Top Hong Kong Singer Loses Concert Venue Amid Crackdown

September 1, 2021

HONG KONG — A popular Hong Kong singer and pro-democracy activist will not be allowed to perform at one of the city’s top theaters later this month, in an indication that a crackdown by authorities on dissent is reaching the entertainment and cultural scene.

The Hong Kong Arts Centre cited a public safety clause in canceling Denise Ho's venue reservations for her concerts, according to a statement posted Wednesday on Facebook by the singer's company, Goomusic.

The cancellation came days after pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao accused Ho of being “anti-China” due to her involvement in the 2019 pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Ho is an outspoken activist and joined in widespread protests during the city's Umbrella Movement in 2014 and later in 2019 that sought to protect Hong Kong's longstanding civil liberties from mainland Chinese interference.

“We can’t help but ask how the Hong Kong Arts Centre, as an independent institution supporting contemporary art which has been operating for 44 years, can now arbitrarily suspend contracts without substantive evidence?” Goomusic said.

The Hong Kong Arts Centre did not immediately comment.

Ho's sold-out concerts were slated for Sept. 8 to 12.

The cancellation has fed concerns that Hong Kong's flourishing cultural scene, which in the past was known for its freedom of expression, is the latest target as Beijing tightens its control over the city.

Hong Kong authorities have over the past year arrested dozens of pro-democracy activists and pushed through electoral reforms that would reduce the number of directly elected legislators in the city.

Critics have accused Beijing and Hong Kong authorities of limiting freedoms promised to the city when it was handed over by the British to mainland China in 1997.

According to Goomusic, the Hong Kong Arts Centre canceled the reservation under a clause stating that it could terminate the booking of a venue if the person renting the venue fails to observe the terms and conditions in circumstances where “public order or public safety would be endangered.”

Ho's company said the Hong Kong Arts Centre had told Goomusic representatives that it was “bound to observe closely the recent developments in society.”

Ho’s company said it would refund ticket buyers and that the singer will livestream her concert instead on Sept. 12.

“We may face constraints in performance venues, but the stage itself is not limited by boundaries,” Goomusic said.

The cancellation came days after Hong Kong film director Kiwi Chow was fined 5,000 Hong Kong dollars ($640) for allegedly flouting coronavirus restrictions during a private movie screening.

Chow, who directed the films “Ten Years” and “Revolution of our Times” about the city’s democracy movement, held a private screening of his film “Beyond the Dream” last week.

Authorities raided the screening and accused attendees of flouting social-distancing rules, since public gatherings in Hong Kong are currently limited to four people.

Chow said the private screening was limited to friends only, saying on a local radio program that he would not pay the fine and would take the case to court instead. The city’s social-distancing restrictions do not apply to private gatherings.

Separately, seven pro-democracy activists were sentenced Wednesday to between 11 and 16 months in jail for an unauthorized assembly during the anti-government protests in 2019.

The seven activists, including lawyer Albert Ho and Figo Chan, leader of the disbanded Civil Human Rights Front, had pleaded guilty to charges including organizing and inciting others to take part in the unauthorized assembly on Oct. 20, 2019.

Of the seven, only one — Raphael Wong of the League of Social Democrats political party — was not already serving jail time.

The other six were convicted earlier in relation to other unauthorized assemblies.


NEW YORK — Meat Loaf, the rock superstar loved by millions for his “Bat Out of Hell” album and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as “Paradise By the Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” and “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” has died.

Top Stories


BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.


NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.


STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.


Greece: Heavy Snowfall is Expected on Monday, Schools to Remain Closed in Attica (Vid)

ATHENS - Schools of all levels of education will remain closed throughout Attica on Monday and Tuesday, January 24-25, due to extreme weather conditions.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.