With the help of Elaine Ip and her team, find out about Hong Kong’s thriving indie music scene with the support of the Gig Week.
Hong Kong’s music industry blatantly lacks diversity and growth. With the help of Elaine Ip and her team, these creatives are aiming to push past Hong Kong’s fixation on pop music with Gig Week, an exciting 7 day music festival featuring various indie bands.
The Gig Week sees great potential in many local artists and are willing to nurture them, expand their fan base and help them achieve what they genuinely deserve. Hong Kongers will see a new variety of genres to flood through the local music scene.
The Hive Life Hong Team spoke to Elaine to discover more about the journey of how Gig Week came to be.
Can you tell us about the Gig Week?
The Gig Week Hong Kong is a 7-day music event made to let Hong Kongers discover and celebrate the amazing things what the artists are working hard on. We hope that having a diverse set of styles and a higher concentration of performances over a single week will help bring a larger audience to deserving musicians and a sense of unity to the music scene here, which is sometimes missing.
Where did it all begin?
The original Gig Week started in India. One of our team members had been involved in starting the event over there and when he moved to Hong Kong, he thought, “Why don’t I start it here?”
It seemed perfect since Hong Kong is not known for its creative scene yet it is full of talented artists. That’s why when he came to the rest of us with the idea.
Can you tell us more about the team behind the Gig Week?
We have people from India, Canada, France and of course Hong Kong. We all have our reasons for moving or staying in the city, but we were all brought together by the same desire: to be a part of something cool in the local scene.
In our core team, we have four members: the guy with the idea, the event professional, the musician, and the media man. It’s a good mix of cultures and skills and we’ll definitely be looking for more members.
What are your thoughts on Hong Kong’s music scene?
Music has always been a part of Hong Kong’s culture but probably more so in the pop genre. Most styles of music aren’t mainstream but they all have their fans and audiences. Our hope is that we can help people to experience and experiment with the music Hong Kong has to offer.
How can we support local artists?
Get your tickets for The Gig Week! Haha. That would help of course, but fundamentally it’s about going to go see bands and following them online. Having a crowd of followers is what musicians need to convince venues, labels, and festivals.
Share bands with your friends and family and don’t be afraid to go check out a name you may never have heard of. You might discover your new favourite group; and if you don’t, that’s fine, because you’re still participating to keeping this crazy mass of music lovers alive and vibrant.
How do you find out about local musicians?
It’s all about going out and looking for it! We search through our connections and check online to see who has been playing at different events. As we grow, so do our network. We hope to find more and more channels that would lead us to always greater shows and help us keep an eye out for the coolest new artists.
Most people complain that it’s hard to find the indie bands here in Hong Kong – and we used to as well – but you’d be surprised how much is hidden right under the surface. This year already we’re super excited about the bands we found and are partnering with.
What are your struggles so far and how have you overcome it?
As with all projects that are starting from the ground up, it’s about trying to set up the whole structure of the event from scratch. When we started, people told us to only do it for one or two days because seven was just too much. But we believed in this concept and thought it could really bring new energy to the indie art world.
Now we have all the venues, bands and partners we need. Most of all, it’s about getting our hands dirty and starting something out. As a first time event in Hong Kong, we’re so grateful for the partners and bands that have put their trust in us. We hope we will do them justice!
What are your future plans for the Gig Week? Is this a one-off event or will we see it again in the future?
We definitely plan to be doing it again. The Gig Week is made to be a recurrent event that offers constant support to the arts. That’s why – with enough support from the audience – in the future, we’ll integrate more and more of Hong Kong’s artistic scene into our events.
We want to build an event that supports the local scene as much as possible in all its creative facets. When people think of this city they think of banks and shopping malls, but Hong Kong has some amazing people making all sorts of crazy shapes and sounds. Unfortunately, these people and their creations often stay in the shadows of the sky scrappers. We really want to show this off.