The Jakarta administration is beefing up preparations for its first street festival to celebrate the turn of the year in the heart of the city.
The Jakarta Night Festival is set to be held along main thoroughfares Jl. Jendral Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta, replacing the usual venue in Ancol Beach City, North Jakarta.
“Every city in the world has their own way to celebrate the New Year. We have to come up with a great idea as well to celebrate the night,” Jakarta Tourism Agency chief Arie Budhiman said on Friday. “This event will be added to our event calendar to celebrate New Year’s Eve.”
The city will close the roads to motorists from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. to make way for a carnival and 16 makeshift stages where around 300 entertainers, including traditional dancers, dangdut musicians and pop bands, will perform. Over 3,000 people, including bicycle communities and marching bands, plan to take part in the carnival.
Arie said that governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo would attend the carnival, which is planned to kick off from City Hall and end at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, where the main show and midnight countdown will be held.
“I can’t disclose the main attraction yet, but [Jakartans] should bring cameras because I’m sure it will be very surprising,” Arie said.
According to him, all the shows will start at 9 p.m. and end by 12:30 a.m.
“Without any special events, the streets are usually filled by around 500,000 people during New Year’s Eve. We expected that number to increase to 700,000 this time,” Arie said.
City police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said that the Jakarta Police would deploy 9,844 personnel, including Indonesian Military ( TNI ) officers and personnel from the Jakarta Public Order Agency ( Satpol PP ) during the night, 3,942 of which will safeguard the festival.
“There will be around 125 personnel deployed at every stage, including from the police, the Indonesian Red Cross ( PMI ) and the Jakarta Fire Department,” Rikwanto said.
The 16 stages will be set up in front of City Hall, Monas’ ( National Monument ) Southwest Gate, Jaya Building, BII Building, EX Building, Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, JL. Purworejo, UOB Building, Dukuh Atas, Toyota Building, Chase Plaza, Le Meridien Hotel, Manulife Building, Bendungan Hilir intersection and Atma Jaya University.
“We hope this event will inspire other cities across the archipelago,” Arie said.
City police Traffic Directorate chief Sr. Comr. Chrysnanda said that the police would start to direct vehicles to alternative routes along the two thoroughfares starting from 4 p.m.
Jakarta Transportation Agency chief Udar Pristono expected that the number of traffic accidents would decrease during the celebration.
“By holding the event along Jl. Jendral Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin, we aim to diminish the habit of celebrating New Year’s Eve with vehicle convoys,” Udar said. ( nad )
Car Free Night
Traffic detour arrangements
4 p.m. Vehicles traversing Jl. Jendral Sudirman & Jl. MH Thamrin to be diverted.
6 p.m. Motorists will be prohibited from slow lanes, which will be used for stages and performances.
7 p.m. The fast lanes will be closed.
8 p.m. Jakarta Night Festival launches. Vehicles totally restricted.
2 a.m. End of the festival. Roads opened for motorists within 30 minutes.
Available parking lots
* IRTI parking lot at the National Monument ( Monas ). Access through Jl. Merdeka Barat and Jl. Merdeka Selatan.
* Jakarta Police headquarters. Access through Jl. Gatot Subroto, Jl. Senopati and SCBD Senayan.
* Parkir Timur Senayan ( East Parking Lot ). Access through Jl. Gatot Subroto and Jl. Asia Afrika.
* There are many off-street parking lots in office buildings and shopping malls in the surrounding areas.