No charges will be brought against British band TTNG and American act Mylets, after they were arrested for performing without a work visa at independent live house Hidden Agenda last May.
The four musicians were among seven arrested in a high-profile raid on the now defunct Kwun Tong venue on the night of May 7. The Immigration Department said they were suspected of breaching their conditions of stay.
TTNG have been updating their bail status on their Facebook page, until a statement on Sunday night confirmed that they and Mylets were free to go: “We are delighted and relieved to announce that the pending legal charges made by the Hong Kong Authorities against TTNG & Mylets have been dropped and no further action is to be taken.”
“The bands would like to say an enormous and sincere thank you to all of our fans for your incredible support both moral and financial over this difficult period. We’ll be announcing some tour dates soon.”
Venue owner Hui Chung-wo was also arrested in the raid but was not charged.
Hidden Agenda was forced to relocate to its fourth venue in December 2016 after being continually accused of land lease violations, owing to the fact that it has always been based in industrial buildings.
Land leases for factory buildings typically specify that units must be used for industrial or storage purposes only, but arts and culture groups claim that high rent prevents them from working in Hong Kong’s commercial buildings.
As a unit in an industrial building, Hidden Agenda officially operated as a food factory, having obtained a licence from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. However, the department did not approve its applications for a place of public entertainment license.
Last year, the venue finally closed down and organisers switched to event planning.