What’s on? Things to do this December in Hong Kong

A December to remember! Make it merry and bright this month with Hong Kong’s month-long of events and festivities. A Tale of Three Cities, Convergence, Heritage Roving Exhibition, Hong Kong International Darts Festival, Clockenflap and many more.


The 13th edition of the Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival brings a slew of top-ranking performers to the Central Harbourfront for three days. Headlining on the Saturday is an iconic group from the Brit-pop era of the ’90s, namely Jarvis Cocker and his Pulp bandmates. Other notable performers include Australian-Japanese singer-songwriter Joji, who is the star attraction on the following day during the last leg of his world tour, plus Japanese chart-toppers Yoasobi. The festival continues its ongoing commitment to promoting leading lights from Asia, like pop sensation Wednesday Campanella, and indie-pop duo Running Youth.

When: 1-3 Dec

Where: Central Harbourfront

How much: From HK$1,280

For more information: clockenflap.com

HK International Darts

Top local darts players and their overseas counterparts flex their wrist muscles over four days in this fifth edition of the international tournament. With the Parent-Child Sports Carnival held alongside the main competition, the large-scale event on the site of the old airport has many strands to attract sporting and non-sporting folk alike. A darts charity marathon and more than 300 booths will keep everyone entertained.

When: Until 3 Dec
Where: Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
How much: Free

For more information: hkidf.com.hk


Action and arts fans will rejoice at the spectacle brought to the stage in this magnificent performance by Hong Kong Dance Company which gets to the heart of what Chinese martial arts and dance are all about. By exploring the synergy between both forms of expression, Convergence is able to deliver new interpretations as dancers wow the audience through their athletic prowess and sinuous movement. This is the live premiere of an award-winning production conceived and choreographed by the company’s Artistic Director, Yang Yuntao.

When: 8-10 Dec
Where: The Box, Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District
How much: From HK$350

For more information: hkdance.com


This year sees the return of the much-praised Hong Kong Streetathon, an event that helped kick-start the local running culture. Through the organiser, RunOurCity, it is also committed to working with other charity foundations and NGOs to foster sustainable development. For the first time, a full marathon will wind its way through the city centre and round the harbour, and runners will power through 10km of the Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin Tunnel. Other highlights: a cross-harbour half- marathon, Runners Expo and the Youth race.

When: 9-17 Dec
Where: Various venues
How much: Free viewing

For more information: streetathon.com


Hong Kong Dance Company presents a performance that embodies the words and imagination of women. First produced in 2008, when it won two Hong Kong Dance Awards, HerStory is inspired by the 400-year-old language developed by women in China known as Nushu and brings to life the writings of two Hong Kong female authors, evoking memories through dance, music and imagery.

When: 15-17 Dec
Where: The Box, Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District
How much: From HK$380

For more information: hkdance.com

Breaking For Gold

Dance enthusiasts are in for a treat with the Breaking for Gold World Series reaching its finale (on 15-16 December). About 200 of the best breakers from around the globe will seek to impress the judges and earn vital qualification points for the Olympic Games in Paris, while local participants will hope to draw inspiration from a supportive home crowd. Standard and Latin dancers will also compete in various championships as part of the Hong Kong Open.

When: 15-29 Dec
Where: Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Wan Chai
How much: Various prices

For more information: dancesport.org.hk

A Tale of Three Cities

Three museums unite for a showcase of silk, revealing how the precious commodity was exported from China to the world in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Trade paintings, fine silks, clothing, home fabrics and accessories feature among more than 100 sets of artefacts on view from the collections of the Guangdong Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Macao Museum as part of the third Guangdong-Hong Kong- Macao Greater Bay Area Culture and Arts Festival.

When: Until 17 Dec
Where: Hong Kong Museum of Art
How much: Free

For more information: hk.art.museum

The Impossible Trial

Returning with the original star- studded cast, this superb musical touches on powerful human themes that kept packed audiences enthralled during previous performances. Greed, pride, loss of wealth and the journey travelled to gain personal redemption are all explored in Hong Kong Repertory Theatre’s magnificent production.

When: Until 17 Dec
Where: Grand Theatre, Xiqu Centre, West Kowloon Cultural District
How much: HK$360, $520, $680

For more information: hkrep.com

Heritage Roving Exhibition

The landscaping and greening attributes of 10 declared monuments and historic buildings dotted around the territory are highlighted at an exhibition touring public libraries this month. Organised to complement the Heritage Fiesta held this autumn, which had offered free guided tours of fabulous sites like Flagstaff House, the roving displays pinpoint the work and success of various initiatives to preserve these iconic buildings and thus Hong Kong’s past.

When: Until 29 Dec
Where: Various public libraries
How much: Free

For more information: heritage.gov.hk

What’s On? Things to do this March in Hong Kong

If you want to groove to the best beats, there is Clockenflap, and if admiring some mesmerising art pieces is your idea of an awesome day, then, there are Art Basel and Art Central. Simply put, art, music, and endless entertainment are taking over March with so many exciting, and eagerly-awaited events lined up for the month. Find out about all the fun March 2023 events scheduled to happen.

Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now

best things to do in March 2023

Contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is known for her avant-garde paintings and sculptures, and her choice of bright and colourful palette attributes that M+ will no doubt be highlighting in its coming showcase of more than two hundred of the artist’s works. Among these, are many of her more recent works, including Pumpkin, Death of Nerves, and Dots ObsessionAspiring to Haven’s Love

When: Ongoing

Price: From HK$240

Location: West Gallery, The Studio, Main Hall, Lightwell, and Found Space, M+ Building, West Kowloon.

For more information: mplus.org.hk

Eternal Enlightenment: the Virtual World of Jiajing Emperor

best things to do in March 2023

Some 500 years ago, the Jiajing Emperor wished to become immortal. To be fair, he has kind of got what he sought courtesy of the Hong Kong Museum of Arts, with the venerable institution having organised a Jiajing Emperor-themed exhibition that brings to life the history of his dynasty through 240 intricately designed ceramics, portraits, and other art forms. Among the highlights of the exhibition is, undoubtedly, a blue porcelain collection set out on a 14-metre-long table by Angel Hui Hoi-kiu.

When: Ongoing

Price: Free entry

Location: Hong Kong Museum of Art

For more information: hk.art.museum


best things to do in March 2023

Never failing to bring together an ensemble of truly exceptional acts from all around the world over an outdoor weekend of bewitching music and outstanding art is the three-day trilithon that is Clockenflap. The event, which prides itself on featuring a wide range of different musical genres, including rock, hip-hop, rap, and indie, is set to feature Ginger Root, Men I Trust, YoungQueenz, and many, many more in its participation lineup for 2023 Clockenflap. Already announced to headline on Friday night is the English rock band Arctic Monkeys in their much-anticipated performance in Hong Kong.

When: (3 – 5 Mar)

Price: From HK$1620

Location: Central Harbourfront Event Space

For more information: clockenflap.com

Also Read: Music Therapy: What is music therapy and who exactly does it benefit?

Homemade Sushi Making Class with Shima Shimizu

best things to do in March 2023

If a new skill is what you are looking to acquire this month, then why not try your hand at preparing your own sushi? Attend a session armed with only a pen and an apron and go back home fully equipped to make Gunkan-maki and Nigiri-sushi. Under the expert tutelage of Chef Shima Shimizu, the class will prepare you to make perfectly delicious sushi by teaching you all the important steps in the process – most notably cooking the rice and seasoning the fish correctly. Also, don’t forget to skip lunch beforehand as you will certainly have a lot of sushi sampling to get through. 

When: 4 Mar

Price: From H$880

Location: Food Craft

For more information: foodcraft.hk

Hong Kong Food Walk with Chef ArChan Chan

best things to do in March 2023

If you are a foodie or a cultural enthusiast, then you are definitely going to want to sign up for this food walk in the company of Archan Chan, head chef of renowned Cantonese eatery Ho Lee Fook. A four-hour stroll forms part of the annual Hong Kong International Literary Festival and brings to life the chef’s book —Hong Kong Local: Cult Recipes From The Streets That Make The City.

When: 7 Mar

Price: From HK$965

Location: Sai Ying Pun

For more information: festival.org.hk

Dance-Opera–Love Streams

best things to do in March 2023

Those on the lookout for a truly immersive and riveting opera performance should probably check out Hong Kong Arts Festival Society’s Dance-Opera–Love Streams. This stunning concert will showcase the skills of a group of talented dancers from the Hong Kong Dance Company, as well as 12 acclaimed opera singers and musicians. Directed and choreographed by Yang Yuntao, the show comprises the two much-loved pieces –Heart of Coral and Women Like Us.

When: 17 – 19 Mar

Price: From HK$200

Location: The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

For more information: hk.artsfestival.org

The Stage Doors on Mars

best things to do in March 2023

The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra is promising to take you on a journey to Mars in 2057. Pre-commemorating this admittedly distant magnificent Martian event will be a scintillating array of Cantonese opera as the perfect sci-fi soundtrack. While part of the event will catapult you to the far future, another will take you on a trip to the past as you revisit many important musical events from the last century.

When: 17 – 18 Mar

Price:  From HK$250

Location: Hong Kong City Hall

For more information: hk.artsfestival.org

Art Central

best things to do in March 2023

March is surely a compelling month for connoisseurs of creativity given all the art events set to take place in the weeks ahead. Among the most intriguing is the eighth edition of Art Central, which will be taking place as part of Hong Kong Art Week. Featuring works of both established and upcoming artists from all over the world, you should be most excited about Hong Kong’s very own Sammi Mak and Korean painter Han Choong Seok. 

When: 22 – 25 Mar

Price: From HK$125

Location: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

For more information: artcentralhongkong.com

Also Read: Vibrant City: Hong Kong’s growing art scene

Art Basel

best things to do in March 2023

When it comes to going big, Art Basel is doing exactly that for its 2023 event, a move down to Hong Kong having lifted all of its travel restrictions, allowing more local and international art lovers than ever to participate in this high-profile annual extravaganza. This year, the show is set to welcome more than 150 exhibitors from all over the world, while also seeing the return of Encounters, the dedicated zone for big art installations, which had been on a Covid-mandated hiatus. 

When: 23 – 25 Mar

Price: From H$280

Location: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

For more information: artbasel.com

Coco Chanel: The Life of a Fashion Icon

best things to do in March 2023

Undoubtedly French designer Coco Chanel revolutionised women’s fashion as indicated by the fact that her fame has endured more than 50 years after her death. Commemorating this inimitable icon, Hong Kong Ballet is celebrating her life through an exquisitely conceived and executed ballet routine courtesy of award-winning choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. The dance performance is memorably soundtracked by Peter Salem’s sensational score, while Jerome Kaplan provides the eye-catching costumes. 

When: 24 – 26 Mar

Price: From HK$180

Location: The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

For more information: hkballet.com

East Meets Fest: Multi-day music escapes are taking centre stage in Asia

Burning Man, Coachella, Glastonbury. While festivals have been around for the last century (the first Glastonbury was said to have taken place in 1914), its modern-day form has been reinterpreted in hundreds of ways across a vast and ever-changing spectrum.

The US and Europe have dominated the world’s festival scene since the Woodstock era almost 50 years ago. In Asia, however, music festivals existed only by the handful until a few years back. One of the region’s pioneers is Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival, which has grown since its inception in 1997 to become the country’s largest outdoor music event, with 125,000 guests in attendance last July.

“Countries like Japan have a more established festival culture and are more mature like in the West,” says Clockenflap founder Justin Sweeting. Clockenflap is a music and arts festival held annually in Hong Kong, considered one of the region’s leading events for its commercially successful and inclusive model.

“There aren’t a large number of players in Hong Kong’s festival scene at the moment,” says Sweeting. “We had to build Clockenflap from scratch for that very reason, and pioneer festival culture development on our own for a good number of years.”

However, in the last four years, the scene has been growing quickly, as evidenced by the boom of Wonderfruit, a sustainable lifestyle movement embracing a broad range of interests associated with the modern-day, well-heeled crowd. Festival-goers, for instance, are continuously entertained by round-the-clock art installations, music acts, yoga sessions, ‘farm to feast’ bites – the list goes on.

“Wonderfruit kind of started the whole lifestyle, community driven style of event here in Asia,” says Pranitan “Pete” Phornprapha, Wonderfruit’s Founder and Creative Director. “[It] came from the instinct to create inspiring content, which, for me, means content that has the ability to create real, positive impact… especially from an environmental standpoint… and to make it as fun as possible.

The more mainstream precursors of music festivals in Asia were initiated by organisers in developed markets like Japan, Singapore and South Korea. However, most of these festivals are located in-city, unlike their Western counterparts, where total immersion is often part of the experience. Burning Man in Nevada takes the phenomenon to an extreme, building an entire city of 70,000 festival-goers every year in the middle of the desert.

ZoukOut in Sentosa Island, Singapore, partners with international hospitality brands like W Resorts. It’s the garden city’s version of a music festival: high-end from start to finish. Since its inception 17 years ago, the dance music festival on Siloso Beach has secured its own pin on the festival map.

Below the radar, meanwhile, are smaller destinations showing signs of potential as future festival hubs. Thanks to the surge in budget flights, Hanoi has most recently been chosen by festival organisers as an alternative and more affordable locale. Festival goers flock to the shores of Dong Mo Lake – an hour’s drive west of Hanoi – for two different festivals each year (so far). One is Equation, a house and techno affair that just debuted in April. Another is Quest, which takes place every November. Compared to the sky-high tickets of big-city productions like Clockenflap (HK$1,940 at the door for a 3-day pass), Hanoi’s counterparts are certainly more accessible at a fourth of that price, at most.

Katrina Razon, co-founder of Third Culture Music + Media, says Asia has incredible potential as a largely untapped festival market. “The live events industry in Asia is an exciting space,” she says. “There are so many opportunities to create a brand, whereas [the west is] already saturated with cut-throat competition.”

But as the Asian festival landscape grows into its own, Katrina predicts many festivals will disappear as others materialise. “The ones that will last are the brands that depart from main stage monotony,” she says. “Festival brands need to be more diverse. They also need to incorporate the local backbone and not overpay for headlining acts to remain sustainable.”

Looking to the future, Katrina says she would love to see more community-driven concepts. Sweeting similarly calls for events that “have far more cultural significance” beyond simply focusing on the line-up. “I’ve always preferred and held on to special memories from the festivals with an arts and creative cultural leaning,” says Sweeting. Within the region, he recommends Neon Lights in Singapore, Urbanscapes in Malaysia, We The Fest in Jakarta and Malasimbo in the Philippines.

If you’re not quite ready to make the ‘pilgrimage’ to Burning Man, check out our calendar list of upcoming festivals in Asia to dip your toes in. If you do catch the bug, who knows, you just might make it to Black Rock City after all.

Festival Circuit: Asia

Mark your calendar for the region’s upcoming festivals
17-19 Nov 2017 – It’s the Ship – Singapore through Phuket via boat cruise
17-19 Nov 2017 – Clockenflap – Hong Kong
8-9 Dec 2017 – ZoukOut – Singapore
14-17 Dec 2017 – Wonderfruit – Pattaya, Thailand
Jun 2018 – Ultra Korea – Seoul, South Korea
13-15 Jul 2018 – Rainforest World Music Festival – Sarawak, Malaysia
Jul 2018 – Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival – South Korea
Jul 2018 – Fuji Rock Festival – Japan
Aug 2018 – Summer Sonic – Tokyo / Osaka, Japan

Text: Julienne C. Raboca

For the full article, please check out Gafencu’s October issue or the Gafencu app. Download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store


Leisure and Pleasure: Events in Hong Kong this November

Whether you’re a music lover, ballet aficionado, avid reader or artist at heart, Hong Kong has something for everyone to enjoy this month. Here are some exciting events happening this November. 


Hong Kong’s biggest music and arts festival is going all out for its 10th anniversary along the waterfront. This year’s line-up is headlined by international acts including Massive Attack (UK), Feist (Canada) and MØ (Denmark). “Festivals like Clockenflap occupy a very important place in the cultural and creative landscape of the city,” says founder Justin Sweeting. “This is our 10th year and we’re very much staying true to our vision and spirit as always. You’ll have to come to see for yourself – the only way to experience the magic.”

17-19 November
Central Harbourfront Event Space
9 Lung Wo Road, Central

Arts in the Park

Calling all kids and kids at heart – this popular annual outdoor youth arts festival and puppet parade is back, this time celebrating all things Roald Dahl. The British novelist’s works (Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) will come alive in the form of giant characters and storytelling sessions. Interactive activities like the African Drum Jam and free art stalls will allow youngsters to unleash their creative energy in projects like mask and headdress making or face painting.

11-12 November
Victoria Park, Causeway Bay

Rugby Charity Ball

Now in its 16th year, the prestigious Hong Kong Rugby Union Charity Ball continues its gala-for-a-cause. This year’s event will be headlined by World Classic Rockers, a supergroup composed of former members of Santana, Kansas, Boston and other legendary bands. The annual fundraiser has contributed over HK$88 million to education and rugby programmes serving underprivileged children since 2002. The black tie affair includes pre-dinner cocktails, a four-course dinner, a live concert and an auction (starring a custom-painted Harley- Davidson bike!) to cap off the night.

11 November
Convention Hall, Hong Kong Convention
& Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai. 6pm

World Cultures Festival

Thumping beats and tribal arts travel to Hong Kong from the cradle of civilisation: Africa. The colourful World Cultures Festival is set to showcase the continent’s most distinctive music, dance and theatre acts in a line-up opened by none other than “African artist of the century” Youssou N’Dour (Senegal). The closing performance by Cape Town Opera pays tribute to South Africa’s first black president in a stirring folk opera entitled Mandela Trilogy.

Until 19 November
Schedule and venues vary

Secret Theatre’s Project Mayhem

If you’ve been bemoaning the lack of an edgy arts scene in the 852 reminiscent of London and New York, maybe you haven’t been looking hard enough. Secret Theatre – which got its start with a production of Edward Scissorhands in an abandoned New York City factory – is in town for another round of immersive storytelling. While details on this experiential dinner and theatre show are intentionally scant, audiences can expect to be placed in a warehouse with devious characters who will act out “one of modern history’s most twisted tales of fraternity, violence and all-out psychological warfare”. You’ve been warned!

3 November – 10 December
Location to be announced upon ticket purchase
From HK$850
secretstudiolab.com, ticketflap.com/projectmayhemhk

Hong Kong International Literary Festival

Established and emerging writers from around the world come to Hong Kong for a 10-day programme of discussions, literary-themed lunches, workshops, debates, book signings, lectures and readings. The annual festival embraces creative writing in English, with an emphasis on connections to Asia. Look out for Amy Tan (author of The Joy Luck Club) at the gala dinner.

3-12 November
Venues and prices vary

Le Corsaire

Emmy Award-winning choreographer Anna-Marie Holmes is the creative force behind Hong Kong Ballet’s premiere of Le Corsaire. This staging stars Moscow-born Maria Kochetkova (San Francisco Ballet) and Canadian Matthew Golding (The Royal Ballet). Audiences can follow the romance between a dashing pirate and the beautiful harem girl he rescues – a classic adventure with a side of pas de trois.

3-12 November
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
2:30pm & 7:30pm


Festival-goers soak up live music at Clockenflap

Brave festival-goers soaked up some live music over the weekend at the three-day music and arts festival, Clockenflap.

The event was held at the Central Harbourfront and featured a diverse selection of bands such as The Chemical Brothers, Foals, The Sugarhill Gang, Yo La Tengo, SBTRKT and MIA.

Attendees braved wind and rain on Friday and a torrential downpour on Saturday. Festival-goers on Sunday were more fortunate as the event closed under a blue sky, with English indie-rockers Foals and the legendary Chemical Brothers headlining the final night.

Despite the erratic weather, visitors enjoyed a weekend of dance music, hip hop, indie, reggae, funk, Cantopop and more.

The diverse music acts were just one thing on offer with festival-goers enjoying the Silent Disco, Cinema Silenzio, craft market and workshops.

Earlier this month, Mike Hill, co-founder, festival director and CEO of Clockenflap, picked up an award at the Gafencu Gala Dinner for his work in Cultural Endeavour.

Mike was honoured, along with and on behalf of his fellow co-founders for organising the culture, arts and music festival since 2008.

Photos: Kitmin Lee

What to see and wear this November in Hong Kong

foals - band playing at Clockenflap


This year’s Clockenflap lineup sees the legendary Chemical Brothers headlining, arguably backed by the three-day festival’s most eclectic musical mix to date. Lovers of indie, funk, post-rock, raprave, reggae and more will all find something to tap their toes to.

Sharing the spotlight with the headliners will be Sigur Rós, an Icelandic band best known for its ethereal sound, and Foals, the English indie-rockers. Every year, Clockenflap – first staged in 2008 – seems to get a little bigger.

This year, the event relocates from its longtime home of the West Kowloon Cultural District to the Central Harbourfront space.

It’s not all about the music, though. Art exhibits and a variety of performances are also promised, all designed to amuse, perplex and intrigue viewers.

Venue: Central Harbourfront
Date: 25-27 November
Enquiries: Online submission
Website: http://www.clockenflap.com/



The latest addition to Marvel’s cinematic universe, Doctor Strange tells the story of a famous neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) who makes some startling mystical discoveries after he loses the ability to use his hands in a car accident.

Venue: Cinemas HK-wide
Date: Now in theatres
Enquiries: N/A
Website: marvel.com/movies/movie/220/doctor_strange

Rihanna Fenty CollectionPath


Divas and stylistas who have long dreamed of walking in Rihanna’s shoes now have their chance to take a glam class in Rockstar 101. The Barbadian-born singer has teamed up with Puma to create the Fenty clothing and shoe collection, now set to land in Hong Kong. The D-Mop shop, in Causeway Bay’s Fashion Walk, will host the city’s first pop-up Fenty Puma store – an exclusive event with the promise of free-flow wine. High-heel leather sneakers, lace-up corsets and kimono track jackets are all among the bold items in this rebellious collection.

For the “work, work, working” woman who likes to run errands in style, fur sandals in four incandescent colours are among the hottest items on Puma’s website. Men’s items in the collection, meanwhile, include a zip-up sneaker boot with a platform midsole, and a suede sneaker with a platform “creeper” sole.

Venue: D-Mop, Shop 3, G/F, 2-4 Kingston St, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay
Date: 7 November, 6-9 pm
Enquiries: 2505 8982
Website: http://www.d-mop.com/eng/index.php