Pennyland Festival Resurrected Bioskop Kelud with The Very First Music and Art Festival in Malang
As one of Indonesia’s center of music, Malang has many music gigs held every year, from acoustic night sessions to big concerts. It is already time for Malang to have its own remarkable music festival, and Pennyland Festival turned that dream into reality. Initiated by Karolina+ and Go Ahead People Malang, Pennyland Festival carried an extraordinary theme “Relive The Space through Your Ears”. Pennyland Festival was aimed to celebrate music, art, and youth community by connecting them in a forgotten public space. The event was this far, the first two-day festival in Malang that combined music, art, and youth community all in one event while also raising awareness about abandoned public space. Bioskop Kelud was chosen as the venue of the event as it was once a very famous movie theater in the ’80s. Bioskop Kelud which boasted an outdoor cinema concept was then abandoned after cineplex era had arrived in Malang. Pennyland Festival successfully reintroduced the historic space to us, Malang’s youngsters, who has never been to Bioskop Kelud in its heyday back then.
Furthermore, Pennyland Festival officials brilliantly decided to arrange two sessions of Movie Screening (or “Layar Tancep” as we called it in Indonesian) between the music performances. Warkop DKI’s movie “Depan Bisa Belakang Bisa” was played in these two days of celebration. The film was played on the big screen with analog projector, while the visitors could be seen watching and chillin in beanbag chairs that were provided there. It was a unique experience resembling how it was to watch movie in Bioskop Kelud in the old days. Pennyland Festival collaborated with Malang’s art communities Morokanggo and Projek Sederhana. The two communities were responsible in decorating Bioskop Kelud with murals. Two weeks prior the event day they had already begun to draw murals around Bioskop Kelud, from the ticket box to the entrance and the big screen. The murals were aimed to deliver the ambience of Pennyland Festival through illustration, and in response with Pennyland’s theme itself, Utopis. We thought that the murals succeeded in adding more artsy feeling for the festival, and giving the long-abandoned building a magnificent touch up that we even forgot that it was empty for a long time. Projek Sederhana also hosted workshops about mixtape making, marbled scarf, and silkscreen. Visitors could join the workshops and brought home their creation. This was an exceptional opportunity; how often did you go to a music event and come back home with a new skill and a self-made fashion piece?
On the other hand, some fun activities were also arranged by Pennyland Festival officials. They provided various mini games with prizes that could be exchanged with points from trial and point reward. There was also tiny space where visitors could practice to make their own merchandise with lino cut stamp technique in Lino Land. Though these activities seemed exciting and revived the festival atmosphere, as we observed we noticed that not many visitors were interested in joining both the mini games and the workshops. Their attention were merged more to the music performances and food tenants. This might be because this was Malang’s very first music-art festival so visitors gave more attention to the music performances. Food & beverages and lifestyle tenants also enlivened the festival. The F&B booths sell various kind of food starting from snacks to main courses, to refreshing mocktails and sweet desserts.
We tried Uniccrab’s special menu Nasi Seafood Gila, a rice bowl with 3 variants side dish from choices of gurame, shrimp, squid, crab stick, and fish ball and sauce choices of Padang and Uniccrab sauce. The ricebowl came with surprisingly reasonable price, only 15k each, and with acceptable portion too. We also tried a mocktail from Submeat, and it also came with surprisingly reasonable price of 15k. It was refreshing to refill our energy after inducing in a mass of dancing crowd. Juarez Ice Cream and Gedhang Ganteng were also happily serving the not-so-hungry visitors with sweet treats. Lifestyle tenants such as Camara Leather Supply, Melwood Watch, Looby-Loo Soeurs, and Sui Generis Straps Co didn’t miss the opportunity to join the creative crowd. We interviewed Sui Generis Straps Co, and they said excitingly that selling wasn’t their main concern in joining Pennyland at the first place, it turned out that their guitar straps sold really well. Even Coldiac and Barasuara were using guitar straps from Sui Generis Straps Co while they were performing on Pennyland’s stages. Camara Leather Supply, a new leather brand from Surabaya, used the opportunity to join Pennyland to observe leather market trends in Malang. They said they would definitely join Pennyland if it would be held again next year.
As for the music performance, the two most awaited music perfomances in Pennyland Festival were Barasuara (1st day) and Elephant Kind (2nd day). Barasuara performance was opened by a strong video profile in collaboration with Soundsations, and as Iga Massardi and the other band members entered the stage, the crowd went crazy. Barasuara performed songs from their hit album “Taifun”, such as “Api & Lentera”, “Nyala Suara”, “Mengunci Ingatan”, “Menunggang Badai”, “Tarintih”, “Hagia”, “Taifun”, and “Sendu Melagu”. Iga Massardi along with Gerald Situmorang, Asteriska, Puti Chitara, Marco Steffiano, and TJ Kusuma perfomed energetically, leading the super-excited fans to dance loosely. They were really communicative with the fans, asking the fans to sing along and take selfies. Barasuara gave a big surprise by performing their new song “Samara” for the very first time in Pennyland stage. Their performance was closed with the hit single “Bahas Bahasa”, leaving the fans very satisfied. Surabaya’s indie rockers, Hi Mom! also joined the festivity by bringing the songs from their latest album “Youth Is The Real Time Bomb”. While Malang’s veteran indie band, The Morning After sang their old tunes that reminded us of their golden era. Day 1 was packed and people truly enjoyed the experience of a music festival.
Elephant Kind gave different ambience on the 2nd day. It was the band’s first performance in Malang, and Bam Mastro, Bayu Adisapoetra and Dewa Pratama seemed to be amazed at Malang’s music enthusiasts. They praised Malang as the crowd that sang their songs the loudest. Their performance was dramatic, and the brought a wide range of songs, from upbeat to ballad ones and even tried to rap. They played some songs from their new album “City J” such as “Beat The Ordinary”, “True Love”, “Love Aint for Rookies”, “Montage”. They also performed some songs from older album “Promenades: A Short Film by Elephant Kind” titled “With Grace” and a song from album “Scenarios: A Short Film by Elephant Kind” titled “Down Hill”. Bam Mastro even did a crowd surf at the end of their performance and sang in the middle of the fans. Day 2 performances also included Malang’s finest indie musicians like Much, Young Savages, Coldiac and Beeswax. Surabaya’s folk pop group, Humi Dumi, also performed on stage on the second day.
Overall, we thought that Pennyland Festival already hit the jackpot by giving us a chance to relive the abandoned public space while at the same time also introducing music and atmosphere that we could enjoy. The unique concept of the festival would surely attract everyone to come again next year!
Writer: Jatrifia Ramadhani/Editor: Novita Widia