Two foreign bands have been forced to cancel their performance in Hong Kong after they were intercepted by immigration authorities, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Finnish band Insomnium and Orpheus Omega from Australia were due to perform on Wednesday at a Hidden Agenda (HA) venue in an industrial building in Kwun Tong.
Immigration officers reportedly detained the eight musicians from the two bands for two hours at the Shenzhen Bay border control point.
HA earlier said on its Facebook page that the gig had been changed into a private event only to announce that it had been cancelled because the two bands were unable to perform.
It said the band members were barred entry unless they sign an undertaking to not perform in Hong Kong or risk being deported.
The incident followed the arrest ten days ago of three members of British band This Town Needs Guns and American multi-instrumentalist Mylets after performing at Hidden Agenda on suspicion of illegal employment.
HA founder Hui Chung-wo told reporters that Wednesday’s event had been changed to a private event and all tickets had been refunded.
The Finnish and Australian bands told Apple Daily that they were barred from performing in Hong Kong because they have no work permit.
The band members were made to sign documents that they were only here for travel. They are scheduled to fly Thursday to Taiwan as part of a series of performances in Asia.
A spokesperson from the Immigration Department said the department does not comment on individual cases but added that all people entering Hong Kong are subject to examination and inquiries about the purpose of their visits to determine if they meet the legal requirements.
Orpheus Omega guitarist Joao Goncalves said he was in Hong Kong three years ago and was surprised by the incident.
Niilo Sevänen, bassist from Insomnium, said that immigration officers had taken away their passports during their interrogation.
And Hui accused authorities of political motives in recent raids on HA.
He said all future performances might be banned as immigration authorities hold the ultimate power in granting visas.
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