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Indonesia Beach festival forced to cancel due to local community pressure

Organisers “hold deep respect” towards the decision & hope to someday “share the same space in harmony”

  • Amira Waworuntu
  • 24 August 2023
Indonesia Beach festival forced to cancel due to local community pressure

Originally planned for this weekend (August 26-27, 2023) at Tanjung Lesung’s Bodur Beach, Indonesia, seaside festival Salt A Way recently announced the cancellation of this year’s event.

The event would have marked the first time Salt A Way invites over international artists, with Romain FX and Sunju Hargun on the line-up, after previously focusing on a strong all-local line-up.

Organisers took to Instagram to announce the cancellation on Monday, August 21 — just shy of one week before festivities were due to take place.

On August 7, a TikTok video was uploaded showcasing a number of individuals from a local community organisation opposing the festival being held at Tanjung Lesung.

Responding to the incident, on August 9, Salt A Way uploaded a post stating that the festival was facing “unforeseen circumstances” and that they would be relocating to a different venue while “maintaining the essence of the event.”

In the video, the individuals demanded that the local police and government deny Salt A Way’s event permit, claiming that the event “destroys moral values” of the local community.

Based on previous Salt A Way events, the team has actively engaged with the locals, inviting them to be part of the festival and creating job opportunities such as opening up food stalls, providing beachside massages and helping out with watersport activities. Local surf club, Carita Boys, have been on board with the team since day one.

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Preparations at the original Bodur Beach location were already underway, with frameworks of the stage and food stalls being set up, along with decorations.

“We hold deep respect for the decisions of the local organisation. We opted to embrace community and hope someday we can continue our lives knowing that we can safely share the same space in harmony,” share the Salt A Way team to Mixmag Asia.

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Event and Artist Manager, Rizki S. Djanegara aka Peaces, mentions how the team attempted to find a replacement venue on such short notice but to no avail; “Turns out that efforts in switching venues only brought on more obstacles and strayed us further away from Salt A Way’s original ‘DNA’; DIY, organic, grounded, camaraderie and wholesome, among others.”

He adds how safety becomes a top priority of Salt A Way, alongside creating a unique festival experience, and with the unfortunate sentiment shown in the previously mentioned video, it would be unwise to continue with this year’s event.

The refund process of tickets is now ongoing via Salt A Way’s Instagram account.

Amira Waworuntu is Mixmag Asia’s Managing Editor, follow her on Instagram.

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