How Indonesia is Becoming the World's Newest Festival Hotspot

How Indonesia is Becoming the World's Newest Festival Hotspot


If large portions of the music press are to be believed then Croatia is the new Ibiza, and also Malta is the new Croatia, which I think therefore makes it the new Ibiza? Basically, everyone is always trying to find a new island idyll that can become the go-to party and festival hotspot...

Now we're definitely not trying to suggest that we're the first to have noticed that Indonesia might be worth visiting. The Aussies, for one, have been at it for years – heading to Bali for a party and some phenomenal surf – and Gili Trawangan is increasingly becoming a bucket-list destination for travellers from across the globe.



But with the announcement a few weeks ago that they would be heading to Bali this September, Bestival were the latest major festival brand to set sail for the Indonesian island, adding their name to the growing list of festivals in the region, and convincing us once and for all that we could be looking at a new destination to get excited about.

Bringing their characteristically eccentric and eclectic stylings to the beautiful Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in the south of the island – with the help of hip hop legends De La Soul, funk pioneer George Clinton and indie favourites alt-J – Bestival Bali could mark an important point in the story of Indonesia as a renowned festival location.

 

In 2015, iconic electronic music festival Ultra celebrated a Balian edition for the very first time, taking dance music's heavy hitters Alesso and Skrillex to the famous Potato Head Beach Club, where they returned once more last year with Afrojack, Martin Garrix and deadmau5 to name just a few.

Ultra Beach Bali will celebrate its third edition in October, with Hardwell, Kygo and Zedd among the first names announced, playing on a stage situated metres from the stunning Indian ocean, in what looks like a tropical paradise.
 


Potato Head Beach Club is also home to the increasingly popular Sunny Side Up Tropical Festival, which started in 2014 as a one-day event and last summer added an extra to day to proceedings in response to the festival's popularity. This August, Big Sean and Phoenix top a bill that spans house, pop, hip hop and more.



But it's not just Bali that's getting in on the festival action in Indonesia. Head to the country's capital city of Jakarta and you'll find even more to choose from.

The headline grabber is undeniably Djakarta Warehouse Project, an established favourite which, according to Mixmag's calculations, can now claim to be the largest electronic music festival in the whole of Asia.

With almost a decade of huge parties under their belt, and a massive list of superstars to have played since the first edition, the festival is rapidly becoming one of the biggest and best-loved electronic music festivals in Asia, with sights set on joining the world's elite.



Taking place in the same venue – the JiExpo Kemayoran in the north of the city – is We The Fest. Organised by the same people behind Sunny Side Up, and established at the same time back in 2014, there is overlap in the styling, aesthetic and lineups, with Phoenix and Big Sean also headlining the Jakarta festival.

But where Sunny Side Up sticks to two days and a single stage, We The Fest adds The Kooks, Kodaline and G-Eazy to the top of the bill across a diverse three day fiesta, with a bigger lineup, bigger stages and an all-round bigger feel.


Obviously these are just a few examples, and for Indonesia to truly become a hotspot for festival fans seeking an exotic getaway, more and more festivals need to spring up and more big name brands need to head to the region. But if things carry on at the rate they're going, we could well be looking at a go-to destination of the not too distant future.


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