Eventful Times: Top new party promoters

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Recently, it seems we can barely choose between the original, interesting and downright cool parties that are going on in Hong Kong. Anna Cummins speaks to four of the upcoming players in our city’s burgeoning events scene

Fresh off the Boat Asia
Zaran Vachha is one busy guy. He’s only been here nine months, but has already started two events companies: Fresh off the Boat Asia (FOB) and its food-and-music-oriented sister, Ear Belly. “I felt there was something missing in Hong Kong,” says Vachha. “People were doing the same club crawl every Friday and Saturday night. I thought I would put something different on and see what happened.” Two of FOB’s big successes have been the Do-Over in May, as well as a recent warehouse party in Sk852. “Both were extremely difficult to put on due to licensing and venues getting cold feet,” admits Vachha. “But the crowd really went for it. [When an event] is not held in a club, people in suddenly feel uninhibited and lose their marbles.” Already attracting big international acts, FOB is gearing up for its biggest-ever event on December 7: the BloHK Party in West Kowloon featuring Pharrell, Justice and the Ed Banger crew (celebrating their 10th anniversary), and LMF. We’re already excited. facebook.com/freshofftheboatasia.

Hushup
From a 1920s-style speakeasy, to boat and rooftop cinemas, right through to the Secret Island Party (SIP), Hushup have carved out a name in Hong Kong with their quirky, cool and secretive events. “Hushup was born from a random visit to an abandoned island in search of a yoga retreat in 2012,” says Rachel Frost, founder of Hushup. “I didn’t find yoga, but I did find a perfect site for an overnight festival in Hong Kong.” Naysayers told Frost that the Secret Island Party wouldn’t attract enough people, but they were wrong. SIP is soon returning for a third time, bigger than ever and with two stages. Who is playing and where? Well… that’s a secret, of course. “You have to step out of your comfort zone to find out what [our events are] all about,” Frost explains. “People [need] to have a little trust, believe in the unfamiliar and they will be pleasantly surprised.” facebook.com/hushuphk.

Push
It was 2009, and a trio of DJs – Frankie Lam, AKW and Lukas, were tired of the lack of tech-house and techno events going on in the city. “We decided to just do it ourselves,” explains AKW, and so Push was born. Since then they’ve hosted almost 100 events and bought in over 25 international DJs. “Our main aim is to put on proper electronic music events, which are purely focused on the music,” AKW continues. Push’s focus on a ‘tougher, more challenging sound’ has gone down well. “We’ve proven there is a market for more underground and leftfield acts,” he explains. Considering Push has already worked with artists such as Roman Flügel, Christian Smith and Watergate, it seems Hong Kong’s growing love of dance music is in good hands. facebook.com/push.hongkong.

Turtle in the Hat
After organising events in the UK for 15 years, Robert Nicholson is now bringing his events game to our city, hosting parties outside of clubs. Turtle in the Hat (TITH) kicked off this time last year with a Halloween party in a private mansion. “That was for sure the most fun I have had ever creating and implementing an event,” remembers Nicholson. Since then, TITH have had held junk parties, a Moulin Masquerade in the 8th Estate Winery, and are currently gearing up for their next big Halloween ’do, with European DJs Wildkats headlining (see pgXXX). With all these cool events companies popping up, the party scene in Hong Kong has never felt less stagnant. “Events companies here clearly still see space in the market,” says Nicholson. “With Clockenflap growing yearly and BloHKParty coming up, there is a growing need and demand for events.” We couldn’t agree more. facebook.com/uncutpresents.

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