Arts, Lifestyle & Events Hong Kong

Indie venue XXX Gallery to close in February, targets gov’t in parting message

Hong Kong underground club XXX Gallery has announced that it will close on February 10, 2018. It will be the latest in a number of independent performance venues which have shut down over the past year.

In a Facebook post on Thursday evening, the venue criticised the government, the police and district councillors for what it called harassment and licensing threats. The club is located in an industrial building in Tai Kok Tsui.

XXX Gallery

XXX Gallery. Photo: XXX Gallery via Facebook.

Established in 2011 on Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, XXX moved to Des Voeux Road West in Sai Wan two years later, before relocating to Kowloon two years ago.

“Hong Kong nightlife has come a long way over these years, and we are all in a much better place now than back in 2011,” read the Facebook post.

“And all this has been while under constant threat from an HKSAR government seemingly hell-bent on shutting down alternative cultural spaces, corrupt political hacks in LegCo and local District Councils coming directly for us in all licensing hearings… near weekly harassment from the [police], and an inflated property market that prices us out of a neighbourhood as soon as our initial lease expires.”

It singled out Central and Western district councillor Chan Hok-fung, of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, for what it called “regressive thinking”.

The venue added that without any investors, it often lost money during its seven years of operation.

Chan Hok-fung

Chan Hok-fung. Photo DAB.

XXX is the latest independent arts and music venue to shut its doors over the past year. A high-profile Immigration Department raid on industrial live house Hidden Agenda in May led to the arrest of British musicians. The venue closed down several months later.

Venues such as Causeway Bay live house Focal Fair and Sheung Wan’s Premium Sofa Club have also closed, while North Point’s MOM Livehouse has been raided by police on several occasions over the past few months.

The rural Grass Camp festival announced earlier in the year that 2017 was its last edition, while Central’s Backstage Live House closed two years ago.

“We will have a special programme of events for those last couple weekends, so you will all have your chance to come round, be an obnoxious dick to our door staff, and clog the toilets one last time,” wrote XXX.

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Indie venue XXX Gallery to close in February, targets gov't in parting message