Justin Sweeting @ Clockenflap

in Festival Guru's Talk/Music

Justin Sweeting

Justin Sweeting

Music Director
@ Clockenflap Music & Arts Festival

[pukka_dropcap style=”” txt_color=”White” bg_color=”Black” size=””]I[/pukka_dropcap]f we are going to talk about the highest ranking music festivals in Hong Kong, then Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival is surely going to be high up on the list. Clockenflap was founded by Jay Forster, Mike Hill and Justin Sweeting in 2008, and ever since its very first show, the performance line-ups and stage productions are constantly perfected and of top-notch quality. In 2013, Clockenflap became a three-day long event, and on the very first day of the festival, there was already a stunning total of 20,000 entries, earning its name as 2013’s ‘Hong Kong’s most anticipated and high-profile outdoor music festival’. We had the honour of talking to Justin Sweeting, co-founder of Clockenflap, about the festival.

Sweeting described the three-day long extravaganza as a “magical weekend”, as Clockenflap meant more to him than merely a music festival. “We created Clockenflap to give people a ‘Clockenflap experience’, and compiled the elements of life that we held most dear to ourselves: music, art, people, scrumptious food, the laughter of people around us, spending time with our families, and so many more. We wanted to re-create the perfect weekend right here in Hong Kong”. It had already been nine years since the founding of Clockenflap. Sweeting stated that he had originally started out in the music industry, and to some extent, the hardships he had experienced then prompted him to seek for people with similar thoughts, and to create a music festival altogether. That was when he decided to deviate away from what people back home were doing. “The first step will naturally lead to the second step, and I am learning and absorbing constantly. I love what I do, and who I work with, and when everything comes together the way it does, being passionate towards life and what I work for becomes the only natural thing I would do”.

Fans, musicians and producers have Clockenflap on the top of their annual ‘to-go’ list. Behind the steady increasing glory and success, Sweeting claims that producing a successful music festival is not a hefty goal, but instead, he sees it as a legitimate demand: “There is something materialistic behind all this. I think about how we can get a certain message out through music in a sincere way, and how we can encourage and reach out to our audience and performers through our experiences. I want to also place emphasis on sustainability, both economically and environmentally, because a successful music festival should be well-balanced and considerate both in the spotlight and backstage, for example on crowd management, ground facilities and its organisation. Making everybody happy should be the most important and ideal outcome”. Each country has its own unique culture and traditions, however, music is the universal language that bridges differences. Music from all around the world is beginning to rise, and the culture of music festivals is also starting to materialise. As Sweeting had stated, this does not merely represent music, but it also represents the experience – one that deserves applaud and recognition from a global audience.

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Clockenflap 2015 by Chris Lusher 0485
Clockenflap Hong Kong Music & Arts Festival
25th-27th November, 2016
Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong