Denise Ho holds virtual concert, claims HKAC reversed refund decision

Hong Kong singer Denise Ho held an online concert on 12 September after the Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) terminated her reservation agreement less than two weeks before the event in late August. Although HKAC agreed to refund the reservation fee before, it reversed this decision later as HKAC accused Ho of breaching the terms and conditions.  Ho uploaded a letter from HKAC on 10 September, which wrote HKAC "strenuously denied" Ho's allegation of HKAC's breach of agreement. It added, "You have no basis to claim any loss and damage against us."

HKAC also said Ho had acted in breach of the terms of conditions of the agreement and committed a repudiatory breach of the agreement. In response to the letter, Ho said on her Facebook page, "They did not offer any concrete reason to prove us we had breached the terms and conditions. Does reason not have a place in Hong Kong anymore? Can signed contracts be cancelled at any time without any legal liability?"

She added that the incident offered a very bad precedent as an organisation can decide whether someone is guilty or innocent based on that person’s name alone.

According to a previous Facebook post by Goomusic, clause 22(c) states that if the hirer fails to observe or perform any of the provisions of these terms and conditions or in circumstances where public order or public safety would be endangered during the course of the performance, the manager may, without notice, cancel the confirmed booking and terminate the hiring of the hired venue. Goomusic said the centre did not provide additional information as to why the concert was cancelled. After scrutinising the content of the event and published materials, Goomusic said the concert was definitely not endangering public order and safety, and did not go against any laws. 

Reuters reported that the cancellation of Ho's show came shortly after Ho was accused by pro-Beijing newspapers of collaborating with foreign powers "to undermine China and the former British colony". Reuters added that Ho is a vocal supporter of the anti-government in 2019 and is banned in China.

(Photo courtesy: Denise Ho's Facebook)

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