25th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Tin Hau Temple, located in the serene surroundings of Clear Water Bay, became the backdrop for a wild rave party that took place last Saturday night. The event drew nearly a hundred partygoers who revelled to the beats of thumping music and mesmerizing light displays. However, this unlicensed outdoor gathering quickly caught the attention of nearby residents who complained about the disruptive noise and disturbance of the tranquil countryside. Worries about potential safety and security hazards have arisen among local council members, while some villagers expressed their outrage, perceiving the party as disrespectful to their deities.
Around 11pm last Saturday, while passing by the entrance of The Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club, a witness heard loud music emanating from the vicinity of Tin Hau Temple, situated just across the public pier. Curiosity led a local media reporter to investigate, only to discover approximately 100 individuals camping on the open ground, engrossed in merriment and dancing.
The music was deafening, resonating through the surroundings. Four men dressed in black stood guard on the stone steps leading to the temple, resembling nightclub bouncers. A red laser light illuminated the temple’s exterior, creating an enchanting atmosphere. When approached by a local media reporter, the men in black questioned the purpose of the visit, to which the reporter explained receiving complaints about noise disturbance from local residents. In response, they promised to lower the volume. When asked about the large gathering and the nature of the event, one person responded cryptically, saying it was for a “film shoot.” Another female staff member arrived and clarified that it was a private gathering celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival and sunrise. She reiterated their intention to minimise the noise. However, when the reporter attempted to enter the open ground for further coverage, the men in black prevented them from doing so.
Later, the local media reporter interviewed a woman who had just left the party outside the gates of the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club. She revealed that she had learned about the party through an online acquaintance and that the entrance fee was US$50 per person, with attendees responsible for bringing their own drinks. This was her first time attending such an event at this location. Security personnel from the nearby club confirmed that the parties had been occurring every few months. The reporter also reached out to the temple for clarification, and the temple’s caretaker acknowledged the event, stating that the music was indeed loud but denied any damage to the temple.
Legislative Council member Elizabeth Quat expressed concern regarding the safety and legality of these wild rave parties. She learned from villagers that the land in question is government-owned and questioned the legitimacy of the event. Villagers, upon learning about the gathering, felt outraged, considering it a disrespectful act towards their deities. Quat revealed that similar events had taken place in Lobster Bay, Sai Kung, in the past, resulting in complaints from villagers and subsequent crackdowns by law enforcement agencies. She was worried that holding such parties near the seaside could lead to incidents of drunkenness, drug use, altercations, or even accidents if individuals under the influence lost their footing and fell into the sea. If the parties were to be held legally, proper applications to the authorities should be made.
In response to media queries, a spokesperson from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department stated that no public entertainment license applications had been received for public events held at the mentioned time and location. The department will investigate the matter and take appropriate action if any violations are found.