The political year will
be no less musical

Stone Temple Pilots performs with new lead singer Chester Bennington of Linkin Park at the Ninth Annual MusicCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert in May 2013 in Los Angeles. (AP/Chris Pizzello/Invision)

With the quinquennial legislative and presidential elections set for April and July, respectively, music promoters will face stricter regulations regarding large congregations of crowds, which will affect concerts this year.

However, the news that exciting musicians are still set to play in Jakarta this year will be music to the ears of Indonesian fans.

Last year was quite a big year for music fans and concert goers in the capital, with gigs by top-notch musicians igniting a lasting hype: No less than rock savants Weezer, post-rock wizards Sigur Rós and metal gods Metallica held stupefying performances to fans in Jakarta.

Among the performers to hold shows early in the year are American metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada and American singer-songwriter Natalie Cole and English jazz-pop singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum.

The Devil Wears Prada will be headlining the Hollow Festival on Jan. 30 in Senayan, Central Jakarta, along with bands from the local underground scene, including Divide, thirteen, SWEET AS REVENGE and Cemetery Dance Club.

Cullum and Cole will be among dozens of artists set to perform at the 10th edition of the Java Jazz Festival 2014 in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, which will be held from Feb. 28 to March 2. Other musicians on the Java Jazz Festival lineup include Incognito, Dave Koz, India Arie, and the Earth, Wind and Fire Experience.

Dewi Gontha, the president director of the festival organizer Java Festival Production (JFP), said her team was still pursuing more big names to add to the already exciting lineup. “We cannot release their names until we have secured the bookings, but we want to have more big names at the festival,” she told The Jakarta Post.


Dewi also assured that two other annual JFP festivals, namely, Java Rockin’Land and Java Soulnation, would not be absent this year.

“Java Soulnation will be held on Oct. 24 to 26. We haven’t decided when to hold Java Rockin’Land because of the election dates,” Dewi said.

On March 5, American thrash metal band Megadeth will visit Indonesia for the second time to also perform in Senayan.

Tommy Pratama of promoter company Original Production said that 30 percent of the 4,000 tickets for the concert had already been snapped up.

“It’s a good number, because normally people will buy tickets at the last minute,” said Tommy, whose company is bringing American rock band Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington to the same venue on Feb. 19.

Later in March, Canadian pop diva Avril Lavigne will stop by the capital as part of her Asian leg to perform in Senayan on March 12.

Neelam Vaswani, the marketing director of Avril’s show promoter Marygops Studios, said that tickets for the show were running out fast.

“The sales have been moving very positive,” Neelam said.

Marygops Studios is also cooperating with Dyandra Entertainment to hold a concert by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, who will make a second visit to the capital on March 24.

March will also see American rock band Alter Bridge and opera crossover vocal quarter Il Divo playing in Jakarta on the 5th  and 24th, respectively.

Tommy said this year many promoters were piling up shows early in the year ahead of the elections dates.

“We are seeing many shows in February and March because promoters have opted to hold the shows before the elections. However, we will have shows also around the end of the year after the election,” Tommy said.

Dewi also said that although permission would be limited this year, the show would go on.

“It’s probably going to be difficult to secure permission for big outdoor shows nearing the elections, but small to medium indoor shows can still be held,” Dewi said.

Like Tommy, Dewi has also observed that there has been a tendency to schedule shows in the earlier and later parts of the year.

Although her company is planning to have more shows later in the year, Neelam said they had reduced the number of shows a little this year.

“We are going to be patient and play safe. The numbers maybe a bit reduced, but we are still going to do shows,” she said.

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