to attend, and takes place on July 5 – all ages welcome