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HARBOUR FEST 2017!
HARBOUR FEST 2017!
Published: 2017/06/08
Channel: UBER 757
Rolling Stones - Harbour Fest Hong Kong November 7 2003
Rolling Stones - Harbour Fest Hong Kong November 7 2003
Published: 2013/04/05
Channel: Benniken
Harbourfest 2016 | John Ahi
Harbourfest 2016 | John Ahi
Published: 2016/08/02
Channel: John Ahi
Carmichaels Capture Kenora Harbourfest
Carmichaels Capture Kenora Harbourfest
Published: 2015/02/17
Channel: Duncan Carmichael Real Estate Brokerage
Hanging out at Harbour fest and the carshow in Kenora August long!
Hanging out at Harbour fest and the carshow in Kenora August long!
Published: 2016/08/08
Channel: Darren Charron
HARBOUR FEST! (Vlog 19)
HARBOUR FEST! (Vlog 19)
Published: 2016/07/18
Channel: Ciara Hillyer
Shelter Cove Harbour Fest
Shelter Cove Harbour Fest
Published: 2015/05/17
Channel: boomkinc
HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina
HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina
Published: 2017/05/07
Channel: Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Harbourfest Houseboating Trip 2014 - Lake of the Woods - 1080p HD GoPro
Harbourfest Houseboating Trip 2014 - Lake of the Woods - 1080p HD GoPro
Published: 2015/01/03
Channel: Braeden Arseny
Harbour Fest 2014 HD
Harbour Fest 2014 HD
Published: 2014/12/10
Channel: Gladstone Festivals & Events
Harbourfest 2013 highlight reel
Harbourfest 2013 highlight reel
Published: 2013/08/05
Channel: kenoraonline
HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour
HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour
Published: 2012/10/08
Channel: Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Harbourfest 2013 Saturday night
Harbourfest 2013 Saturday night
Published: 2013/08/04
Channel: kenoraonline
Circomeida Bristol Harbour Fest 2016
Circomeida Bristol Harbour Fest 2016
Published: 2016/07/19
Channel: Alex Talks Photo
Wick Harbour Fest 2012
Wick Harbour Fest 2012
Published: 2012/06/16
Channel: Lee Gunn
Shannon Tanner at Shelter Cove HarbourFest
Shannon Tanner at Shelter Cove HarbourFest
Published: 2015/07/20
Channel: Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Sweet...Fox on The Run Kenora, ON....Harbourfest
Sweet...Fox on The Run Kenora, ON....Harbourfest
Published: 2013/08/03
Channel: Don Matlock
Harbourfest 2013 Friday night
Harbourfest 2013 Friday night
Published: 2013/08/03
Channel: kenoraonline
Barry Walsh Band @ Bristol Harbour Fest 2014
Barry Walsh Band @ Bristol Harbour Fest 2014
Published: 2014/07/20
Channel: 4flatfeet
Harbourfest 2013 Sunday night
Harbourfest 2013 Sunday night
Published: 2013/08/05
Channel: kenoraonline
HarbourFest Fireworks
HarbourFest Fireworks
Published: 2016/07/26
Channel: Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Celebrating 27 Years of HarbourFest!
Celebrating 27 Years of HarbourFest!
Published: 2016/05/26
Channel: Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Bristol Harbour Fest
Bristol Harbour Fest
Published: 2016/07/18
Channel: Harriet Murray
Harbour Fest Swindon 2016
Harbour Fest Swindon 2016
Published: 2016/10/22
Channel: Copper Bottom Media
Rivers - Passenger ft Lior (Hayley Streeter Cover) - Gladstone Harbour fest 2013
Rivers - Passenger ft Lior (Hayley Streeter Cover) - Gladstone Harbour fest 2013
Published: 2013/03/28
Channel: Hayley Streeter
Kenora Harbourfest Social Media Promo
Kenora Harbourfest Social Media Promo
Published: 2017/02/06
Channel: Nufuzion Design
Wick HarbourFest June 2007
Wick HarbourFest June 2007
Published: 2007/06/27
Channel: GrandmaDig
Harbourfest 2014
Harbourfest 2014
Published: 2015/03/05
Channel: 5151stang
Bristol Fireworks Harbour Fest 2013
Bristol Fireworks Harbour Fest 2013
Published: 2013/07/27
Channel: Steve Bartlett
You
You're Making My Dreams Come True | Harbourfest 2015
Published: 2015/03/28
Channel: Tufts HKSA
Bristol Harbour Fest Part 2 - The Funfair, July 21st 2012
Bristol Harbour Fest Part 2 - The Funfair, July 21st 2012
Published: 2012/07/26
Channel: Holeinthewall Media
Harbour Fest 13
Harbour Fest 13
Published: 2013/06/22
Channel: William Jardine
Pugwash HarbourFest - Come Sail with Us.
Pugwash HarbourFest - Come Sail with Us.
Published: 2010/08/19
Channel: HARBOURFEST
Kenora Harbourfest Fireworks Finale
Kenora Harbourfest Fireworks Finale
Published: 2012/08/06
Channel: Garry Stewart
Mike McKenna Jr - Little Things (Live at Lunenburg Folk Harbour Fest)
Mike McKenna Jr - Little Things (Live at Lunenburg Folk Harbour Fest)
Published: 2016/11/03
Channel: Mike McKenna Jr
North Shore - Love Me Dead (Ludo Cover - Live at Harbourfest 2015)
North Shore - Love Me Dead (Ludo Cover - Live at Harbourfest 2015)
Published: 2017/02/19
Channel: North Shore
Splendid Fireworks - Part 3 - Harbour Fest,Bristol
Splendid Fireworks - Part 3 - Harbour Fest,Bristol
Published: 2008/08/03
Channel: smillyricha
Harbourfest 2014: Chopsticks Promo
Harbourfest 2014: Chopsticks Promo
Published: 2014/03/24
Channel: Tufts HKSA
Saturday at Harbourfest
Saturday at Harbourfest
Published: 2012/08/04
Channel: kenoraonline
Buckcherry lit up at harbourfest
Buckcherry lit up at harbourfest
Published: 2012/08/06
Channel: Randy Hiebert
Wick Harbourfest 2012, Kongsberg/EnergyHunt/Marine5 Underwater Camera PTZ Demo
Wick Harbourfest 2012, Kongsberg/EnergyHunt/Marine5 Underwater Camera PTZ Demo
Published: 2013/05/02
Channel: Marine5Ltd
RNLI Minehead Harbour Fest Fireworks 2015
RNLI Minehead Harbour Fest Fireworks 2015
Published: 2015/10/01
Channel: Ben Embling
Bristol Harbour Fest tilt shift lens effect 2012
Bristol Harbour Fest tilt shift lens effect 2012
Published: 2012/07/22
Channel: Jerry Short
Harbour Fest Band Plays At Wake Forest OktoberFest Benefits http://www.gjcae.org
Harbour Fest Band Plays At Wake Forest OktoberFest Benefits http://www.gjcae.org
Published: 2008/10/31
Channel: Bob Johnson
'I Am Horse' Harbour Fest August 2014
Published: 2015/01/22
Channel: Iamhorsemusic
Bristol Harbour Fest Part 1 - Queen Sq, July 21st 2012
Bristol Harbour Fest Part 1 - Queen Sq, July 21st 2012
Published: 2012/07/26
Channel: Holeinthewall Media
Harbourfest Fireworks from GT
Harbourfest Fireworks from GT's on the Beach at Port Stanley, Ontario
Published: 2016/08/11
Channel: Magical Port Stanley
Harbourfest 2013 Car Show
Harbourfest 2013 Car Show
Published: 2013/08/05
Channel: kenoraonline
Bristol harbour fest 2016
Bristol harbour fest 2016
Published: 2016/07/17
Channel: Lucy Fellick
Sweet Kenora, ON Harbourfest
Sweet Kenora, ON Harbourfest
Published: 2013/08/03
Channel: Don Matlock
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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The Hong Kong Harbour Fest (Chinese: 維港巨星匯), held from 17 October to 11 November 2003, was part of a HK$10 million program to revive the economy of Hong Kong SAR after the SARS. It was a government underwritten event organised by InvestHK, under the auspices of the Economic Relaunch Working Group, in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce.[1] The event was billed as "a dazzling series of live shows catering to all tastes and ages, encompassing rock n' roll, family entertainment, blues and jazz, classical, theatrical performances and a Vegas Night,"[2] Its organisation, which resulted in massive cost overruns, was heavily criticised.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

In its efforts to rebuild Hong Kong's image after the SARS outbreak, the government asked Legco for and obtained approval for a HK$1 billion package to finance certain initiatives. However, the government was criticised for not revealing how the money would be spent.[3]

The event was agreed upon by the Economic Relaunch Working Group ("ERWG"), which was led by the then financial secretary Antony Leung. Jim Thompson of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) proposed a three-week waterfront music extravaganza, and concerts by popular local and international acts.[4]

Project and rationale[edit]

Harbour Fest would be organised by AmCham, who would retain future rights to the event name; the government underwrote the project. The organisers initially estimated the festival would cost HK$130 million to stage. They said it will raise HK$50 million assuming half of the 200,000 tickets were sold. Any shortfall would be met by taxpayers.[5] The ERWG agreed to a HK$80 million "sponsorship fee and money to underwrite losses of the festival".[4]

It was billed as "a dazzling series of live shows catering to all tastes and ages, encompassing rock n' roll, family entertainment, blues and jazz, classical, theatrical performances and a Vegas Night", to be staged outdoors at Admiralty's Tamar site over four weekends, from 17 October to 9 November 2003. A large concert stage would be erected, with reserved seating for up to 13,000 people per show. In excess of 200,000 tickets would be made available for the entire event.[2]

The declared objective was to attract people from North America, Europe and other countries in the region back to Hong Kong, with the Walt Disney Company screening a one-hour highlights package of the concerts in the United States over Christmas 2003.[5]

Performance roster[edit]

Roster
Date (in 2003) Performers
17 October Prince, Karen Mok
18 October  
18 October Craig David
19 October  
20 October José Carreras, Charlotte Church, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
24 October t.A.T.u., Twins
25 October Westlife, Energy, Evonne Hsu
26 October Air Supply, Eason Chan, Ronald Cheng
30 October Gipsy Kings, Danny Diaz, Lee Hyori
31 October Gigi Leung, Yumiko Cheng, Boy'z, Candy Lo, Shine, Seven
1 November Santana, Andy Hui
2 November Gary Valenciano
6 November Neil Young, Michelle Branch
7 November Rolling Stones
9 November Rolling Stones

Although Prince attracted 11,000 people, attendance at other shows was poor.[4] On 7 November and 9 November 2003, the Rolling Stones played their first ever concerts in Hong Kong, as part of Harbour Fest.

Controversies[edit]

This cost was criticised by legislators and critics as too expensive. The underwriting cost soon went up to HK$100 million.[4] The Democratic Party surveyed 900 members of the public, and established that more than 50% of the polled believe the government was wasting public money on the Harbour Fest,[6] and Ma Lik said the government appeared to act as if it had received carte blanche.[3]

On 21 October, AmCham announced that previously billed Cantopop artists Andy Hui, Joey Yung and Nicholas Tse would no longer appear due to artists prior commitments. The artists' agent, Emperor Entertainment Group, however, alleges that AmCham had dropped them from the billings.[7]

The organisers then decided to give away tickets for the concert which was to have featured Atomic Kitten, which dropped out due to illness of singer Natasha Hamilton. The distribution of free tickets to see the remaining acts Twins and t.A.T.u. was marred by scuffles at outlets which saw tickets snapped up within 30 minutes. Many hundreds who had queued up for many hours were furious.[8]

The appearance of Rolling Stones was shrouded in confusion until 14 October, when their two nights at the festival were finally confirmed. They were reportedly paid US$5 million for the concerts.[9]

Aftermath[edit]

Independent inquiry[edit]

An Independent Panel of Inquiry headed by Moses Cheng was commissioned to review and investigate the handling of the Harbour Fest, and a report of the Harbour Fest was issued in May 2004.[10]

Public Accounts Committee report[edit]

In June 2004, a Legislative Council Public Accounts Committee report criticised InvestHK for improper stewardship of taxpayers' money over the organisation of Harbour Fest music festival, a post-SARS event held in an attempt to restore business confidence in Hong Kong. Rowse was charged with five offences:

  • failure to introduce provisions to give the Government power of approval over program and budget changes
  • failure to provide refund in a sponsorship agreement with the American Chamber of Commerce for events not held, and for the Chamber to regularly report on progress, and to consult with Government on ticketing strategy
  • failure to review ticket pricing strategy and free ticket distribution
  • failure to establish a mechanism for InvestHK to scrutinise budget and expenditure of the event

Rowse was held responsible only for the fifth charge of failing to ensure that InvestHK critically examine the HarbourFest budget, and fully and adequately advise the working group on the finances. Consequently, he was fined one month's salary when the government made a ruling in October 2005.[11]

He appealed, but on 26 January 2007, Chief Secretary Rafael Hui confirmed the October 2005 ruling, and the consequential fine. A member of Legco criticised the fact that there have been more reports of the disciplinary hearings in the media than to Legco.[12] Legislator Cheung Man Kwong criticised the government for making Rowse a scapegoat for ministerial failure: "...ministers, including the Finance chief, only apologised without any punishment". Another one questioned the political motivation : "How come the timing of the decision against the appeal is so coincidental [with the election for the Chief Executive]?".[13]

Appeal[edit]

During an Economic Relaunch Working Group meeting on 31 October 2003 and during an independent inquiry in May 2004, then financial secretary Henry Tang is alleged to have said Michael Rowse, Director General of InvestHK, had not acted improperly and that there had been no irregularity in the implementation of the event.[14] Tang had also said that all parties had underestimated the complexity of the event and may have been too ambitious in organising it in such a short timespan. He later withdrew the remark: just before a government inquiry opened on November 2004, Tang requested the ERWG minutes be deleted.[14] Rowse's counsel argued for the appeal saying his client's case was prejudiced as he had been denied legal representation.

Court ruling[edit]

In July 2008, Rowse has won his judicial review against the government's decision to fine him HK$156,000 for his role in organising Harbour Fest.[15] The judge found there to have been a breach of the rule of fairness: as the threshold of the burden of proof was not sufficiently high, the committee's findings should not have been relied on by the Secretary for the civil service. He further ruled that Donald Tsang had acted outside his powers in deciding to delegate his decision under the administration order to the Chief Secretary.[16]

See also[edit]

Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, a similar event held in Toronto, Canada to revive the economy after SARS.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Concerts meant to revive economy". The Standard. Hong Kong. 26 February 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Press release, "HK gets ready to rock!", InvestHK, 3 September 2003
  3. ^ a b Ma Lik (20 September 2003). "Think outside the box-office". The Standard. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d Marcal Joanilho (1 November 2003). "Three-week road to hell for unlucky Jim". The Standard. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Paris Lord (4 September 2003). "It's terrific Tamar". The Standard. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  6. ^ Teddy Ng (16 September 2003). "Harbour Fest waste of money: survey". The Standard. Hong Kong. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  7. ^ Paris Lord (22 October 2003). "Harbour Fest hit by Cantopop row". The Standard. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  8. ^ "Fury at free tickets farce". The Standard. 24 October 2003. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  9. ^ Paris Lord (15 October 2003). "Stones back on bill after contract claim". The Standard. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  10. ^ Report of the Independent Panel of Inquiry on the Harbour Fest, May 2004
  11. ^ Jimmy Cheung; Dennis Eng (9 February 2007). "Rowse punished for Harbour Fest failures". South China Morning Post. 
  12. ^ Martin Wong; Klaudia Lee (28 January 2007). "Rowse to fight on over Fest penalty". South China Morning Post. p. 3. 
  13. ^ Jimmy Cheung (28 January 2007). "Lawmakers challenge Rowse punishment". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. p. 1. 
  14. ^ a b Nishika Patel, Rowse seeks to have music fest verdict quashed, The Standard, 26 February 2008
  15. ^ Regina Leung (4 July 2008). "Mike Rowse wins judicial review". South China Morning Post. 
  16. ^ Christine Loh (10 July 2008). "A matter of principle". South China Morning Post. pp. A15. 

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