GIG REPORT: The Heroes & Villains of We the Fest 2015

In each bedtime story from our childhood, there will inevitably be a hero and a villain. The Red Riding Hood had the Big, Bad Wolf. Hansel and Gretel had their insatiable appetite and Goldilocks, well for just being a total bitch.

Such has been the case of many of our festival trips, but who’s to call who what better than us. In the National Jubilee weekend, we were the obvious villains for skipping out on our nation’s 50th celebration. But we have good reasons in doing so — to bring you a report from We the Fest in Jakarta.


In-Flight Entertainment

Our flight to Jakarta from Singapore was torturous, cramped and two hours too long, but Flight Facilities’ set at the Clownapalooza stage brought plenty of respite. There were plenty of bumps along the way (delayed timings, a bursting full bladder and an impatient crowd), but we had our seatbelt fastened and our luggage stowed away in the overhead compartment for a wicked transatlantic adventure. As Reggie Watts put it, ‘Sunshine’s all over me baby, I’m on the floor.’

Hydration Points

The persistent scalpers crowded around the gate were hard to shake off but It is tough to fault the vendors outside nursing us with cheap hydration throughout the sweltering afternoon. Compared to the 30 000 IDR bottled water dispensed inside the arena, you’re the true champions beloved uncles.

Jessie Ware is Wifey for Lifey

That’s exactly what it says on Jessie’s heels on her wedding day. Not to mention, this would make you feel guilty. When was the last time you brought your other half to work. In between slaying it with ‘Say You Love Me’, Jessie proceeds to bring her shy personal trainer husband to meet the Indonesian crowd after tying the knot in September last year and dedicating the title ‘You & I (Forever) to him. Let’s hope the honeymoon phase never ends for this pair so we get to reap the rewards through a new album.

Delightful Delicacies

Here’s the single instance I was hoping for my tummy to double; to fit in all the gourmet indulgence at Pakir Timur. After nursing a bottle of cool Coconut water, we had a go at decorating our cupcake at the Colette & Lola booth — there is something disgustingly delicious about eating your own produce.

Not seen in this article: that overwhelmed look on my face when I tucked into the beef souvlaki manufactured by George Calombaris (that judge on Master Chef Australia)

Give ‘Em a Chance

The Ismaya team has been dedicated to bringing in smaller acts allowing them to thrive in the attention. We’re talking about the pornstar-DJ Jessie Andrews that was called in last year. This year belonged to Panama, housed at the smaller stage in Bananapalooza, the two-man band were biscuits and cream to each other. Things got hot and sweaty fast but the duo filled in a rosy expression with plenty of optimism to show for in their outing. Always.

Sideline Fun

Sideshow booths are what gives a festival its character, somewhat like the entrees to the main dish, they deliver a taste of its vibrant lifestyle. We the Fest knows the crowd and the crowd knows how to have fun; there were many hands-on activities like the cookixng classes, art exhibits and dreamcatcher making booths. Perhaps we have had too much of fun decorating our cupcake with swivels of cream cheese at the Lola and booth and inadvertently missed the end of Panama’s set and their anthem, ‘Always’.

Perhaps we might have had too much fun decorating our cupcake at the Lola and Crab booth and inadvertently missing Panama beat out their anthem, ‘Always’.

Side note: Maybe next year they ought to do away with a weight limit of 80kg for the euro bungee, I speak for all unhappy large-sized people.


Smokers Galore

Non-smokers in Singapore have lucked out. I mean after all, smoking in coffeeshops and public areas are prohibited. It seems like there seems to be this huge cloud of smoke hanging around Jakarta, a man-made haze arising from burning tobacco. The pollution didn’t stop at We the Fest, not to mention Adelph and Gunang Garam as official sponsors for the day. Sure smoke away, but could someone dedicate a non-smoking area for us that isn’t also the porta-loo? 

Queues (they snake)

You know what they say. When there’s a queue, you know that what you’re queuing for is worth the wait. At We the Fest, we couldn’t tell lines apart from each other and my peripheral vision is marred by the complete lack of tact displayed by some punters. Singaporeans not the only one who cut queue ok.

Cyril Hahn

Yup It’s shocking to see the Swiss producer on this end of the list, but Cyril was so good behind the console that it’s BAD-ASS. (we’re also not sorry for that) Psychologists have not adopted a term yet to describe the exact point of confusion amidst pleasure, when Cyril is playing we don’t know what’s happening but maybe that’s the point. Cyril cycles through beats after melody, there is a cascade of visual dilemma, we can’t keep our eyes away and we can't stop dancing.

Electronic producer Madeon, who recently released the chart-topping album Adventure.

Odd Droppings

Rubbish happens at every festival, but at We the Fest, there were plenty of oddities we saw lying on the floor: cigarette packets, half-consumed alcohol bottles, food and beverage tokens (we amassed a total of 75 000 IDR of tokens from scourging the floor - thanks), condom packets and of course, USED OIL BLOTTERS.

360-degree Political Agenda

Sure no one can resist a shot at Australia’s PM Tony Abott for all his snarky behaviour and onion-eating habits, but Australian rapper 360 doing it in Jakarta where tensions have already been mounting sounds more like a cheap shot. Let the music speak and keep the politics at home.

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