By Hans Ebert


Blink and it was gone. No, let’s take that back: Once pitched to us as the biggest music event Hong Kong has ever seen, it became a pathetic exercise in being a music event that came and went with little or no fanfare. We have to wonder how many saw any marketing for this event. Maybe we were walking around with our eyes closed but all the visuals shown here are from Google- and found after the Dragon had flown.


Named The Dragonland Music Festival and held for three consecutive days and nights at the Central Waterfront last weekend, this “unique experience” was meant to bring together the worlds of Pop and EDM- Electronic Dance Music. But with this and so many other venues in Hong Kong saddled with strict sound ordinances where ‘live’ outdoor music cannot be played after 11pm, we shied away from having anything to do with this event from its inception. It seemed like a non-starter, or at best, a naive idea.


Backed by, we think, the Hong Kong Tourism Board. and one of the music companies belonging to the Chairman of the organisation- Peter Lam- we were taken aback early last week when running into the main brains behind this idea who asked whether we would be attending. Thinking he was talking about the James Taylor gig- absolutely superb and held on Friday night at the Convention Centre- we said, Yes.


We soon realised we were speaking at loggerheads when he mentioned the rumour was that Nicole Scherzinger would be replacing Fergie during the performance by the Black Eye Peas. Huh? Que?


It was only then that we realised that this was Dragonland, but instead of breathing fire, it was more like blowing smoke up one’s backside. Only when checking on Twitter did we realise who performed and that some people actually attended.


Apparently, The Dragonland Music Festival, touted as the hippest event of its kind to be staged in Hong Kong, was more like a leaping lizard- a flawed concept, and more like a cool McDonald’s McHappy Meal Party where mummy and daddy came to pick the kids up at 11pm and where DJs had to keep the sound down. So much for EDM and dancing one’s arse off for 2-3 nights. This is what happens when those with zero idea of music or marketing or simple common sense see themselves as being concert promoters. Asia has a number of these nitwits and even more gullible sponsors. One has to wonder if the organisers of Dragonland have even attended an EDM event and understand what makes it feed all those heads?


It reminds us of that daft idea many years ago by a legislative councillor to get around a sound ordinance preventing Elton John from performing at the Hong Kong Football Stadium: Have the audience wear gloves to muffle the applause and listen to the ‘live’ performance wearing headphones. Genius.


As for Dragonland, this is supposed to be an annual event. Here’s hoping we hear about it the next time it lumbers into town. Bring a McHappy Meal with you.