Soulnation Festival Jakarta 2010

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)


If you come to Indonesia around the end of October this year, there is a cool event that you may want to check out. The Soulnation, a festival of music artists, is happening at the Istora Senayan venue in the city. Grab your ticket, pick up some travel insurance, and get ready to party.

The SoulNation Festival is a major deal in Java. Soulnation has been running for a couple of years now, holding events every few months, and attracting a lot of local, regional and overseas artists. This is a rap, hip-hop, and R&B event, and has previously included artists like the Ting Tings, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Arrested Development and Ashanti.

This is a music event with a difference. It also includes extreme sports, BMX, Skate Board, and Battle DJs. The Soulnation concept is also doing a lot to help the local music artists and industry, and is becoming an Indonesian must-see experience. It’s also a lot of fun, and Soulnation has a wish list of artists it’s trying to get to expand.

This is a typical Indonesian low-key local idea which has just kept growing. Indonesia has a tendency to create these events, which start up as local, and wind up as international drawcards. Even Bali, one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations, was actually discovered by surfers, not the tourist industry. Given Indonesia’s progressively developing tourist trade, the chances are good that Soulnation will add yet another place to see to Indonesia’s expanding list.
This time, an Indonesian event has been discovered by the internet, which is generating the interest that normal media simply couldn’t for local bands and artists. Soulnation is featured on YouTube, Facebook, and other sites, and like many modern acts, isn’t using the mainstream channels to get noticed.

That’s good business sense, and the message is definitely getting out. The internet strategy’s working. Soulnation, like any promotion, needs to be ahead of its costs and in touch with its market, and the net-based operations are getting good reviews from foreign sources in the process.

It’s not commonly known outside the country that Indonesia has a large modern music industry, with a lot of different types of music. It’s not easy to achieve a profile in two years of operations in the music industry anywhere. But Soulnation is making its point in a country where local artists have to work through sometimes tough career paths to make a living. Soulnation is no minor accomplishment, and the support for local artists is a particularly good idea in terms of developing the local industry.

Interestingly, Soulnation also has an agenda as well as music, according to its Facebook materials. It “aims to enhance the country's image and demonstrate to the world that Indonesia is a safe place to visit, promote music and tourism industry, and provide Jakarta with an event that strengthens its identity as a metropolitan city.”

It’s achieving that, and presenting itself well to the world. Soulnation is a generational phenomenon, and in many ways the voice of a generation.
The photos were taken on Soulnation Festival facebook group here.
This article was written by Nadia, who has volunteered to help organize the Soulnation festival since 2009.

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