The 2018 edition of Le French May promises to be jam packed with more than 120 exciting programmes across two months, showcasing artistic mastery in theatre, dance, music, and visual arts. The festival is a celebration of Hong Kong and France’s relationship through the fostering of artistic connections and cross-cultural exchanges. Francophiles will be in heaven, but the festival is for anyone who wants to experience stimulating and awe-inspiring creativity. Highlights include show stopping “Carmen” from Opera Hong Kong, rousing musical journey “From Venice to Versailles “, “The Painting on the Wall”; a poetic balletic exploration of Chinese fairytales and paintings, and “Contamination/Odysseia”; an exhibit/live performance from provocative photographer Antoine D’Agata.
Aside from these fantastic programmes, Le French May orchestrates free performances, artist sessions and youth workshops to make the arts as far reaching as possible. Of course, for many of us, a celebration of French culture needs to include its culinary splendour, so as part of this year’s Le French GourMay, over 100 participating restaurants will have special menus spotlighting the Provence-Alpes-Côte D’Azur region and stores around town will showcase the finest ingredients and wines from the area. Count us in, s’il vous plait!
When: Tuesday, 1 May to Saturday, 30 June
Where: Different venues according to exhibit/performance. Here’s a list of all the venues which are part of the festival.
How much: Ticketing prices vary depending on exhibit/performance. Discover the programme and book what you want here. Keep in mind that many art exhibitions are free!
A full brochure of the festival, with all performances listed, is available for download at the very bottom of the website.
The renowned ballet company is coming to Hong Kong for the first time and will be performing the beloved Swan Lake in early May. Some of the most technically gifted dancers will take flight on stage and audiences will be mesmirised by the spectacle of beauty, passion, lavish sets and stunning costumes. The timeless story will delight everyone from the teeniest aspiring ballerinas to theatre-goers who know every pirouette by heart.
When: Tuesday, 1 May to Sunday, 6 May. Single performances from Tuesday to Friday at 7:45pm; two performances at 2pm and 7:45pm on Saturday; two performances at 1pm and 6pm on Sunday
Where: Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
How much: Tickets range from $445 to $995 for individuals or from $1,780 to $3,580 for family packages (two adults and two kids under 18). Get tickets here!
Weave Co-Living is a company working to create cool and youthful living spaces in HK and its Unwind 18-and-over event screams good times! With all that’s in store, unwinding will be inevitable. Pick your poison: cocktail classes, trivia competitions, art jamming, darts face-off; plus, loads of other activities, are on offer to help us chill out. Killer food like Beef and Liberty burgers or Lab Made ice cream will put a smile on every face, and an evening improv comedy show will stir up belly laughs from all. The absolute best part is that all the fun to be had is for a great cause and all proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity.
When: Saturday, 5 May. Afternoon session from 2 to 6pm; Evening session (comedy show) from 8pm to 10pm
Where: Beef & Liberty LKF, 3/F California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: Afternoon session: $50 and includes all food, drinks and activities; Evening comedy show: $200 and includes two drinks. Remember that your ticket fares go to Habitat for Humanity! Get your tickets here!
Lush is partnering with local charities to present a lovely soulful weekend focused on activism, action and important discussions. In a warm and inclusive environment, campaigners, activists, grass root organisations and concerned citizens will be able to discuss and debate topics encompassing human rights, animal rights and environmental issues. There will be talks and speeches given by inspiring folks but the emphasis is on everyone’s voice being heard, so everybody is free to express their concerns and hopes. The event fosters a sense that progress is achieved when we come together. Different workshops centering on sustainability will also be held and allow us to get hands-on with matters such as composting food waste. Since food and sustainability are so intertwined, there will be a vegan café serving great goodies that are kind to the environment.
When: Saturday, 12 May to Sunday 13 May
Where: PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: Free! There will be some charity items on sale though so it’s probably good to bring some cash
Hong Kong’s comedy scene may be smaller compared to other cities but it is growing! Relish the chance to see the awesomely unapologetic Margaret Cho deliver her raucous stand up routine “Fresh off the Bloat”. Making it big as a female Asian-American comedian can’t have been easy, so you know Grammy and Emmy nominated Cho is something special. Be prepared to be kept on your toes as she tackles every subject from politics to addiction to being Asian. You may cry tears of laughter or even cringe at jokes which venture into fearless territory, but Cho’s show is exactly what we need in today’s fraught times, because we all need to laugh; even, at the things that make us uncomfortable.
When: Sunday, 13 May, 8pm
Where: KITEC Rotunda 3, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong
How much: Tickers range from $488 to $788. Buy yours here!
Rev up and explore our incredible city while stoking your competitive streak. If you’re like me and have had dreams of competing on “The Amazing Race”, consider the District Race a practice run! In an action-packed two-hour race, competitors, with the aid of their mobiles, gain points by completing virtual challenges and ticking off checkpoints. The starting line may be the same for all challengers but your adventurous zeal gets to run wild after “Ready, set, go!” There is no set course route or set distance so it is up to the racer to choose how he or she wants to complete the challenges. The mental game is as important as the physical aspect because you’ll need to strategise on how to best take advantage of the 852’s cityscape in order to win the race.
When: Sunday, 13 May; 7am start time. More info here!
Where: Starting point is Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong
How much: $500 per individual but you can also make alliances or gather a team together to conquer the race; teams of four are $1700. Sales end 6 May, get your tickets here!
Art fairs and galleries are wonderful worlds of beauty and inspiration but we know that the sheer thought of being surrounded by million dollar canvases can be intimidating. HK’s Affordable Art Fair bridges the gap between amazing art and accessibility by featuring artwork between $1,000 and $10,000 from a slew of international and local galleries. This fair embodies the point that art is for everyone and proves that superb art can come at any price tag. Friday at the fair will also incorporate #ForArtsSake– a charity evening on mental wellbeing and art therapy which will involve music, discussions and artistic performances. Whether you’re a collector who is just starting off, or you want to keep a finger on the pulse of whose young and upcoming on the art scene, this fair is a refreshing way to expand your perceptions of art.
Sassy Tip: Talks, guided tours and live performances will be available to enrich the experience at the fair. To help with planning, have a look at the full programme!
When: Friday, 18 May to Sunday, 20 May. Friday, 12pm to 6pm is regular public viewing and 6pm to 10pm is the #ForArtsSake charity evening. Saturday and Sunday hours are 11am to 7pm.
Where: Hall 3D&E, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
How much: Ticket prices vary with early bird options as well. Adult tickets range from $120 to $200 and concession prices go from $67 to $120. Get them here!
The inaugural 2018 Spoken Word Festival is cooking up one-of-a-kind events across cool venues in the city, for two weeks in May. The recipe? Local artistic organisations and communities mixed with unconventional shows that brim with unique creative expression. Fancy something unpredictable? Then check out the Hong Kong Improv Jamboree for an evening of unscripted hijinx, Suspenseful theatre piques your interest? Aurora Theatre’s performance of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” (featuring four actors playing more than 130 roles!) is sure to enchant. Laughter the medicine you need? Comedy HK’s open mic night will soothe all ailments. If inventive storytelling sounds appealing, then Hong Kong Stories’ performances shouldn’t be missed and if poetry is your passion, Peel Street Poetry’s open mic will light up your night just right (see what I did there?). Informative talks and sessions will also be on the docket so no matter what you’re searching for, something on the programme is sure to speak to you!
When: Friday, 18 May to Saturday, 2 June
Where: Venues vary according to event. Find more info on the festival’s programmes and events here!
How much: Ticket prices vary. Some events are free; others start at $100 and nothing is above $250. Get your tickets here.
Attending the Cheung Chau Bun Festival (a festival dedicated to the god, Pak Tai) is a right of passage for anybody who wants to be part of the fabric of Hong Kong. Not only is it one of the city’s most unique festivals, but it also gives you an excuse to explore Cheung Chau. The gem of an island will burst with colour and life as the flurry of festivities sweeps through it this May. All your senses will be enlivened, with the parades, costumes, lion dances, prayers, offerings and snapshots of local culture. And yes, buns play a crucial role in the fun! Impressive towers of buns will serve as the pièce de résistance of the festival and come nightfall, there is a “bun scrambling competition” when competitors climb and collect as many lucky buns as possible (the higher they go, the more points they get)! Um…did someone mention a fear of heights?
Sassy Tip: Ferries to and from Cheung Chau will be packed during the festival so consider going early in the mornings or on weekdays
When: Saturday, 19 May to Wednesday, 23 May
Where: Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong
How much: Free!
I think we can officially say that the ridiculous Hong Kong heat has arrived and really, nothing except a frosty beer keeps us sane during these blistering times. Good thing that the city’s craft beer scene is hoppin’! Young Master Brewery is at the forefront of the local beer movement and is hosting a two-day festival where there will be free flow galore and we’ll get to taste some of the most distinct and funky cold ones from quality Asian independent breweries. There are four themed sessions focusing on different flavour profiles so you can pick and choose or go for them all…bottoms up!
When: Saturday, 26 May and Sunday, 27 May. Hoppy session starts at 11am on Saturday; Sour Session starts at 2:30pm on Saturday; Session & Strength starts 6pm on Saturday; Freestyle Session begins 3pm on Sunday
Where: Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong
How much: Each individual session is $250. There are also two-day passes with an early bird special now on sale at $750. Get your tickets here!