People crave for live shows as the pandemic situation eases.
By Lilac Ye
University student Wu Sio Fong is dying to go to live performances as the pandemic situation eases. He has bought 13 tickets for concerts from November 2022 to May 2023.
Wu went to Dear Jane’s concert in November 2022, four Hins Cheung’s concerts,and two Eason Chan’s concerts in December 2022 and January 2023.
Attending Sky Tour at the Hong Kong Space Museum in December 2022, Wu also went to Ivana Wong’s show in December 2022 and Gigi Leung Wing-kei’s concert in February 2023.
He will go to Leslie Cheung’s anniversary concert on April 1, 2023, Sam Hui’s concert on April 7, 2023, and another Ivana Wong’s show on May 13, 2023.
The last live show Wu watched was Jacky Cheung Hok-yau’s concert in Macau in 2018.
“I really love live concerts. I love sitting in crowds and singing with other concert-goers in a stadium. I miss live activities so much,” Wu, who has not been to any live shows since 2018, says.
“Singers usually do heart-to-heart talks during concerts. They sound so sincere that I feel so touched. As a fan, I feel like I am a friend of the singer. The quality of music is much better at live concerts as well, as professional audio equipment is used. I can only have this experience at live concerts,” Wu says.
Wu bought a ticket for Hins Cheung’s concert in January 2022 but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
“I used to take going to live performances for granted, but the pandemic has taught me otherwise,” he says.
Another university student Liu Minxing shares Wu’s passion for live performances. She went to 12 live performances from December 2022 to February 2023.
The rap show lover went to three shows in Chengdu in December 2022. She also went to Shenzhen and Zhuhai for two other shows in February 2023.
“I really want to go to live shows because I love these rappers and the vibes at live performances. Everyone yells and jumps to the music,” Liu says.
She spent RMB ¥480 (US $69.3) to buy a VIP ticket for a live show of a Chinese rapper, Knowknow, in Chengdu in December 2022.
“VIPs have the chance to meet the rapper closer than others in person. Knowknow took my phone and started filming during the live show!” Liu recalls.
“Online shows can never replace live shows. I never manage to finish watching a whole online concert. I just give up after watching a few minutes because it is boring. Interactions between the stars and the audience is the highlight of live performances.”
Liu also loves live concerts and plays. This year, she went to concerts by Eason Chan and Sunset Rollercoaster in January, watched three plays in Shenzhen in February, and attended a meet-up session featuring movie artists from Someday or One Day in Hong Kong in the same month.
“Live performances’ venue settings, visual impact, stage and lighting designs, as well as live acting and singing, cannot be replaced by other forms of presentation,” Liu says.
“Being present in a live performance sometimes makes me feel like I am part of the show. That is the magic of a live show,” she adds.
Assistant professor Karim Bettache at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Social Science says experiencing lockdown is a trigger for people to seek social contacts.
“People buy many more tickets to engage in such social events because they are way more special than before. Many of us fear that in the future, lockdowns may come back. Therefore, many try to enjoy life to the fullest now that things are opening up again,” Battache says.
“To be socially isolated for so long and in so many ways has been quite unnatural and historically unique to us as human beings,” he adds.
Edited by Lily Wang
Sub-edited by Lesley Lam