Hidden Agenda was first established in 2009, quickly becoming a thriving hotspot within Hong Kong’s independent music scene. On August 24th, Hidden Agenda announced that it was being forced to close by the government.
Over the past year, the abandoned Kwun Tong warehouse that has served as Hidden Agenda’s premises, has been subject to multiple inspections and warnings. The Lands Department has targeted the popular underground music venue, claiming that it is illegal to use an industrial space for entertainment purposes. It issued a warrant for the site’s closure in August.
On September 5th, Hidden Agenda launched a fundraising initiative in a last-ditch attempt to find a new venue. A goal of half a million dollars was set up, most of which would go towards rent and the application fee for a restaurant licence from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. The plan was to operate as a legally certified food stall, where they would be able to host live music acts in the same space.
On Monday, Hidden Agenda announced on Facebook that they had reached their fundraising goal with three days left to spare. A total of $517,368 was donated thanks to a concentrated effort from fans, many of whom reacted with outrage and dismay to news of Hidden Agenda’s closure. Notably, local music platform Zenegeist raised over $100,000 by organizing a jumble sale over the weekend, urging fans to chip in and spread the word with the hashtag #SaveHiddenAgenda.
Hidden Agenda’s plans to vacate the current property by mid-October are still in place, with a farewell show scheduled for October 10th. In the interim after its closure, fans can look forward to Hidden Agenda’s relaunch near the end of the year.