Members of British and American bands TTNG and Mylets have been ordered to return to Hong Kong in July after they were arrested for performing without a work visa last month.
The four musicians were among seven arrested in a high-profile raid on Kwun Tong’s independent live house Hidden Agenda on the night of May 7.
The Immigration Department told HKFP they were suspected of breaching their conditions of stay, while venue owner Hui Chung-wo faced four immigration charges including employing illegal workers.
They had originally been told to return to Hong Kong to report to the Immigration Department this Monday, and set a £5,000 (HK$50,100) crowdfunding goal for travel and other costs.
But on Monday, TTNG wrote on Facebook that their bail had been extended to July 17.
“The airline is allowing us to amend the date of our existing flights, but sadly this has added unforeseen extra costs due to increased ticket prices and change fees,” they added.
HONG KONG UPDATE We would like to thank everyone for their continued help and support so far. We are truly grateful…
The musicians have crowdfunded a total of £7,470 (HK$75,000) from fans as of Monday afternoon.
In May, pro-democracy legislator Jeremy Tam – who assisted the musicians – told the media he believed that the Immigration Department recently changed its policy on issuing work visas – denying entry to artists scheduled to perform in industrial buildings.
Land leases for factory buildings typically specify that units must be used for industrial or storage purposes only, but Hong Kong’s arts and culture groups say that high rent prevents them from working in commercial buildings.
Last week, Hidden Agenda owner Hui told the media it may close down in mid-July, after a number of overseas bands cancelled scheduled performances in the wake of the arrests.
Hui says he must also pay for over HK$100,000 in losses due to the cancellations, as well as an encumbrance order from the Lands Department.