Very Hong Kong 2013

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You guessed it – it’s a celebration of Hong Kong… and it’s making use of our beautiful outdoor spaces. Ysabelle Cheung and Ying Lo check out what this new festival has in store

There’s no shortage of events bringing international acts and events to Hong Kong, but the Very Hong Kong Festival is looking to celebrate what’s right here on our doorstep. This brand new festival runs from December 7 to 15, and has organised events to run throughout the city from Kowloon East to Wan Chai to the New Central Harbourfront. Most of the events are open air and public, and the festival hopes to mark the beginning of a new chapter in Hong Kong’s cultural and community scene, where multi-platform arts are inclusive rather than exclusive to the public. Organiser Christopher Lau is enthusiastic about the number of events coming up. “The outdoor spaces really make Hong Kong, and it’s completely open, whether you are a newcomer, or have been living here for 40 years, irrespective of the income tradition,” says Lau. With over 160 groups performing and quirky events such as a street festival, watersports and McDull film screenings, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the Very Hong Kong attractions…

Markets
Get rid of some unwanted clutter while treating yourself to some eye-catching bargains at JUPYEAH Tai Tat Tei on Sunday December 8 from 12pm to 6pm on Kwun Tong’s Hoi Bun Road. This massive swap party is a great way to pass on some of your extra possessions while ensuring that nothing goes to waste. Sip artisan beers at the craft beer workshop on the same day.

On Saturday December 14, the areas of Sun Street, Moon Street and the Dominion Garden in Wan Chai transform into a Very Street market from 12.30pm to 6pm. The day-long event includes a pop-up farmer’s market presents an interesting array of artisanal and sustainable food and drinks to choose from, as well as a series of street-based events and exhibitions, including outdoor fashion shows by local and emerging designers.

Music
Very Hong Kong keeps music lovers happy with a variety of events for all tastes to enjoy. Soak up a year’s worth of holiday tunes just in time for the Christmas season at the Very Christmas Concert on December 14 at
New Central Harbourfront as Michelle Kim, Hong Kong Generation Next Arts and friends perform your favourite carols. Kim also performs with several other local musicians in a Musical Connections event on December 8 at Hoi Bun Road. Also, as part of the Very Big Picnic at New Central Harbourfront on Sunday December 15, The Wanch presents a host of Hong Kong indie artists. 

Arts
One of the festival’s most exciting elements is undoubtedly Big Screen on the Green at the New Central Harbourfront, a pop-up film series showing a different film every night. 

On Sunday December 8, Mong Kok’s Hoi Bun Road transforms into a buzzing street of live exhibitions, including art workshops, an animation and short film exhibition from local filmmaker and illustrator KC Wong and Draw in the Space, a creative event with wall-sized public paper canvases for artists to stop by and draw for however long they please. HK Instayay, a local group aiming to present photographic art in a different way, showcase their Instagram works. 

Also, on December 14 in Wan Chai, local and international artists transform hidden Hong Kong alleyways and spaces with little micro galleries, challenging the way we perceive and see the world.

Family 
Family-friendly events and fun for all ages can be found throughout the festival. Watch your kids shine at the Lego Education Workshop on December 15 at New Central Harbourfront, where young’uns of all ages have a chance to demonstrate their creativity with only six pieces of Lego bricks to hand. Also, don’t miss the Kai Tak Watersports carnival activities on December 7 to 8 and 14 to 15 at the Kwun Tong ferry pier, which includes waterskiing, rowing and canoeing, as well as the most classic watersport in Hong Kong: a thrilling dragon boat race.

Fest Fact File

In a nutshell: 
A community-based festival inviting local and international Hong Kong lovers to participate and collaborate in a range of arts, music and food related events. 

Started: 
2013. It’s debuting this year! 

Recommended for: 
Adults, teenagers, toddlers, babies – just about anyone and everyone.  

Fun fact: 
A large number of events are completely crowd funded, with Fringe Backer as the platform for raising money. 

Details: 
Dec 7-15 Various venues. Tickets: Free. For the full programme, see veryhk.org

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