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Festival marks Malioboro's regeneration

Sri Wahyuni

The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta  /  Tue, August 14, 2018  /  02:36 pm
Festival marks Malioboro's regeneration

Widjilan Kidz entertain the crowd on the main stage. (Malioboro Night Festival 2018/File)

Jl. Malioboro in the heart of Yogyakarta was livelier than usual at night last weekend, with stages erected on both sides of the city’s legendary street.

For two consecutive nights on Saturday and Sunday, tourists and passersby could enjoy various performances on the stages presented as part of the Malioboro Night Festival (MNF) 2018, which was organized by the provincial tourism agency.

MNF 2018’s media relations officer Amelberga Astri P. said eight stages had been prepared for the "Regeneration"-themed event. They comprise a main stage placed near the Yogyakarta governor office in the Kepatihan area and seven community stages.

A performance by Suji Pantomim Production.A performance by Suji Pantomim Production. (Malioboro Night Festival 2018/File)

“The theme was symbolized by presenting three generations of rappers, namely Widjilan Kidz, Sweet Martabak and Iwa K,” Amelberga told The Jakarta Post prior to the event on Saturday.

Widjilan Kidz, Sweet Martabak and Iwa K performed on the first night on the main stage, together with Jasmine Akustik, Anterdans, Kopi Loewak and Tashoora. Performing on the same stage on Sunday were Luna Dance, KPJ Malioboro, Robbers, Bhatara Experimental Folk and Mocca.

The community stages could be easily recognized right from the north end of Jl. Malioboro near the provincial legislative building down to the south end of the street in the Ketandan area. They presented various art communities performing music, traditional and contemporary dance and other art attractions.

Read also: Five highlights of delightful Malioboro

Amelberga said “Regeneration” was chosen as the theme for this year’s MNF in the hope that the event could bring in the spirit of Malioboro in the past as a social interaction space for art performers and practitioners.
This, she said, was realized by inviting new and developing cultural communities as well as creative youths in need of a space for existence that colored the city’s art and cultural dynamics. 

The festival was first held in 2016.

Iwa K, Sweet Martabak and Widjilan Kidz perform on the main stage.Iwa K, Sweet Martabak and Widjilan Kidz perform on the main stage. (Malioboro Night Festival 2018/File)

“The present condition of Malioboro, with comfortable pedestrian lanes and accessibility, shows the seriousness of this area to continue improving,” Amelberga said.

Yogyakarta provincial secretary Gatot Saptadi concurred, saying that year after year the number of tourists visiting Malioboro continued to increase drastically.

He said Malioboro had since 1758 developed into a trade center after then-Yogyakarta King Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I developed a traditional market in the area.

“Now after about 260 years, this place still survives as a trade center and has even grown into an icon of Yogyakarta,” Gatot said in written remarks read out at the opening ceremony of MNF 2018 on Saturday evening. (kes)