Urbanfest ’07 at Ancol, Jakarta

Yesterday I went to Urbanfest ’07 in “Dreampark” Ancol, north Jakarta. This festival, organized for the first time, had lots of contemporary culture such as Indie music and hiphop, street games and sports, graffiti, harajuku & cosplay competition, modded bikes, scooter stunting and more. The Ancol website has the full program (basically a whole list of activities with the word urban in it, haha!)

The general impression I got was that this festival was an experiment to create a setting in which new modern urban identities can be explored, partly influenced by global culture, partly localized and typically Indonesian. I enjoyed it a lot!

Many people used their cameras, DV cams, and handphones to capture a sense of ‘being there’.

Some interesting quotes from an article in Jakarta Post:

“As youth, we present something new, something different from the mainstream. That’s what people call the indie spirit. Now a group is considered indie, maybe later it’s not indie,” Jimmy, a member of The Upstairs [one of the bands playing], told a press conference Wednesday [that must have been August 22, 2007].

IKJ Rector [Jakarta Arts Institute, one of the organizing parties] and noted dance choreographer Sardono W. Kusumo said the festival was part of efforts to give young artists space to display urban cultures far removed from those found in the nation’s countryside.

“We are open to and ready for even “the craziest” ideas,” Sardono told the conference.

Sardono said there were no “genuine” Indonesian cultures, since the nation’s history has long been open to foreign influences.

Organizers said the festival, carrying the slogan “All You Can Act!!!”, are aimed at promoting freedom of expression in the face of rising conservatism in much of the country.


Graffiti art at Urbanfest ‘07 (1)

Grafitti art at Urbanfest ‘07 (2)

Some of the grafitti art at Urbanfest ‘07.

Guys doing motorbike stunts at Urbanfest ‘07

Guys doing motorbike stunts

East meets west when a hiphop group from Yogyakarta invites a dangdut singer on stage for a jam at Urbanfest ‘07.

Japanese cultural influences: harajuku & cosplay competition at Urbanfest ‘07.

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