Jakarta allows live music performances

The number of COVID-19 cases in Jakarta has yet to go down, so to many, it was surprising that the Jakarta local government has distributed a circular to restaurants and cafes, announcing that they are now allowed to hold live music performances again

Six points were mentioned in the circular, all detailing the steps that establishments must take if they were to host a show.

Small live shows at restaurants and cafes are allowed to return

Jakarta live performances - DIAA at Parc19
DIAA performing at Parc19 in August 2019
Image credit: @parc19

COVID-19 has negatively impacted the entertainment industry, particularly smaller artists who rely on frequent gigs. The return of live performances might provide some financial relief for such artists, but it’s important to remember that the pandemic is far from over, which is why six guidelines were highlighted in the circular.

First, no more than four performers are allowed on the stage at a time. Second, performers must wear face masks and maintain a safe distance from one another, and are prohibited from interacting with the restaurant guests.

Jakarta live performances - Melly's Garden
Performers at Melly’s Garden in August 2018
Image credit: @dikky_oetomo

The third point states that the restaurant or cafe guests won’t be allowed to go on the dance floor no matter how much of a bop a song is.

The last three points concern business owners. No venue is permitted to host “famous artists” who might attract a large crowd – a rather ambiguous rule that could potentially cause some confusion among artists and organizers – and the volume of the music must not exceed a “reasonable” limit. Lastly, breaking these regulations could result in sanctions. 

Netizens respond to the announcement

Jakarta live performances - Nuice Media Tweet
Image adapted from: @nuicemedia

On 27th August 2020, @nuicemedia summarized the news about bringing back live gigs on Twitter, and netizens immediately shared their thoughts – especially on the point about the prohibition of “famous artists.”

Jakarta live performances - Reply 1
Image adapted from: @nuicemedia

@oelpha wondered if the musicians who eventually get invited should be happy they landed a gig, or sad that they’re not considered famous. 

Jakarta live performances - Reply 2
Image adapted from: @nuicemedia

Meanwhile, @FerdianKR demanded to know what benchmark is used to determine a musician’s fame. Social media followers, perhaps? 

Jakarta live performances - Reply 3
Image adapted from: @nuicemedia

An optimistic response came from @solidmorning, who thinks that this is the perfect opportunity for independent musicians to enjoy the spotlight – preferably by playing instrumental songs. 

We hope that artists will be provided with appropriate PPE and social distancing measures to help protect themselves, as paid gigs now come with health risks after all.  

Jakarta live performances - Reply 4
Image adapted from: @nuicemedia

@ini_bowo’s reply echoed what many of us might already be thinking about the pandemic in general – things are indeed getting weirder by the day. 

Indonesia’s entertainment industry will face a tough comeback

It’s heartbreaking to think that certain musicians have to make tough decisions to play at a show that can actually contribute to their livelihoods. 

Sticking to the health and hygiene protocols, and taking to safer online performances, might be the best way to deal with the situation for now.

More music articles:

Cover image adapted from: @Parc19

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