Joyland Bali 2023: Where Magic, Music, and Movement Meet!
[BALI] Joyland Bali 2023 has wrapped up its affair last week from 17 – 19 March 2023 with much praise from the festivalgoers, the stakeholders, and the artists who performed there. Located at Peninsula Island, Nusa Dua Bali, we set foot upon the vast green grass and sandy beach that host 3 stages and 3 areas which are Joyland Stage, Plainsong Live Stage, Lily Pad Stage, White Peacock Area, Shrooms Garden Area, and Cinerillaz Area. On the first day, starting from 3 o’clock local time, people started to arrive bringing their best festival outfit and we could also see some families bringing their toddlers along. Organized by Plainsong Live, Joyland Jakarta and Bali aim to be a festival that could be attended by various age groups and the latest festival in the Island of Gods was a testament on the festival’s consistency and idealism. We got the chance to catch performances from Guernica Club and The Reality Club on Plainsong Stage on the first day. After resting for a while at White Peacock area to see several activities there like tarot reading and face painting, Summer Salt became the first international act on our must-watch list on that day. The crowd got bigger and simultaneously, Indonesian singer Yura Yunita amped up the crowd with her set on Joyland Stage. As the night grew darker, Tulus, Crumbs, Dipha Barus and The Black Lips managed to attract huge crowd. Getting swayed by the ambiance, Tulus even asked the organizer whether he could add more songs on his setlist up to no avail since Plainsong Live applied a strict time management so the stages could run according to the original rundown. M.I.A. as the final performer on Plainsong Live brought the house down as the Srilankan born singer brought a huge paper-made tiger on her stage. The rapper drew attention from the attendees who were pleasantly surprised by her antics.
On Saturday, the festivalgoers seemed to be multiplied twice as more people swarmed the entrance gate earlier than yesterday. As we entered the main area, Dialog Dini Hari, Bali’s very own folk musicians welcomed us with their tunes. Visiting the F&B area, we were impressed with the varying selection of food starting from Indonesian cuisine, Japanese food, Western food as well as fusion cuisine. Booze selection is also available for those who are above 21 years of age. As we enjoyed the delicacies, Teddy Adhitya entertained us with his smooth voice. The second day also saw rises in its toddlers and kids attendees as they run around the place freely and enrolled in various activities like coloring and face painting. Plainsong Live’s commitment to separate the smoking area and free smoking area made the festival enjoyable for both smokers and non-smokers. The officials were always on standby to remind the festivalgoers to smoke within the area dedicated for smoking. As it could not get better, more musicians performed their best during the second day including Andien, Stars & Rabbit, Raisa, Black Midi, Barasuara, Sigrid, and many more. Barasuara made headlines with its frontman, Iga Massardi, going down the stage during their performance to sing along with the crowd. Sigrid with simple outfit and make-up showcased her beautiful vocal range and proved that it takes sheer talent and confidence to blow us away.
We started our final day at Joyland Bali 2023 by watching Polka Wars on stage. Newcomer musician Assia Keva also took our attention with her groovy delivery. The Adams performed upon the beautiful Bali sunset, and the singalong to their songs like “Pelantur”, “Hanya Kau”, and many more was insane. We still felt the chills imagining the songs brought to live by the band as well as the viewers who came from across the nation. Continued by performances from Kunto Aji, Hindia, Chai from Japan, GAC, White Shoes and The Couples Company, we almost could not contain our excitement for the most awaited performer, Phoenix. Before that, GAC who came back from four year hiatus were welcomed with such longing from fans and attendees alike. Gabriel, Audrey, and Cantika also performed their latest comeback single “Baru” and showcased their gratitude to be back together after several years apart doing their own solo ventures. Hindia attracted big crowd that day and showcased a great live production value that mesmerized us with great visuals and sounds. As Phoenix’s time to be on stage grew nearer, people started to swarm the Plainsong Live Stage and we kid you not, people were freaking excited as the band appeared on stage. Thomas Mars, Phoenix’ frontman said that Joyland Bali 2023 became their latest tour stop and he was blown away by the reception from the fans. He even went as far as to say that this crown was the best he ever got and he did not say it freely in previous tour nights.
To sum it up, this festival is Plainsong Live’s best yet and The Peninsula fit the festival’s spirit and vision like a glove. Magic, music, and movement met during this 3-day affair and those who came must agree with our statement. The holistic approach taken by the organizer should set the standard for any music festivals in Indonesia in the following months. “From the arrival and departure of the attendees, hopefully they could feel any details designed and executed by our best working teams. Joyland Festival could run smoothly because it was organized by these lads who were willing to cooperate and build all the things that we saw in these three days,” said Ferry Dermawan, Festival Director of Joyland. Yes, there were always rooms for improvement even for the seemingly perfect Joyland Bali 2023. However, if we were asked what is the best music festival that delivered a great music, ambiance, and attrations we would answer Joyland Bali 2023 in a heart beat.
Reporter: Adam Gomajaka/Writer: Novita Widia
Documentation: Plainsong Live/Joyland 2023