Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens shares stage with local entertainers as part of “Our HK7s”
The 2022 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is sharing the stage with local musicians and entertainers from 4-6 November 2022, bringing home the event’s unique theme for a unique year: “Our HK7s”.
Outside of the world class rugby and carnival atmosphere on offer, one of the biggest lures of the 2022 tournament is a rare chance to enjoy live music in an outdoor setting, something many residents have not been able to experience since the advent of the pandemic.
The opportunity to play in front of local audiences is vital for Hong Kong’s live entertainment industry, which has been drastically impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and there can be no better stage to help bring back local entertainment than the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
This November Sevens fans can expect the typical full calendar of music and entertainment across the three-day event, from the opening ceremony on Friday right through to the final whistle on Sunday.
“For decades this event has brought the best of the rugby world to the city, and we are excited to showcase some of the best in Hong Kong entertainment for the rugby world in 2022.
“We are confident that our entertainment will delight the fans in stadium, many of whom will be watching their first live music event in years. We are also excited to share the stage with these very talented Hong Kong performers and welcome the return of live sports and entertainment events in the city,” said Robbie McRobbie, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Rugby Union.
RTHK jock Simon Willson and veteran Sevens DJ Simon Southgate, (who will celebrate his 20th year getting bodies rockin’ at the Sevens), will spin discs from the North Stand, sharing the turntable with fellow RTHK personality Ben Cullen, who makes his tournament debut in 2022.
Another key player keeping the event grooving is local music impresario Chris Polanco, who has helped churn out hits for Cantopop legends like Eason Chan, Coco Lee and Joey Yung. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Polenco will put his singing and dancing talents to good use over the weekend in fielding Karaoke requests from fans of the 15 countries taking part in English, Spanish and the universal language of Cantopop!
Don’t call it a comeback for this year’s Sevens – or for Friday night headliners Tai Chi – because Hong Kong’s favourite sports event and the Canto-Rock legends never left.
Founded in 1985, Tai Chi shot to fame after winning the Carlsberg Pop Music Festival awards and earned RTHK’s Best New Act honours the following year. They cemented their reputation as one of Hong Kong’s most successful acts in the city’s “Band Boom” era in the 1980s and 1990s. Tai Chi will get the blood pumping with some of the biggest local rock anthems of the past decades in a musical memory medley on Friday evening.
Saturday night starts the party proper with the island grooves of The Red Stripes, Hong Kong’s premier Ska band who have entertained fans at the Sevens and other rugby events in stadium since 2015. The Stripes have garnered acclaim and fans across the world and shared the stage with some of Ska’s biggest names.
Also appearing Saturday is another staple of the local music scene, The Naggin Eejits! Spanning three continents and four countries, the Naggin Eejits are known for their mix of trad music, Celtic rock, folk and contemporary covers, in other words, the perfect accompaniment for a classic rugby knees-up.
Shadowing the action on the pitch, the competition on stage heats up on Sevens Sunday with South African born singer-songwriter Eli Zaelo and the United Band appearing. Eli moved to Hong Kong in 2015 after landing the role of Nala in the The Lion King musical here. Since then she has gone on to record and perform in English and Chinese, and across genres from soul, hip-hop to blues and rock.
Rounding-up our musical roster on Sunday are Helium3, perhaps the perfect accompaniment to the event, given they love the Sevens so much they wrote a song about it, fittingly entitled, “South Stand”. The band were previous runners up in the Hong Kong Battle of the Bands, and have produced two original albums and cracked the top 40 charts in Hong Kong.
It would not be a Sevens without a few rugby stars and fans could find themselves rubbing (massive) shoulders with some legends of the game in the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Ambassadors including the one and only Waisale Serevi, Fiji’s king of sevens. He is joined by ex New Zealand All Black Sevens captain DJ Forbes, England stars Phil Greening and Simon Shaw, Australia’s Adam Ashley-Cooper and former Welsh international Andy Powell.
The team of Ambassadors will be united in promoting the return of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens but things could get tense around some of the several enticing rugby rivalries on offer over the weekend.
Friday offers the definitive Brexit bout when France, who last ran out for their first Cup final appearance in Hong Kong in 2019, take on Great Britain at 17:37. Hong Kong open their account in Friday’s finale with a throw-it-to-the-wind chance against Australia, who wear the heavy mantle of defending series champions.
Saturday takes the intensity to another level with South Africa squaring away with Great Britain (13:10), Hong Kong facing the might of the All Blacks Sevens at (13:35), and a trans-Tasman clash between Australia and New Zealand to close out day two at 18:03.
Gates open at 07.03 on Sunday for 21 do-or-die clashes as the race for the Cup heats up with the final kick off at 19.00.
Throw in a pinch of pyrotechnics, a sprinkling of sparklers and several spangled dancers, and one or two Sevens surprises up our sleeves, and all of the makings are there for another superlative Sevens!
With Hong Kong’s rugby community queuing up to celebrate the first Sevens since 2019, a festive weekend is on offer with three days of world-class sport, entertainment and live music at the 2022 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
Tickets can be purchased via the official Hong Kong Rugby Union ticketing platform: www.tickets.hkrugby.com. All tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis. Prices are frozen at 2019 levels with a three-day event pass at $1,950 for adults and $950 for children 12 and under while supplies last.
For more information on the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens please visit: www.hksevens.com.