BRAIDS_01     BRAIDS, a Montreal based Art Rock band, reminded the independent music community of Hong Kong to show support for local music – especially in the face of opposition. As vocalist Raphaelle Standell-Preston sound checked her guitar, a bevy of Police entered the foyer of the industrial building housing the quite literally Hidden Agenda, an Indie music venue facing legal scrutiny over it’s atypical location. The police momentarily held up the show, requesting to enter, and demanding permits, or the ID of the owner – neither of which were provided. A throng of attendees gathered around the exchange, cell phones and cameras in hand to document the episode. Unable to enter the premises without a permit to do so, the police disbanded and the show resumed.                                                                                                                    As the audience re-assembled, Standell-Preston spoke a few words about the importance of local venues in her own life, and asked the crowd to stand with Hidden Agenda in their fight for legality.  Hidden Agenda’s itinerancy has come with rising rents and strict zoning regulations that disallow performances in industrial spaces. Local musicians and touring Indie artists would be hard-pressed to ask the ticket prices that allow mainstream venues touting famed headliners to exist in the authorized venues abounding in Central.  As a city with a high price on live music, venues like Hidden Agenda  are vital to the emergence of local music and the propulsion of Indie artists in Hong Kong. Though the Industrial Building Revitalization Act, which makes such venues illegal, threatens the venue’s existence, fortunately, it has been unable to eliminate the welcomed cultural safe space.                                        BRAIDS_02BRAIDS_03BRAIDS_04BRAIDS_05BRAIDS_06BRAIDS_07BRAIDS_08BRAIDS_09BRAIDS_10BRAIDS_11BRAIDS_12BRAIDS_13BRAIDS_14BRAIDS_15BRAIDS_16BRAIDS_17BRAIDS_18BRAIDS_19