Introducing Justin Sweeting: Musical Director and Co-founder of Hong Kong’s annual Music & Arts Festival, Clockenflap.
DB: 你创建Clockenflap的主要动机是什么？你当时有预料到它会发展成今天的样子吗？What were your main motivations for starting Clockenflap and did you anticipate at the time that it would grow to be what it is today?
We wanted to make a positive difference in the city and rather than complain about the lack of festivals, decided to put our energies to creating one. The vision for Clockenflap hasn’t changed since day one, though the scale has and I couldn’t honestly say that that was the original plan! We just focused on doing the best job we could for each edition and let the growth progress organically.
DB: 你们有什么特别的活动来庆祝这个节日的第十周年纪念吗？Do you have anything special in store to celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary?
You’ll just have to come along to see for yourself, as that’s the thing about festivals – you have to be there in person to get the most out of it.
DB: 你觉得香港作为创造节日独特氛围的城市，发挥了什么样的作用？What role do you feel that Hong Kong as a location plays in creating the festival’s unique vibe?
The city is a key player in the whole shebang! In many ways the event mirrors what we love about the city – a blend of East meets West, the juxtaposition of new and old. The brand is really the coming together of the whole kaleidoscope of Clockenflap experience offerings of all that we hold so dear – music, art, food, family, friends, silliness and more, all set against HK’s luminous, iconic skyline. Just can’t beat that backdrop!
DB: 全世界各地的人来享受这个节日，但是Clockenflap 如何造福本地？People come from all over the world to enjoy the festival, but how does Clockenflap benefit the local community?
The festival occupies a really important place within the scene here locally. HK has a low glass ceiling for artists and there isn’t the natural infrastructure for them to progress in the way they would in more developed music cities. The festival helps provide an otherwise missing step on the ladder, and a rare platform opportunity to play to crowds who we hope will fall in love with their new favourite band and go see them at their own show afterwards. We’re working away to one day having a local band headline the main stage. That’s the dream. For the audience, the festival is a rare chance to all come together and celebrate creativity and humanity basically. Festivals historically go back to pagan times and that desire to collectively meet and enjoy a shared experience is a very raw human need, which we provide, in a gloriously silly way. There’s no other event whch is the same in HK in terms of the unity of people across all ages, demographics and races. It’s beautiful.
DB: 我想问……你是怎么想出这个名字的，它是什么意思？I have to ask… How did you come up with the name and what does it mean?
Plucked from the madness of our Artistic Director’s brain! We basically wanted a name which was unique and memorable. Which could stand for only one thing, and that thing being the ‘experience’ that is our brand. We also wanted something that sounds ridiculous. So Clockenflap ticks all those boxes!
DB: 你认为亚洲音乐有什么独特之处？Clockenflap 能如何促进亚洲音乐在全世界的发展？In your opinion, what do you think is special about Asian music and how does Clockenflap help to promote Asian music worldwide?
多年来，这个节日已经成为地区人才真正展示的平台，也是我们从一开始就作为特色的地方。我们非常想成为最好的展示亚洲音乐的地方。从我们门口的天才中学习经验才有意义。这个节日邀请并享受世界主要行业成员的来访。当然，还有来自各地的粉丝和媒体。所以，不断推进的表演的益处和定位是十分强大的。Over the years, the festival has become a true showcase for regional talent, and something we’ve featured since the very beginning. We very much want to be a place where the best of Asia can be represented. It only makes sense to draw from the fantastic talent at our doorstep. The festival both invites as well as enjoys visits from key industry members from around the world, along of course with fans and media from all over. So the benefits and positioning for the acts involved moving forwards is strong.
DB: 阵容每年都会更加强大，2017的阵容也延续了这一传统，今年我们可以看到哪些人？The line-ups have been bigger and better each year and the 2017 line-up has continued in this tradition. Who are the ones to watch this year?
Thanks! All the artists are there for a reason and everything at the festival is curated to the nth degree. We cover a lot of ground with the programme and the focus is delivering a lineup which can be both accessible and inspirational to a broad audience group, whilst being cohesive throughout. It’s really hard for me to pick out any individuals – they’re all included precisely because they’re all ones to watch.
DB: 最后，你对今年的节日观众最好的建议是什么？Finally, what is your best tip for this year’s festival-goers?
Come early, stay late and always keep an open mind for discovery. You will be rewarded!