Folk Music Festival 2016: A Celebration of Music, Art and Togetherness
As long as music festival goes, we always look up to international festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, or Summersonic. So far, Indonesian equivalent of the same concept has been very few. It is no wonder when Folk Music Festival 2016 was announced, they hype over it was huge. The line up includes rising and established indie acts that rarely get together in the same event. Located in Taman Wisata Lembah Dieng Malang, it boasts the concept of outdoors-close to nature concert, a theme that is often associated with folk music.
Arriving on the spot was a little bit tricky since there was little sign that direct us to the venue (thanks to those Lee Cooper’s banners). Eventhough, the official rundown of the even started as early as 12 PM, we got reported that it was pretty much still empty at that time. But worry not, early comers got a few privilege such as Lee Cooper’s voucher and the most important, a strategic seat to watch the concert. There was also art workshop class that was happening simultaneously with the concert, so somehow while working on your art piece, you got inspired by the band that was playing in the background.
The art workshop includes collage art and macrame. It was held in a separate tent behind the concert venue and it’s free for those who already signed up beforehand. The workshop sessions were happening until 6 PM, and one of the concern from the workshop participant was the light inside the tent was too dim to be able to create detailed art. Other than that, the class was fun and the instructors were masters on their respective fields.
Albeit late, the first act from the bunch was Malang’s very own folk duo Wake Up! Iris and they kicked off the festival just right. Their music matched the surrounding as you could hear folk, bluegrass, and country vibe to their performance. It was later continued by Teman Sebangku, an indie folk pop duo from Bandung that sang their popular songs like “Menari”. Littlelute from Bandung then took the stage with Dhea that captured our attention with her signature bowler hat. Duo AriReda followed up who sang popular poems from Indonesian poet like Sapardi Djoko Darmono, Their goal is to educate people to Indonesian literary poems and make it easier to digest with the help of music. Dare we say that they’ve achieved their goals, we were pleasantly delighted by their music and friendly performance. It’s 5 PM already and they were an hour late to the schedule, so Silampukau, a rising folk band from Surabaya eagerly started their performance and they delivered a fine performance and they seemed to enjoy the stage.
There was a little break for Maghrib prayer, and attendees got to see the Food and Beverage market and Records market that was located in the swimming pool area. There were many options for food starting from rice bowl, fried snacks, ice cream, and refreshing beverages. The music/records market includes analog records store like vinyl, and guitar sash. There was also merchandise shop that sells FMF’s official merch like totebag, stickers, and t-shirts, also official records and merch from the performers like Mocca, Danilla, WSATCC, and Silampukau. The space for the market was neatly organized, but there is little option to sit so people were spreading everywhere and the lineup to buy food is pretty long, and we were starved. Since it was dark, and there is very little light (and even some blackout incident from some food tenants) we were sitting by the lake, and got warned by the guard NOT TO GET OURSELVES fall to the water….
The break time was interrupted and cut short when we heard an introduction for White Shoes & The Couples Company, one of the most anticipated act from the lineup and they performed a fun stage with Nona Sari even managed to walk among the audience. It was then continued by a pop folk band from Jogjakarta, Aurette and The Polska Seeking Carnival. Christabel Annora, a soloist from Malang, then impressed us with her set which includes, if you noticed Steffani BPM as well. Liyana Fizi, a folk singer from Malaysia performed after AATPSC and her sweet voice captured our hearts. Tigapagi performed a very serene rendition of their songs with strings and guitar. Danilla, the rising jazz singer, performed for the very first time to a very warm crowd who memorize her lyrics and did a loud sing along. We wished it was longer but she had to go, and next up there was Mocca. It started drizzling, not heavily, but steady, so some people opted to put on their raincoats or simply leaving their seats to search for shelter. But some people were not swayed by the rain and kept their eyes glued on the stage as Arina and friends sang their songs. It was a very cheerful performance as expected from an act with Mocca caliber.
The last performance came from Float, and the audience was welcomed by the rain, it was definitely more than a drizzle. Despite getting soaking wet, in some way, the nuance and vibe were very suitable with Float songs and performances. It was a magical moment and you can’t help but grinning as people sing along to “Sementara”, “3 Hari Untuk Selamanya” and “Pulang”. The festival has ended and surprisingly the rain ended too, it was a conspiracy from the universe, guys. Overall we really enjoyed our time at FMF 2016, we hope to see a better stage, better line up, and better concept from Satsco & co in the future. We were there together to celebrate music and art, and we got closer to nature and blessed by rain together. It was not awkward and no one was trying to be a ‘VIP’. 100% we’ll be coming back if it’s held again.
Trivia pros & cons :
– We were amazed by the voice over that signifies the transitions between stage. It was smooth and gave a little insight for the next performers.
– The decoration for the stage, market, and entrance gate should be better and the addition of little light could help.
– The workshop class started too late, so the collage art instructors seemed rushed by not giving details for the art (it’s learning by doing type of class), so the newbie or people who didn’t know collage art in the beginning didn’t have any clue about it. The macrame class was too dim, so it was hard to knot a detailed piece.
– The line for bathroom break was too long and the place for prayers was too far from the venue, so when it was time to pray we had to exercise first.
– The crews were friendly and helpful, keep up the good job guys
– The artists were not shy or arrogant to mingle with the crowds and watch other performers. The attendees even managed to take a picture together or conversed with them, so it was very fun.
– There was a frog in the middle of the audience when Float was performing (lol)
Pics credit: Akhmad Alfan Rahadi