Some things are just meant to be.
We were in the middle of our South East Asian trip Sep 2016 when I repeatedly expressed my anxiety about this thing I had in my mind to Madrim. I remember we were at Luang Prabang making a trip to an elephant village when I mentioned about creating something new together with her. Music is undeniably important for me and for the past five years I am leaning towards this broad idea of creating a cohesive sharing culture. It is pretty evident with Sounds From the Corner – we progressed forward with the Squad project, which basically is a casual network established to support local music documentation.
The second momentum was this May – me and Madrim stayed for a month in the UK to attend a couple of festivals, including The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City which gave us a lot of ideas of how to execute Archipelago. My first experience with TGE dated back to 2014, back when I still write for BBC London but this last one was more comprehensive for me. Plus, Madrim spent her childhood and college years in London so for us the trip was pretty much nostalgic, at the same time fun.
So that being said and explained, the drive of creating Archipelago was organic. Personally, the intention was to feed my hunger of creating a something that encapsulates my vision around ecosystem in music. Conceptually, I wanted to create a positive, pro-active environment for people in music – from artists to backstage people who have supported the local scene for the past 10-15 years. Very simple, but no one is doing it in Indonesia, as far as I know.
Along the way of polishing the ideas, we’ve had encounters with numerous parties, and we are so blessed to be surrounded by supportive people who have helped us. You can’t imagine how grateful we are to have these new friends with us, putting blind faith in this “un-tested idea” in Indonesia.
However, some people were indeed skeptical towards the vision, especially when they envision the project as a “business” rather than as an attempt to empower. But at the end I think it was typical for people from the outside to see the project as a risky investment, some people are not that ballsy when it comes to unconventional ideas. On the other hand, it needs courage and a bit of craziness to birth something new, so we were also feel blessed that the universe showed us the right path.
The idea of having music conference itself was for sure not a novelty globally, but in Indonesia where music is mainly B2C and audience driven, pulling a music conference is not fancied by most “businessmen”. So for us, the road was pretty bumpy, but it taught us incredible lessons. And the fact that we bootstrapped and self-financed the festival (no sponsorship) this year is surprisingly crucial, it enabled us to be independent in terms of designing the programs, at the same time granted us integrity. A necessary gesture IMO, especially within the local scene.
We are overwhelmed with the positive responses from people and colleagues. There are also many constructive inputs that we received from people, so those takeaways are equally appreciated too. Archipelago is far from perfect, and we promise to get better in the future, but unlimited thank you-s for all of our partners, and most importantly speakers who have shared their knowledge, bands who have performed and people who attended the festival.
But seriously I mean it, we are really grateful for the big big love from our friends and colleagues. List of shout-outs & thank you-s to our wonderful friends & partners:
- Kendra Ahimsa – who helped us design Archipelago logo, one of the very first people we talked to. Wonderful, brilliant artist!
- British Council – Thank you for adding incredible value to the event by giving us two international artists, and cheers for the continuous support.
- Satu Collective – our cool comrades who did an excellent job extending Archipelago visually. They made us look good, no doubt.
- The Third Company – The team who supported us to do social media content, solid team and super responsive.
- Soehanna Hall – physical home of the festival, the good guys from Soehanna nodded to our idea and helped us hosting the gig in their den.
- Maika Collective – Last minute but very impactful, Satriya and his crew created all of the amazing motion graphics and visuals for Archipelago. Hats off!
- Fabelio – They hooked us up with nice couches on stage for the conference, thank you Fabelio team
- Tauzia Hotels – Sweet discounted rooms for speakers and guests from outside Jakarta.
- Casual Fan Club – Homies helped us securing merchandise for the event (and people were loving it)
- Batavia Strut – helped us arranging the Archipelago pre-party at Queens Head!
- Kiostix – supporting us on ticket management and D-Day execution
- Last but not least SFTC and Studiorama as the core teams that supported the idea since day 1.
Press around Archipelago:
- Detik: Konferensi Musik Archipelago Festival digelar Oktober
- Whiteboard Journal: Harapan Baru Kancah Musik Hari Ini
- Kompas: Bicara Soal Musik di Archipelago Festival
- Rappler: Archipelago Festival – Panggung Musisi Baru unjuk kebolehan
- Tirto: Kartika Jahja & Yacko Bicara soal perempuan di dunia musik
- Beritagar: Diskriminasi dan Pelecehan Seksual di Dunia Musik
- Metro TV: Guruh Sukarno Putra Sebut Orde Baru Biang Kerok Krisis Kebudayaan Indonesia
- Detik: Ucok Homicide Bicara Soal Musik dan Aktivisme
- Rolling Stone Indonesia: Menyemai Inspirasi di Archipelago Festival
- Honeycombers: Upcoming conference celebrates local Indonesian Music Scene
- Billboard: We Are Imaginary Represents PH in Archipelago festival
- Dew Magazine: Collective Gathering for Bigger Purpose
- Viva: Archipelago Festival bakal bahas musik dari segala aspek
- Pophariini: Archipelago Festival – Konferensi Musik Pertama di Indonesia
- Manual Jakarta
- Solopos: Dengan Young Lex, ini Pengakuan Guruh Sukarno Putra
- Deathrockstar: Vlog
- iRockumentary: Photo Gallery
- Coconut: celebrate Indonesia Music Scene and Get an Insider Take on the Industry