After the impressive turnout at last year’s Joyland Bali, which ended up catalysing the return of live music to Indonesia, it would be an understatement to say that a lot was riding on this year’s edition of the music festival. But organiser Plainsong Live brought their A-game last weekend (March 17-19) and it’s safe to say that Joyland Bali 2023 did not disappoint at all.
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Now setting up camp on the scenic Peninsula Island, Joyland proved that Plainsong Live did not owe their success last year to pandemic-driven hunger for live music alone. By maintaining the same meticulous venue design and putting forward an even edgier and more musically diverse line-up than before – from overseas headliners such as M.I.A and Phoenix to local superstars such as GAC and Tulus – Joyland Bali 2023 dazzled both travelling families and partying spring-breakers.
In case you weren’t basking in the Bali sun with us last weekend, live vicariously through our gallery of the most noteworthy bits of the festival.
Day one: Joyland Bali is back!
In a new location of Peninsula Island, Nusa Dua, Joyland Bali 2023 was poised to be the ultimate spring-break weekend from the very start.
Day one: spore shades
Giant, rattan-built mushrooms were all over the courtyard, perfect for festivalgoers who needed some time-out from the scorching sun.
Day one: breezy opening
Jakarta band and NME 100 act Guernica Club kicked off Joyland Bali 2023 with breezy numbers such as ‘Thinkin’ Bout Me’ before stunning the audience with a cover of ‘Sugar’ by Men I Trust.
Day one: flip and whip
Reality Club frontwoman Fathia “Chia” Izzati showed off her headbanging skills as she performed the indie rock band’s biggest hits, including their viral hit ‘Anything You Want’.
Day one: tears of joy
It would not have been a Yura Yunita performance without some tearful encounters with her adoring fans.
Day one: dazzling instrumentals
Thai roots band Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band, armed with a khaen and phin lute, captivated their Friday night audience.
Day one: sincerely, Tulus
Fresh off his nationwide tour in support of his 2022 hit album ‘Manusia’, Tulus enchanted Peninsula Island with his lovable ballads.
Day one: the show must go on
Despite momentary technical difficulties, English rock band Black Country, New Road delivered a great set, a highlight of which was the tender ‘Laughing Song’.
Day one: bad girls do it well
M.I.A brought a massive, marigold-made tiger to the stage for her headline set – as if her very presence were not commanding enough.
Day one: holy mother of M.I.A
To quote M.I.A.’s sage wisdom-slash-verse from her closing number, ‘Marigold’: “The world’s in trouble. Cover it in Marigolds!”
Day two: Teddy Adhitya keeps it hot
R&B singer-songwriter Teddy Adhitya heated up the already red-hot Saturday afternoon with seductive numbers such as ‘Love Again’ and ‘Sweetly Silly’.
Day two: sun down, party up
It was a sunset party thanks to indie folk duo Stars and Rabbit. “Let’s just have fun, shall we?” vocalist Elda Suryani said to the screaming crowd.
Day two: Raisa is just getting started
Raisa wrapped up a huge solo stadium concert in Jakarta last month, but at Joyland she showed no signs of slowing down as she performed her latest single ‘Nyaman Tak Cukup’ (‘Comfort is Not Enough’) for the very first time.
Day two: Saturday night live
Black Midi descended to Peninsula Island, greeted by crowd-surfers and rock music devotees.
Day two: Sigrid takes Bali
One for the pop-loving millennials: Sigrid delivered energetic bangers from her 2022 album, ‘How To Let Go’.
Day three: The Adams are not afraid of tomorrow
It was the last day of Joyland Bali 2023, but The Adams kept everyone in high spirits with their uplifting anthem ‘Esok’ (‘Tomorrow’).
Day three: neo-kawaii forever
Japanese punk pop quartet CHAI showed Bali what their neo-kawaii concept was all about, aided by impressive choreography and fiery guitar-shredding.
Day three: the homecoming
Indonesian pop trio GAC (Gamaliel Audrey Cantika) are officially reunited, and we were lucky enough to witness their comeback at Joyland.
Day three: a final night full of emotions
From the bitter ‘Janji Palsu’ (‘Empty Promises’) to the buoyant ‘Evaluasi’ (‘Evaluation’), Hindia took Joyland on one of the biggest emotional rollercoasters of the weekend.
Day three: it’s a wrap (and a hug)!
Phoenix wrapped up their ‘Alpha Zulu’ Asia tour (and Joyland Bali 2023) with an electrifying setlist, the French band’s frontman Thomas Mars giving the lucky front row a selfie moment and a goodbye hug. Until the next edition of the Joyland festival – in Jakarta!
Stay tuned to Joyland’s official website for more details on upcoming festivals