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No, Regina Ip, you’re not getting it.

Your idea to “lure” artists like Taylor Swift and/or Beyoncé to Hong Kong to “boost the economy” might seem like a wonderful idea to some- and pretty naive and goofy to others. 

It’s okay for people to throw around ideas, but what’s happening in Hong Kong these days is everyone coming up with more and more supposedly new ideas and running these up the flagpole and seeing who salutes. 

Few do. But why? 

Maybe because there are still old eyes floating around that got buried in the clutter of their being too many cooks around and not enough meals being cooked but not served?

As we have seen over the past two years, there are those campaigns to “relaunch” Hong Kong or to attract tourism or to sell more dim sum or shed some “night vibes” or maybe even switch off the lights and go to sleep.

No matter what has been said, most of these ideas- and let’s not forget the penchant for extremely expensive fireworks displays when everything else fails-have pretty much fallen on deaf ears.

Most are seen as extremely expensive ideas in futility, because they are not thought through enough. It’s knee-jerk reaction stuff with more than a whiff of self promotional grandstanding.

As for those in Hong Kong with proven track records in music marketing and knowledge and experience the global entertainment business, who have not even been consulted for their advice? Why not?

Is this sheer arrogance, ignorance or part of the DIY world that has sprung up? 

For instance, together with Norman Cheng, below, we have run two of the biggest global music companies in the region- Universal and EMI Music. 

Over the years, Norman has signed up some of the biggest names in Chinese music- Teresa Teng, Jacky Cheung, Sam Hui, Faye Wong etc whereas I have written music for these artists, created the term Canto Pop when writing for the leading American music trade publication Billboard, and worked with international artists and entrepreneurs like Simon Fuller whose 19 Management included Spice Girls, David Beckham, and which owned and created the “Idol” franchise. 

Norman and I were a very successful international tag team that worked with the management companies of Robbie Williams, Norah Jones, Coldplay and others. 

For myself, creating the Happy Wednesday brand for the Hong Kong Jockey Club and running this until last year was a personal triumph. 

If I do say so myself, it’s an interesting and impressive curriculum vitae. 

Of course, Regina Ip is a very well respected lawmaker, and with decades of experience on her side in how Hong Kong operates. 

One presumes that so do all the others who are talking about this and that and going here and there to get something up and running and, hopefully, finally getting somewhere as many in Hong Kong believe that the wheels have come off the city. 

Post pandemic Hong Kong in 2024 is a city suffering- suffering from the depression of economic gloom, a real estate market in turmoil, a stock market that takes those who bank on it on a topsy turvy wild ride that leaves many clutching at straws and being easy marks for those who prey on the financial and emotional weaknesses of others. 

As for the idea of concerts by Taylor Swift and/or Beyoncé helping the Hong Kong economy, how does this work- especially when one thinks of the premium insurance involved and many promoters bringing up what can only be described as The Mirror Show incident involving one of the dancers.

Another question: Did the financial fiasco that was HarbourFest help Hong Kong become a tourist destination after the SARS crisis? 

Aren’t there still unanswered questions about this event and its cast of shadowy characters who oftentimes remind some of us as episode of the “Twilight Zone”?

Speaking of which, Hong Kong was captured by aliens and taken to a different Twilight Zone by actually turning the city into something that’s often as weird as a series of Far Side cartoons and which we’re trying to understand where we fit in. 

Often, it’s as if we’re spectators in a game of life where we’re part of a Fawlty Towers type of freak show. 

Nah, Regina Ip, one off concerts by Taylor Swift or Beyoncé are going to do nothing for Hong Kong.

Too many things during the reign of terror of the desperate housewife and former Chief Executive was allowed to carry on into the depths of darkness without the woman’s scattered management skills being reined in. 

We’re now paying for those years of following blindly and by perhaps being over-eager to show that we have solutions. 

Maybe we do, but there’s a need for focus, a strategy, and then, something of a new organisation where those with the expertise are given the freedom to do what they do best. 

Right now, the left hand doesn’t seem to know what the right hand is doing and which means there’s only the sound of one hand clapping. 

But whose hand is it?

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