What The… F?
Written by Radio Heatwave on August 8, 2018
20th to 23rd July, what an experience. Located at JIEXPO Kemayoran in Jakarta, Indonesia, We The Fest 2018 (WTF) drove in people from all over the world for one purpose: to enjoy the well-thought-out collective of music that the festival had to offer.
We started Day 1 while the sun was still up. When we arrived at the venue, we were greeted by a snaking line of festival-goers decked in all sorts of crazy outfits. Boho girls plastered shiny gems on their faces, guys taking it easy in vibrant coloured T-shirts and shorts… We even caught a glimpse of a James Charles lookalike! Boy, festivals sure bring out the creativity in people – definitely a mood fitted for the event.
When we finally got to the front, past the multiple security checks, it felt like we entered a whole new dimension. The décor was on POINT. They took fairy lights to another level by dangling colourful umbrellas from wires mid-air to create a unique, hip vibe. Genius. The place was bursting with colours and what made it even cooler was all the tech upgrades. When night fell, it looked like a scene right out of Disney’s Cars when Lightning McQueen fixed the neon lights that glistened the town of Route 66. (You Disney heads know exactly what I’m talking about.)
WTF was more than just a music festival. Put into local context, it was probably a combination of Laneway and Prudential’s Marina Bay Carnival. There were a fair (no pun intended) amount of games and activities and of course, a street of food stalls to feed everyone after getting hungry from all the singing and dancing. They’ve really got everything covered. But, we obviously didn’t fly all the way to Jakarta for the food and games.
I must admit, we were stressing out a little on Day 1 because we had a job to complete that evening. We had the privilege of scoring an interview with ‘Let It Go’ singer James Bay and spent the weeks prior preparing for it. We had our props ready, the nerves were kicking in, legs jittering like we needed to pee, but we were all set. Fast forward to the moment when it was time to meet the man himself. He greeted us with a firm handshake – the true mark of a solid gentleman – and immediately met us with a warm smile. We sat down and immediately hit it off. We talked about his music, inspirations, played a little game (stay tuned for the full video on our YouTube channel!)
All in all, the interview went smoothly and we proceeded to the main stage to enjoy Mr Bay’s highly anticipated set. Needless to say, there was no shortage of delivery. The ‘Pink Lemonade’ artiste was phenomenal, dishing out track after track off of both his albums, The Chaos and The Calm and Electric Light. He even threw in a bonus guitar solo that unveiled the crowd’s inner rock ‘n’ roll spirit. Now that’s what we call a performer.
ay 2 was followed by more astounding acts such as royalty in its purest form, Lorde. The New Zealand star slayed the stage and even slayed OFF stage. She danced herself to the middle of the crowd during ‘Team’ to share an intimate moment with her fans, living up to the name of the tune. The night ended off on a high with various DJ sets by Odesza and Party Favor.
“Save the best for last.” WTF takes that seriously. The final day was the cherry on top. We thought it unwise to leave the main stage at all that day since the biggest acts were back-to-back. The superstar line-up begun with alternative-pop band, The Neighbourhood. Jakarta didn’t have a Sweater Weather but the audience was definitely feeling it when Jesse Rutherford busted out the two-time platinum hit. It was followed by a zealous performance by hip-hop icon Vince Staples. Staples literally had the ground quaking when the crowd jumped to the beat of ‘Yeah Right’ off his latest album, Big Fish Theory.
Next up was R&B heartthrob, Miguel, who commanded the attention of the entire venue. He had them wrapped around his finger, mesmerising everyone with his melodious voice. However, what was most important about his act was that he took a moment to rally everyone and take a stand against the injustice of the world with his tear-jerking song, ‘Now’. Now that’s how you use your voice.
WTF ended with a big finale: 21st century diva, SZA. The sassy singer served a big plate of raw talent with a side of fierce attitude. I think it goes without saying but that was truly the perfect end to The Weekend.
Special thanks to Universal Music Singapore for the opportunity!
Written by: Qadirah Baw
Edited by: Yin Yun Tan