From humble beginnings in 2008 – when a crowd of just 1,500 attended the first festival at Hong Kong’s Cyberport – Clockenflap has grown into one of Asia’s biggest and best-loved music festivals.
The three-night, two-day event now attracts some 80,000 revellers with its combination of music on multiple stages, multimedia installations, art, film and food. During its 15-year run, international artists of the calibre of Nile Rodgers, the 1975, New Order, Khalid and Stormzy have appeared on the bill.
A combination of social unrest and pandemic restrictions have seen the festival put on ice since 2019. But with Hong Kong finally reopening its borders and scrapping PCR tests for all arrivals, Clockenflap is back—in fact, the event is now sold out.
Lucky enough to be holding Clockenflap tickets? Here’s the scoop on the three fun-packed days that await you.
Where and when is Clockenflap being held?
The three-day music event will be held from 3-5 March at the Central Harbourfront Event Space. Set in the heart of Hong Kong, and right on Victoria Harbour, the 36,000 square metre swathe of concrete and paving offers spectacular views of the water and skyline and is a popular location for expos and cultural events.
Some of Hong Kong’s top attractions are nearby. If you’re looking to shop or dine, the IFC Mall is just a five-minute walk from the festival site. The famous Star Ferry sails from Pier 7, only steps away.
How do I get Clockenflap tickets?
Hopefully you’ve already bought yours because the event is sold out for the first time ever, in a reflection of pent-up, post-pandemic demand.
Which bands are performing at Clockenflap 2023?
The roster consists of local and international artists spanning genres from R&B to indie to experimental rock and jazz. Besides Arctic Monkeys and Wu-Tang Clan, other big names include The Cardigans, FKJ, Phoenix and more.
A full list of artists can be found here.
What about staying the night?
There are plenty of hotels within easy distance of the festival site, catering to most budgets.
The Mandarin Oriental
This luxury hotel is a Hong Kong icon, right opposite the Clockenflap venue, and a favourite with performers, so look out for rockstars ducking quickly out of the side entrance on their way to the festival grounds. The top floor M Bar is a legendary local watering hole and the Clipper Lounge, on the mezzanine level, is an A-lister’s choice for tea and scones. Rooms start from HK$4,000.
About an 8-minute taxi ride from the Central Harbourfront Event Space, in the colourful Sheung Wan district, the Figo is a decent mid-range boutique hotel within walking distance of the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal. It features a gym, workspace, lounge and offers free coffee and pastry to guests booking direct. Rooms from HK$800.
Ibis Hong Kong Central and Sheung Wan Hotel
Also close to the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal is this budget choice, with rooms from just HK$610. Don’t expect anything fancy, but it’s clean and decent and a fantastic array of dining options and transport links are right on the doorstep.
Where can I party afterwards?
The festival grounds are about a 20-minute walk from the Lan Kwai Fong bar district and the pubs and clubs of Wyndham Street and SoHo.
Lan Kwai Fong (shortened by the locals to LKF, the Fong, or simply Lan Kwai) is home to around 90 restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Venues tend to come and go but check out hkclubbing.com for the latest.
Around the corner, Wyndham Street appeals to a slightly older crowd but can nevertheless get raucous on weekend nights.
If you still haven’t had enough live music, take the Star Ferry over to Kowloon and of the city’s oldest bars, Ned Kelly’s Last Stand. Resident band leader Colin Aitchison and his China Coast Jazzmen attract a multi-generational crowd with their stomping performances of dixie jazz.