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Brave or irresponsible?: Illegal concerts defy pandemic restrictions

Raka Ibrahim

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, March 22, 2021  /  01:27 pm
Brave or irresponsible?: Illegal concerts defy pandemic restrictions

People dance at a show by Jogja Every Core held in February. It reportedly attracted more than 200 attendees. (JP/Courtesy of Jogja Every Core)

It all began with a sense of injustice. Bagas Putra had postponed all his ambitious plans for the year. Jogja Every Core, the hardcore punk collective he leads, had lain dormant for several months as his home city of Yogyakarta struggled with the pandemic. But then he saw and heard things that pushed him over the edge. “The government told us all crowds were banned, yet every day you saw crowds of people gathering in Jogja’s tourist hotspots. Nobody gave a damn, and nobody came to disperse them,” the 22-year-old observed. “Why were they left in peace when all kinds of concerts were banned?” It was November 2020, and his concerns were stoked by promising news from elsewhere. Fellow concert organizers across Central Java had contacted him, saying they had managed to arrange concerts and even full-on tours while skirting pandemic rules. These were true un...