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Jakarta Post

Activists challenge 'don’t-vote' calls with free heavy metal concert

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 11, 2019   /   02:18 pm
Activists challenge 'don’t-vote' calls with free heavy metal concert Boxes of ballots for April’s general election arrive at the municipal elections commission office of Malang, East Java, on Monday. The commission will distribute 623,185 ballots on Wednesday. (The Jakarta Post/Nedi Putra Aw)

Heavy metal musicians teamed up with democracy campaigners to stage a free concert in Surakarta, Central Java, in a bid to get young people to vote in the elections next month.

The concert went down in Benteng Vastenburg on Sunday under the title "Pesta Partai Barbar" (Barbaric Political Party Fest) with a lineup of popular Indonesian metal acts, including Down For Life, Seringai, Jasad and Death Vomit.

Initiated by heavy metal band Down For Life from Surakarta, the concert was held in cooperation with Jakarta-based youth movement We The Youth to encourage heavy metal lovers to go to the polling stations.

Prior to the show, concertgoers were required to sign an online petition named "100% IN – Indonesia Nyoblos” (100% IN - Indonesia Votes) as their tickets to the concert.

“This anti-golput [anti-voting-abstention] concert is held to encourage the youth, particularly metal fans, to vote in the 2019 elections,” Widyaswari, executive director of We The Youth, told tempo.co.

The petition, started by the youth movement, has received more than 12,000 signatures so far.

Golput was a symbol of protest in the authoritarian New Order regime, in which the winning party was already known beforehand, and alternative parties were either banned or merged by force and tightly controlled.

According to the General Elections Commission (KPU), there will be around 17.5 million teenage voters and 42.8 million 20-29-year-old voters in the 2019 presidential election.

Down For Life vocalist Stephanus Adjie said the youth had to be aware of how important their participation in the election was for their lives. (das)