Indonesia concerts and festivals face cancellation after Berdendang Bergoyang overcrowding, says industry body

Major events Djakarta Warehouse Project, Head In The Clouds and Soundrenaline risk failure to secure permits, says Asosiasi Promotor Musik Indonesia

Several major music events in Indonesia are facing the threat of cancellation following the overcrowding incident at Berdendang Bergoyang festival, concert organiser body Asosiasi Promotor Musik Indonesia (APMI) has claimed.

In a statement to Detik, the association of music promoters claimed that it is uncertain whether concerts and music festivals planned for Indonesia until the end of the year can secure permits following the overcrowding at last week’s Berdendang Bergoyang festival.

That three-day event, which took place the same weekend as the deadly Itaewon crowd crush in Seoul, was shut down early by Jakarta police on its second day after over 20,000 attendees packed into the 10,000-capacity Istora Senayan stadium.

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The incident has contributed to a tougher official stance on concerts and festivals, APMI claims, that could affect major events such as Soundrenaline, Head In The Clouds and Djakarta Warehouse Party, all of which are set to take place in Jakarta between late November and early December.

APMI secretary general Emil Mahyudin added that the association is currently in discussions with the authorities for the three aforementioned festivals to go ahead.

“The wildest issue is that all events may not be held until December 2022, then maybe we can only go ahead with them in 2023,” he said. “Now without downplaying other scheduled events, if all events are not allowed in 2022 we will lose the three big events, Soundrenaline, HITC, DWP, and well, that’s not good for us.”

Adding that the body was fighting for all events to be held, he continued: “Indeed, we are currently in discussions to keep the three events on track. Those are three events that will promote the name of Indonesia, so we have to fight until they succeed.”

APMI Program and Investment Director Dewi Gontha, who has been involved in the organising of the Java Jazz festival, told Tempo that the association is prepared to create standard operating procedures for concerts in Indonesia moving forward.

“We must make standard procedures for events, starting from preparation, into implementation, and for review after the event,” she said. “In the future, we will create that standard to be used by all promoters or event organisers.”

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At time of publication, none of the three aforementioned festivals have commented on the issue.

At least two other festivals and concerts in Indonesia are said to have been affected by tighter restrictions on live performances until December, though no official policy announcement has been made at the time of publication.

Metal band Avhath, who were due to perform at The Brightspot Market event from November 3 to 6, announced yesterday that they would not be performing due to “crowd control issue from the government”.

Slank’s ‘Beautiful Smile Indonesia’ tour date in Palembang on November 6 has also reportedly been cancelled following discussions between the organisers and the local government as well as police.

Earlier this week, an Indonesian minister said BLACKPINK will not be able to perform at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Main Stadium for their Indonesian ‘Born Pink’ world tour concerts in March 2023 as the stadium will be reserved for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023, which Indonesia hosts next year.

When asked if BLACKPINK will be allowed to perform in the stadium on March 11 and 12, Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sport Zainudin Amali replied: “Certainly not,” adding that the GBK would not be opened for use outside the U-20 World Cup even after renovations for the tournament are completed.

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