Nightlife in the region is slowly restarting after the coronavirus crisis. Clubs are currently open in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and parts of Japan. Hygiene measures such as temperature checks are in effect. So far, venues in these countries say turnout has been solid. Due to complex travel rules that ban most foreign nationals, promoters and bookers have no choice but to focus on local lineups until restrictions loosen. In the absence of international acts, it’s hoped that crowds will get better acquainted with on-the-ground offerings. That could increase demand for domestic talents once global bookings resume and equalise the playing field.
Asia’s underground DJ crews command a loyal troupe of followers that’s steadily increased in recent years but most don’t expect a packed room on normal nights. “We never know how well local events will do,” explains the Thai artist DOTT, cofounder of Bangkok-based More Rice Records that champions Asian producers. “If it’s something special, like a collaboration between different promoters, turnout is good, but otherwise it’s a gamble each time.”
In Hong Kong, there is a clear “lack of interest by the local crowd,” say the team at 宀, a two year-old club that’s pronounced “Mihn.” “Believe it or not, in a city of seven million it is still hard to fill up our 100-capacity club twice a week.”