We The Fest 2018

by Pingkan Palilingan
24th July 2018
Packed with electrifying performances from Lorde, SZA, James Bay, Miguel, and more than 50 international and local musicians, the iconic We The Fest trumped other summer festivals in the country as it made the headline again with its return.

The music seemed to bang endlessly to hundreds, if not thousands, of cheering crowd. For three days straight, JiExpo Kemayoran was a sea of colourfully dressed young crowds from all across the country and overseas who came to revel in one of the biggest summer festivals in Jakarta.

It was the fifth edition of the highly-celebrated We The Fest, an annual music, arts, fashion and food festival by one of the leading lifestyle companies in the country, ISMAYA. Organised by the company’s lifestyle division, Ismaya Live, the festival’s main attraction is indeed its line-up of artists.

Spread evenly from Friday to Sunday, big international headliners drew the most spirited response from festival-goers. The first day started off with a blast with performances from British singer James Bay, Oz-based Nick Murphy aka Chet Faker as well as Alt-J, and The Strokes’ guitarist-keyboardist Albert Hammond Jr. Meanwhile, Lorde’s debut performance in the country won the crowd’s hearts on the second day, followed by performances from HONNE and Odesza. Lastly, the festival peaked with stunning performances from SZA, Miguel and Vince Staples on the third day.

On another note, We The Fest yields the stage for brilliant acts by local musicians as well; from pop singers Andien Aisyah and the GAC trio, to alternative sounds such as Polka Wars and KimoKal. A few surprises emerged throughout some of the concerts too, which includes live performances of a never-heard-before single from Barasuara, and the arrival of Indonesian President Joko Widodo together with Head of Creative Economy Agency (BEKRAF) Triawan Munaf on the second day.

But music is not the only thing people went excited for – We The Fest becomes massive with each passing year as they offer up engaging activities. Film screening, karaoke box, Virtual Reality games, photo shoot booth, you name it, visitors were spoilt for choices to kill time before their favourite artists perform. New this year was the WTF CON, an area where one can find pop-up shops by local brands, including Manual Jakarta’s very own booth where we invited up-and-coming and established local musicians to share about the inner workings of the music industry.

Electrifying music line-ups combined with thrilling amusements – likewise, We The Fest has done it. There’s no doubt that it’s going to be a greatly awaited return every year.