Imagine Peace Festival 2015

This event has passed
Sep 19-Sep 20

Parties come and go every weekend in Hong Kong, but with its positive ethos, the Imagine Peace festival is an occasion with much loftier ideals and ambitions than your average party. With a local mindset and a clearly passionate team behind it, this non-profit festival aims to be bigger and better than ever in its fourth year. 

Held September 19 to 20 at the Treasure Island campsite in Pui O – a sleepy Lantau village perhaps best known for its surfing beach (and a certain beachside restaurant) – this is a rare opportunity to truly chill out and find peace within yourself, while simultaneously enjoying a wholesome weekend full of artistic creativity. Inspired by the UN International Day of Peace, the Hong Kong event is a sustainable grassroots effort in multiple ways. It originated with Kay Sugisaki’s 2012 effort to raise money and awareness for her native Japan following the tsunami there. This year’s charity, Nepal’s Child Welfare Scheme, was similarly chosen due to the devastating recent earthquake, and familiarity with the country by the organisers. 

As both a founder and a key organiser, Sugisaki leads an intrepid band of travellers who make up the heart of Imagine Peace festival. For this year’s event she explains that the organisers wanted to keep the focus on why they do what they do: inner peace. Everyone involved is freely donating their time, and there will be activities for a range of ages, with a focus on positivity and self-betterment.

On offer is a full range of peace-inspiring recreation, starting with a silent meditation session including yoga, sound healing and numerous workshops (such as hula hoop and poi) taking place as well. There is also be a full evening of music and an accompanying light show. “The line-up is a mixture – [we] want to encourage many different genres of music to take people on a nice journey,” says Sugisaki. Acts include headliner Cro-Magnon [Jazzy Sport] from Japan, known for their funky and eclectic selections, and local performers Mitu’s Tribe, Gretchell Yaneza Yeung, and Re-Orientated. Audiophiles need not worry, as the sound will be professionally taken care of by a Funktion-One sound system (provided by jackrabbit). A community market also plays a key part during the festival, ‘to give a priority to the local people,’ says Sugisaki.

It’s well-worth mentioning that the entire event is not only family-friendly regarding the activities and schedule (Saturday 2-11pm and Sunday 7:30am-5pm), but is also keeping a firm focus on sustainability. Sugisaki makes it clear that one of the crucial goals of Imagine Peace is for all ‘to enjoy and be with nature,’ as responsibly as possible. The decorations are primarily made from recycled materials, biodegradable tableware is used instead of plastic and they are aiming for zero food waste through composting.

Wild camping near the event space is highly encouraged – with plenty of space available – so festivalgoers can, as Sugisaki says with a smile, ‘forget the worry of the last ferry.’ Advance tickets are available online, with a two-day pass costing $380 or a single day available for $220 . Finding inner peace is clearly an individual journey, so all Sugisaki and the Imagine Peace team ask of participants is simple: “Come with an open mind and open heart.”

Imagine Peace Sep 19-20, Pui O Beach, Lantau Island. Tickets: $220-$380 (adv), $250-$450 (door);


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