Rock and Heavy Metal in Indonesia is only now recovering after being hit by the Covid-19 storm for two years. The last international rock show was in March 2020, held one day before the Indonesian president Joko Widodo, who is also a Metalhead, announced their Covid-19 emergency. At that time, Scorpions and Whitesnake were the two giants who rocked the Jogjarockarta Festival, organized by Rajawali Indonesia.
Words: Umar R / MetalTalk Indonesia
Covid brought sadness to the entertainment business in Indonesia, especially rock and Metal gigs, making everything almost fall apart. A few music promoters experienced a crisis and eventually went bankrupt. There was even a promoter guy who became a victim of the Covid-19 virus, the late Tommy Pratama. Pratama, who once brought the almighty Iron Maiden to Indonesia, passed away because of the damn covid 19 virus.
But the storm will surely pass. Since mid-2022, the wheels of Indonesian showbiz have started to turn again when an international rock and Metal show was opened by one of the most famous Prog Metal bands in the world, Dream Theater, in August in the city of Surakarta, Indonesia. This first post-covid international rock/Metal concert was held by Rajawali Indonesia. As the situation began to improve, Indonesia’s festival and concert boom occurred.
The peak of the boom for concerts or music festivals in Indonesia, especially for the rock/Metal genre, will occur in March 2023, with three prominent events.
First, Deep Purple will return to Indonesia for the first time since 2004. What is unique about this Deep Purple concert in Surakarta is the repetition of the first Deep Purple concert in Indonesia in 1975 with the legendary Indonesian rock band God Bless opening.
Promoter Anas Alimi, from Rajawali Indonesia, told MetalTalk that “this is a dream come true. I am a big fan of Deep Purple, and God Bless too.” Alimi is one of the few promoters who consistently holds international rock concerts in Indonesia. Tickets are almost sold out, and I will be there for MetalTalk, along with the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, who is also a big Deep Purple fan.
The second event is the largest Metal festival in Southeast Asia, Hammersonic. which is organized by Ravel Entertainment. Hammersonic will be held at Carnaval Ancol, in Jakarta, on 18-19 March. The headliners for this Metal festival are Slipknot and Trivium, and the lineup includes both local and international bands such as Watain, Violence, Saosin, Sinister, Black Flag, Burgerkil, and others.
Hammersonic 2023 is rescheduled from 2020. Many young Metalheads are enthusiastic and can hardly wait for Slipknot as the headliner. Many metalheads from neighbouring countries around Indonesia will come, such as Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and even Australia and New Zealand.
The third event is the Arctic Monkeys concert, which will be held at Beach City International Stadium Ancol, Jakarta, organized by Akselerasi Entertainment on 18 March. The world’s best indie rock from Britain sold out the venue in only two hours. It is an impressive feat to sell out so quickly, given the tickets were not cheap. The band, which is idolized by the majority of young people from teens to 30s and maybe 40s, does have a fairly large fan base in the Southeast Asian region.
Those are Indonesia’s three most prominent international rock and Metal events this month. A climax in the boom of concerts and festivals in Indonesia, March will be known as ‘The Month of Metal.’ I, for one, cannot wait to cover them all for MetalTalk.