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Music to Hong Kong’s ears

An event organiser and promoter brought to Hong Kong the most famous annual music festival Clockenflap, which is in its ninth year, and more

Mike Hill, CEO, explained that being from the UK where music festivals are an important part of cultural development, he and his business partner felt Clockenflap “was something Hong Kong needed, and wanted.”

Music to Hong Kong’s ears

And they were right. What started out as a side project grew from a modest one-day gathering of 1,500 local music lovers in 2008 to a three-day extravaganza attracting some 60,000 local and overseas visitors last year. Top-class performers who have shared the stage of Clockenflap with local talent over the years include New Order, The Libertines, Primal Scream, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Franz Ferdinand and De La Soul.

Doors Opening Up

With the success of Clockenflap came other opportunities. Faced with the challenge of ticketing, Hill made use of his expertise as the owner of a technology company to create Ticketflap, which has become one of the top four ticketing businesses in Hong Kong. While searching for help in digital marketing, Magnetic Asia struggled to identify an agency with the know-how and insights to properly evaluate the effectiveness of its online activity through data analysis, so it created one.

With an integrated range of capabilities, not only has the company been able to sell out 95 percent of the events it organises and promotes, it is also offering its service to other event managers.

Turning Up the Volume

Despite the diversification of Magnetic Asia as a business, music remains close to its heart. It has created more events for different audiences, including Neon Lights, a spinoff of Clockenflap in Singapore that is in its second year. Then there is YourMum, a live show series that brings the finest talent on a regular basis to Hong Kong, and matches them with suitable venues and top-grade production support throughout. Morrissey is one of the most notable names featured in 2016. Scheduled for an April 2017 debut in Hong Kong is Sónar, the legendary electronic music and arts festival hailing from Barcelona. Since its creation in 1994, Sónar has established itself at the cutting edge of the electronic music landscape, and is widely considered the world’s most respected event of its kind.

The company usually maintains a staff of 25 to 30, but at peak times, the number can grow to 60. Employees range from marketers and event producers to digital professionals and software engineers.

Having lived in Hong Kong for 17 years, Hill cited the opportunities the city presents as the reason he has decided to stay. “There is a real can-do attitude in Hong Kong; people support you, it’s really positive. There is a great network of people and friends, and amazing quality of life.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

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Fast Facts

  • Founded on the success of Clockenflap music festival, whose audience grew from 1,500 in 2008 to some 60,000 over three days last year
  • Business has expanded to encompass event management, ticketing and digital marketing

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