The Jakarta Post
Stress release: Partygoers dance in front of the stage during the Djakarta Warehouse Project in 2012. (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)
Asia’s largest electronic music festival, the Djakarta Warehouse Project (DWP), will return for its ninth edition at the JIExpo Kemayoran in East Jakarta, delivering once again two days of hard, fun partying to a city that has gone through a lot of stress throughout the year.
The festival has made significant changes to its program this year, which will hopefully ensure its longevity.
In terms of line-up, DWP organizers Ismaya Live has always liked to mix up legendary talents with current ones, as previous lineups have featured dance veterans as Sasha, Tiga and Carl Cox, while mixing the pot with newer diverse acts such as Cashmere Cat, Skrillex, Rasmus Faber and Porter Robinson.
The line-up this year features the festival’s usual crop of floorfiller EDM artists, such as Steve Aoki, Marshmello, DVBBS, Zed’s Dead, Galantis and R3HAB, with the addition of several legendary figures, such as the return of trance god Tiesto and the debut appearance of house pioneer Richie Hawtin.
Other acts include Flosstradamus, Vini Vici, Flume, Robin Schulz and Hardwell, among many others.
Local acts that will grace the festival include Andre Dunant, Chelina Manuhutu, w.W and Yesterday Afternoon Boys, among dozens of others.
Ismaya Live made the smart move of booking hip-hop acts for the first time, effectively expanding its musical scope beyond its usual fare of EDM, as well as recognizing the shifting trend toward the type of music that really makes people dance today.
The festival’s biggest highlight will be the showcase program by Asian-American promotion company 88Rising, in which Jakarta will see the comeback of Indonesian rapper Rich Chigga, who has managed to score a whirlwind year building fame in the United States.
Rich Chigga, whose real name is Brian Imanuel, has seen his star rise from humble YouTube sensation to actually rapping alongside current stars, such as Young Thug, 21 Savage and Ghostface Killah, in the span of only one year.
Imanuel will undoubtedly headline the festival’s 88Rising showcase, where he will share the stage with fellow Asian rappers like China’s Higher Brothers, Japan’s Joji and South Korea’s Keith Ape on the second day of the festival.
Aside from the 88Rising showcase, the festival’s hip-hop lineup is rounded off by Atlanta rapper Desiigner, who serenaded ears around the world in 2016 with his singles “Panda” and “Timmy Turner.”
Visually, the festival will feature a special stage designed by Barcelona stage concept artist Elrow, who will bring his “Psychedelic Trip” production theme, as seen in several well-known EDM festivals, such as TomorrowLand. DWP will be the first time Elrow will feature his production in Asia.
“In our ninth year, we aim to deliver an experience like never before,” Ismaya Live assistant brand manager Sarah Deshita said.
“The special stage from Elrow, dubbed ‘the world’s craziest party,’ and the inclusion of hip-hop artists the DWP experience this year will make livelier and even more refreshing.”
Through being the largest electronic music festival in Asia, DWP has broadened its reach and name globally, which has resulted in the influx of tourists attending the party.
Sarah said her side was optimistic that it would earn Rp 350 billion (US$24.5 million)this year from the influx of foreigners attending DWP, owing to the fact that at least 35 percent of the festival’s attendees would come from abroad. Last year’s festival attracted 90,000 revelers in two days, with around 30 percent of that figure being foreign attendees.
This year’s DWP might also be a little bit different following protests from Islamic mass organizations, which deem the event immoral.
The Jakarta administration then promised this year’s event would be conducted under “eastern norms” and no alcohol or revealing costumes would be allowed.