Arts, Lifestyle & Events HKFP Reports Hong Kong

‘Central is not central anymore’: Underground club XXX announces move to Tai Kok Tsui

Underground club XXX announced on Friday morning that it will be relocating from its current location in Sai Wan “to an industrial building in Tai Kok Tsui in early 2016.” Though the club has relocated once already from Sheung Wan to Sai Wan, this will be the first time the venue steps foot into Kowloon.

Speaking to HKFP, founder and director of the venue Cassady Winston said: “On one side we just want to be more central, and Central is not central anymore. We really see that there’s a lot of creative stuff happening in that part of town, in Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok; there’s a lot more people opening up event spaces in industrial areas there. It’s a local Hong Kong movement that’s very different from the creative scene in Sai Ying Pun, which is a lot more Western-influenced.

cassady winston

Cassady Winston, aka DJ Enso.

 

Back to the underground roots
The up-and-coming arts and cultural scene in Tai Kok Tsui is not the only reason the club is saying goodbye to Hong Kong Island.

“To be perfectly honest, our rent goes way down. We lost money every month for the past years, and we had to swallow it. In Sai Wan, we’re not central enough to get the casual crowds who walk by and come in, but we’re near enough to Central that we still pay a lot. We’re going back to our underground roots in Sheung Wan, our BYOB venue,” Winston said.

XXX venue

The XXX venue at Sai Wan. Photo: Cassady Winston.

He also hopes that the relocation will drive more people to the Kowloon scene.

“A lot of our Westerner following don’t party as much on the Kowloon side. I want the people who aren’t quite aware of the up-and-coming creative scene happening over there to be more exposed to it. A lot more people are realising they don’t have to stay on Hong Kong Island.”

xxx venue

The current location of the XXX venue. Photo: Cassady Winston.

Overall, Winston is optimistic about the move, especially considering how quickly things change in Hong Kong. When they first opened in Sheung Wan, he says they were nervous: “No one knew if anyone would go party in Sheung Wan, it was so far away.”

“Now,” he says, “all that is changing. It’s your basic gentrification that’s happening in cities all over the world. We have to go somewhere more gritty and raw, that we can afford and will give us the flexibility to do something new and exciting.”

tai kok tsui

Tai Kok Tsui. Photo: Wikicommons.

‘The real warehouse party’
Winston says the new location is “this little industrial enclave surrounded by hyper-urbanity, only a couple of stops away from Hong Kong Station. It’s really close, but it feels far. It’s bringing us a little closer to real Hong Kong culture.”

“At this point there’s a thirst for the real warehouse party vibe,” Winston says: “There are surprising turnouts at events in Aberdeen and Fo Tan, and I think finally Hong Kong might be ready for a little bit more of that.”

Winston assures fans that regular events such as XXX Movie Club and ping pong nights will live on in Tai Kok Tsui.
HKFP can exclusively reveal that the last show Island-side will be headed by French hip-hop artist Onra, who brought a crowd of around 400 people the last time he played at the venue.

'Central is not central anymore': Underground club XXX announces move to Tai Kok Tsui