Biggest rock festival in Southeast Asia held over weekend


Ten performing stages, more than a hundred bands, and all kinds of rock music stormed the shores of Carnaval Beach Ancol, Jakarta, from Thursday night as Java Rockin’land 2011 commenced its three-day rocking fiesta from Thursday, July 22 to Saturday, July 24.

Bringing 15 international and 111 of Indonesia’s finest rock bands, the festival features all genres of rock. From metal, hard rock, grunge, indie rock, garage rock, art rock, alternative rock, punk, Britpop, and others, the festival is both a showcase and a journey into the thunderous world of rock.

On Thursday, July 21, Dewi Gontha, President Director of Java Festival Production, said that this year the number of international performers increased compared to the last two festivals in 2009 and 2010, while improvements continues to be made to facilities and queuing arrangements. Learning from past experience, this year there was no camping ground area, since it was not proven to be effective, Dewi added.

When asked about the reasons for the choice of international artists’ line-up, Paul Dankmeyer, Program Director of Java Festival Production, commented: “We want to contribute to the enthusiasm of fans in Indonesia and of the international community. What makes this festival important is that we feature a range from legendary rock music to the contemporary. This year, we are extremely proud to have invited Thirty Seconds to Mars, Loudness, The Cranberries, Ed Kowalczyk from the group Live, Good Charlotte, Helloween, and many others which is indeed a great line up, and with this line up, we have made a big step to improve the festival internationally.”

Eki Puradiredja, Program Coordinator for Java Festival Production stated that aside from inviting international artists to perform in Indonesia, more importantly the festival is also aimed to boost Indonesia’s own music industry. “We hope that with the many international levels of music shows in Indonesia, they will also contribute to boost the country’s music industry,” he stated, “This year is a bit special, different from previous JAVA Rockinland events; this year we also want to highlight the history of Rock Music in Indonesia. With legendary names such as Godbless from the 70s era who promise a special performance with a bit of surprise elements, the 80s being represented by the spirit of Metal from Surabaya’s legendary band Power Metal, the 90s featuring Edane, Roxx, Pas Band, Power Slaves, and from various genres: Netral, ‘Rif, Tengkorak, Naif, Burgerkill, Jasad, and others. Representing the 2000s is the band that just returned from the Hard Rock Calling 2011 in the UK: Gugun Blues Shelter. Thus, the lineup varies in both generation and genre.”

Speaking for the performers, Ahmad Albar, lead singer of Godbless, said: ”This is such an extraordinary rock festival, and I hope it will continue to boost the rock scene in Indonesia.” Holland’s band Kensington said “terima kasih” or “thank you” in Bahasa Indonesai and went on to express their enthusiasm to play in the festival, while the Dirt Radicals started with a fluent “Apa Kabar?” or “how are you,” saying that they are happy to be in Indonesia and are interested in tasting some of Indonesia’s cuisine such as Nasi Goreng and Satay, and obviously the rock scene of Indonesia. While Bowo, drummer of Gugun Blues Shelter, said that he was pleased that the festival brings up the history of rock, since Indonesia has a colorful rock scene. Representing the band Cokelat, Sarah, lead vocalist of the band, said that with its new formation, the band is more than enthusiastic to play in the festival.

Aside from the spectacular musical fiesta, Javarockin’land 2011 will also feature painting and sculpture exhibitions, as well as happening art performances from the For Better Life Movement, a movement group from street kids organized by Layala Roesli and Uwi Prabu, with a mission to introduce the work of Indonesian kids.

Dubbed as the year’s biggest rock festival in Southeast Asia, Java Rockin’land 2011 will surely be a momentum to mark the awakening of Indonesia’s rock scene. While the stage is set, the artists are more than prepared, and the hype is on, from the shores of Carnaval Beach, Ancol Jakarta, the rumbling sounds of rock will echo around the globe.

“Rock Out the Music!”

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