Amid the ongoing pro-democracy protests, a tennis tournament and a London musical are the latest events postponed in Hong Kong over safety concerns. As more rallies and protests are expected in the coming days, several events such as K-pop concerts, Chanel fashion shows, and international conferences have been cancelled, postponed or moved out of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, to ensure the safety of performers and audience.
Organizers informed that Hong Kong Open women’s tennis tournament scheduled on October 5-13, to be held at Victoria Park, was postponed indefinitely on Friday. Since most of the protesters gathered at the Victoria Park, organizers decided to postpone the event to keep things less chaotic.
Earlier this week, Protesters booed the Chinese national anthem and chanted slogans against the government for their cause, in the stands at the World Cup soccer qualifier match held between Hong Kong and Iran. However, all requests by Iran for a venue change has been declined.
London West End musical “Matilda”, that was to open on September 20 at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, has been called off by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions. Sadly the 14 weeks of civil unrest in Hong Kong have decimated ticket sales, and more importantly we cannot guarantee the safety and wellbeing of our international company, which comprises a large number of young children,” CEO James Cundall said in a statement. He said he hopes the show can be staged next year.
The protests held in Hong Kong began over an extradition bill that would have allowed some criminal suspects to be sent to China for trial. Chinese People saw this opportunity as an example of Hong Kong’s autonomy eroding since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Ever since the protests occurred, more than 1,300 people have been arrested, which have further degraded Hong Kong’s economy reeling under the U.S.-China trade war. Tourism has declined and businesses have been hit by the protests that show no signs of abating.
(With inputs from AP)