Contemporary folk music having emerged in the early 20th century has flourished to be incredibly rich and diverse, culminating in its many sub-genres. Despite the western roots of the typically acoustic style, folk music has spread far and wide, evidently seen in the thriving folk music scene in Southeast Asia.
In celebration of the beloved heart-capturing genre, the annual Folk Music Festival is returning for its fourth run for a three-day fiesta on the 3rd to the 5th of August.
Organized by SATSCo, a community-based agency geared towards interdisciplinary community development and empowerment, the festival is set to take place in Kurusama Agrowisata Batu-East Java in Indonesia. Always held in historical Indonesian locations, the festival is an invitation to everyone of all ages to expand your horizon and celebrate the local alternative scene.
Malaysian and Indonesian musicians from a multitude of cities, such as Malang, Bandung, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and many more, will come to deliver warms swings complimented by the breezy ambiance of the festival and the serene setting of the location.
Some of the artists in a pool of 24 talented and awe-inspiring artists include Adrian Yunan, Bin Idris, and Reda. Hailing from Kuala Lumpur – Bayangan will be performing his own brand of neo-folk up on the stage alongside our Nusantara brothers and sisters after releasing his debut album Sendirian Berhad. (Find out more about Bayangan and his music here)
Another artist we’re looking forward to is the band White Shoes and the Couple Company, the Nusantara region’s very own Belle & Sebastian-cum-Camera Obscura – with a heavier accent of jazz & light disco at times.
Danila will also be bringing her own ambient-laced take on bossa nova and easy listening pop to the stage (Lintasan Waktu was one of our favourite albums at the time of release). For fans of more unabashed ambient sounds with a tinge of shoegazing sensibilities, Efek Rumah Kaca will also be leading the way.
A cultural explosion of sorts, this year’s festival will be one which transcends borders as it features collective networks from Indonesia and Malaysia.
Why do we call it a cultural explosion, you ask？
With this year’s theme being “Music and Literature”, the festival is utilizing multidisciplinary methods to reach out to the alternative community by incorporating other fields of art into the festival.
Not only will be there be wistful and sway-inducing musical performances, workshops and conferences regarding prose and poetry in addition to theatre performances will be held as well.
The festival will touch and discuss a diverse range of topics with conferences such as “Festival at a Glance”, “Eastern Indonesia’s Folk Music”, “Online Media Universe” and “Literature in Eastern Indonesia”, all which will be given by the experienced and pundits within the field.
The festival is also inviting all those who yearn to learn and are interested in honing their writing skills, as workshops such as “Poetry Writing: Uncreative Ways to Write a Poem” will be open to everyone! To expand one’s skill to the verbal realm, a dramatic reading workshop will be held as well. One may even read Sapardi Djoko Darmono’s eloquent poems with the poet himself, who is considered to be the pioneer of lyrical poetry in Indonesia, in a the “Reading Sapardi” workshop
A divergence from what is expected includes a Puppet Theatre conference and a Natural and Indigo Fabric Dyeing workshop. The trailer for the movie Aruna dan Lidahnya will also be making its premiere at the festival along with the cast and crew of the movie, so that is definitely something to look forward to.
Moreover, just like any other festival, there has to be a market, and the Folk Music Festival has got that covered. Bookstores, music trades, crafts, food and beverages and so much more will be there to fill your bags and your tummies!
More than just a festival, it is a building block for community as the audience and attendees are not merely just fans and onlookers, but friends by dining together. Having the opportunity to “makan sayang” together is to instil love and appreciation through the close and humble experience of food
Folk Music Festival will also be showcasing musicians and bands from all across Indonesia including the Gang of Folk, 4 chosen musical ensembles, in addition to reaching out the universities through, Folkampus, as they bring the world of folk to them through showcases and workshops. Folktivalist will also be introducing FSTVLST in an acoustic rendition of their usual rock and heavy music.
The festival, having lined-up with amazing and incredibly interesting performances and activities, is an experience that you do not want to miss!
To learn more about the event, this is their official website!
To purchase tickets, click here!
Featured image source: Hendisgorge
This article is written collaboratively by Low Tse Yenn & Zim Ahmadi