What to expect from Indonesian concert?

Sometimes, when we are traveling, we can’t feel that close connection with local people or be a part of their daily life. But if you will ever have possibility, try to visit any local show (I’m not talking about those which is organized for tourists but those – which knows only local people :)) – do it!

If I have chance, I always try to attend local events, especially in Yogyakarta, where I live. I have been in many Indonesian concerts, exhibitions, events, festivals and other celebrations which were organized by local people or participants were only Indonesians. So I have a small “image” about Indonesian events.

Earthernity Fest poster

This time I want to share the discoveries of Indonesian concert, which I see really different from European ones. Even if past some time after visiting one of Indonesian concert in Yogyakarta – “Earthernity fest” (annual concert dedicated to celebrate earth day), the impression still lives in my mind. Probably this concert can be that one, which had all Indonesian events “attributes” :D.

Why this Indonesian concert was so special that I decided to go there?

First of all, I came here just because of Indonesian band “Payung Teduh”, I felt in love with their music already before coming to Indonesia :). Second, because of singer “frau”. Both of these artists in one place? I just needed to go! And for a big surprise – I discovered here new Indonesian group – TIK! TOK!.

So what you can expect from Indonesian concert?

Organizers performance

It will be late

and you can’t take inside your food or drinks (the security will take it from you) – but where it’s not happen? So this not counted like “unique” :D.

Sitting on the floor

Indonesians have sitting on the floor culture (when they are visiting people, eating, doing other things). So nothing surprising, just come to the concert and sit on the floor. People takes off their shoes, like at home :). For me – it’s not usual. If there are no chairs – you stand, in open area or very cozy place where is not enough seats – yeah you sit on the ground, but it’s not must. In this case, to sit 5 hours on the floor – some of the lower body parts really hurts :D. Nobody warn me that I need to take sitting pillow to the concert :D.

Long talks of “masters of the ceremony” (MC)

Almost none of the event (concert as well) won’t be real without MC’s. 1 – 3 people who tries to interact audience before the concert, during it. The funniest thing that MC’s speaking sometimes longer than performers stays on the stage (for example the band plays 10 min. – MC’s talks 20 min.):). Usually they just make some jokes (sometimes not funny at all), interactions with the prizes and a lot of self talks with the partner on the stage. Some of the event hires better MC’s, others takes amateurs. Because of MC’s interruption, this concert lasted 5 hours :D. How to be patient and wait for the last band the most important performer ?:)

Audience singing louder than the band on the stage

If Indonesians really like some songs, they will scream (imitating the singing) louder than the band on the stage. Even when you will ask them a bit make lower voice, because of their scream not possible to hear real singers – they won’t stop. In such way they express themselves.

Young couples dating

You can imagine how hard for teenagers and not marriage couples in the Muslim country to express their relationship? :). If they have a chance to be a little bit in private with the partner, they will try to go where is dark and a lot of people, because no one will be in attention of them. In this concert was the same – darkest corners was busy with couples: holding hands, touching shoulders. More braver was sitting in the crowed and hugging each other from the back.

Instant noodles

Most local people habit – eat instant noodles everywhere, even in the concert. Sellers even have more instant noodles types than other snacks. First I didn’t understood from where the smell of noodles is coming, just turn around and saw one guy eating them, then another girt in front, other guy in left. It’s looked that nothing can satisfy Indonesians stomach like “sambal” and instant noodles. Noodles “must” to be in every event.

Funny facts:

  • even if organizers didn’t deal properly with sound and lighten, but they didn’t forget to take out the brands labels from the water bottles which singers where drinking on the stage.
  • guess who was the “security” leading famous band out of the backstage? Girls with hijab :). Wondering why? In Muslim country none of the men can touch women with hijab (if it’s not your family member). So, even if somebody would like attack or do something, by the religion it’s not allowed :). Clever, yeah?
  • as well, I was the only one foreigner in the concert – so you can imagine how “popular” I was there :). Guessing who got more attention, people on the stage or me :D.


About all unsuccessful things during the concert I won’t write. Organizers, guests and bands probably already saw it. I hope for the next year concert, organizers will fix it or at least won’t do the same mistakes.

Some moments from Indonesian concert:


Have you been in any local performance during your trips? What was the most impressive thing or differences from what you used to?

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3 live music places in South of Bali for various taste

Yeah, in Bali you can listen for live music almost in any bar, restaurant or beach. Some of the places have live music performances every night, others on concrete days. So you have various live music “menu” to choose :).

I want to share about 3 live music places in South of Bali that I visited and recommend you to go there if you are in Bali.

UPDATE: unfortunately it’s closed already “Annapurna Sanur” in Sanur, Bali

For those who think that have “free soul”, likes jamming, different type of music, vegetarian food and meet people from all over the world.

Outside Annapurna

“Annapurna Sanur” is open a little bit more that 1 year ago and presents themselves  like a “soul food restaurant”. They share delicious food, inspiring live music for donations and “fight” against the plastic straws.

The atmosphere here is quite magic because of the people who establish this place, who are making everything to people feel like at home.

Every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm here is live music performances (musicians as well plays for donations). Here is as well open stage for everyone who wants jamming.  All visitors can just join and share what they want – sing, play, and collaborate with others.

The menu is not so various but prepared very delicious. You can come just to a bar and put everything that you see and want (dinner based on buffet type). Everything cooked at “Annapurna” is grown locally and as much as possible organic. Mostly you will find vegetarian food but for those who like meat – can choose from some dishes with chicken.

Probably it’s the first place where for food that you eat you donate money. There are some “tips” how much can cost which dish (the amount compare with restaurants prices in Bali really good) but you can leave as much as you think the food is worth (there are special donation box near the bar).

I have been in this place couple of times and each time I was enjoying the food and music. There you can often hear playing young Indonesian guitarist Renda Pangestu, other travelers from Spain, California and other countries. Every evening is like a surprise here but every time it brings very positive emotions and feeling that you are a part of the family.


“Annapurna Sanur”
Jl. Tandakan no. 7, North of the Sindhu Night Markets, Sanur, Denpasar, Bali
Working hours:
9:00 am-10:00 pm (live music 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, but you can stay there longer for chatting and etc.)

“Ryoshi house of jazz and sushi restaurant” in Seminyak, Bali

For those who likes jazz music, artistic performances and Japanese food.

Ryoshi at Seminyak
“Ryoshi house of jazz and sushi restaurant” is quite known places between musicians and those who are staying in Bali longer. People enjoy here not only fresh made sushi and other Japanese dishes but as well high quality live music performances.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 pm till 23:00 pm (or a little bit longer) they have live jazz concerts. Each of these days particular musicians are playing. If you are in South of Bali on Monday – for sure you need to see Rio Sidik quartet performance! I want tell more about this musician performances because you need to see it by yourself, what kind of feeling he brings with his trumpet and singing (he is not solo performer, other professional musicians are playing as well). Sometimes quartet gives extra surprises for visitors :).

Don’t be surprised that on Monday or other day with live music you maybe won’t find free place to sit upstairs (where are the stage). So if you want to see the performances better come earlier or just make reservation for a table. In worst case you can sit downstairs and just listen to music without seeing performers :). As well, on Mondays you can meet a lot of Russian tourists there, like Rio Sidik has couple famous Russian songs covers and Russian tourists likes it very much. Believe me, like Indonesian man his Russian language pronunciation and understanding the Russian songs is very good :). So if you understand Russian language and like songs, you will get double pleasure (even if you are not Russian songs fan, I believe you will enjoy it because of the way how they made covers). For those who likes dance – the quartet brings jazz to a dance floor also :). You have enough space to move there.  Once (like I had been there couple of times) I couldn’t just sit and listen – I just dare to start to dance.

Like menu based on Japanese cuisine don’t try to search some other food here :D. Fresh made Japanese dishes won’t leave unsatisfied (yeah, maybe portions can be a bit bigger). I enjoyed here my favorite sushi type. And the prices is quite normal, probably I couldn’t expect to find lower prices in Bali. Here is their menu.

“Ryoshi” has  as well  restaurants in Kuta, Sanur, Ubud (but I haven’t been there, so I don’t know if the standards so high like in Seminyak). From every restaurant they can deliver food straight to your hotel or other place.

Surprising but “Ryoshi” thinks not only about business, “Ryoshi house of jazz and sushi restaurant” participate quite active in social Bali life:  in charity activities and etc.


“Ryoshi house of jazz and sushi restaurant”
Jl. Raya no. 15, Seminyak, Bali
Working hours:
Monday-Wendsday-Friday (when there are music performances) 11:00 am – 00:00 am
Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday-Sunday 11:00 am – 23:00 pm

“Warung Mertua” in Denpasar, Bali

For those who wants to be among Indonesian people in their typical gathering places and listen professional musicians jamming.


If you don’t live in Bali, just came here for holidays probably you won’t know this place and won’t find a suggestion to visit it in any typical guide books :).

“Warung Mertua” a place where gathering mostly only Indonesian people. It’s nothing fancy, very typical Indonesian “warung” but at the same time it’s special place – like here gathering and jamming many musicians from all around Bali. After finishing their works, they like to come to this place and just jamming together, share their thoughts, ideas, experiences. They enjoy playing and covering not only famous international songs, but I would say even prefer play Indonesian good song and “transfer” them to jazz, blues and etc. sounds. That’s why many locals are coming here – they know that will have good music and local prices for food.

Warung Mertua

If you are foreigner and will dare to come here, be the object of attention (like not many foreigners comes here, so when you will come – people will stare at you for a while) I believe that you will enjoy the atmosphere of the place. Just you need to know that there is no exact time of playing, no date or time. People come to play here for fun, when they have time and energy. My suggestion to go there on Saturdays (in Indonesia it’s the most active week day for going outside) and after 23:00 pm – most probably you will have chance enjoy real Indonesian music life.

Menu here is not various and as well very typical for Indonesian people – “mie goreng” (instant noodles) and similar. So if you are not fan of Indonesian cuisine, you can just order a beer and enjoy the time :) The prices here local ones ;).


“Warung Mertua”
Jl. Imam Bonjol, at the intersec-tion with Jl. Malboro, Denpasar
Working hours:
Monday to Friday, Sunday 7:00 pm till 00:00 pm (but can be closed earlier if there are no customers)
Saturdays 7:00 pm till 3:00 am (as well depends on customers)

Rumah Sanur hubAnd extra place –“Rumah Sanur” creative hub, Sanur, Bali

It’s not typical place for live music performances and it’s not the aim of this place – to organize concerts. But like the place is in good location, have space, is open for creative people and have some coffee shop – sometimes you can enjoy music performances not only from Indonesia but European musicians as well. Just check information before coming ar just come for cup of coffee :).


All places on the map:

You like other places? Share where is good place to listen for live music (no matter what type), which one is your favorite ;)


Some of the pictures are taken from internet sources.

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How studies looks in ISI Yogyakarta

It’s an interview from goabroad.com website about my experience in Darmasiswa scholarship program (in ISI Yogyakarta university). Hope it will be useful for those who are thinking to choose this university for future studies or other university in Yogyakarta city.

Why did you decide to apply for an international program?

I’m always searching for new opportunities to travel and stay abroad for a longer time (as well I was volunteer in EVS program in Greece for 6 months). I heard story from my friend which was selected for Darmasiswa scholarship in Indonesia. I found this scholarship interesting too. This scholarship is unique opportunity to discover Indonesian culture by participating and learning straight from the masters. You can choose the island or city, period of studies (6 or 12 months), university and the subject which you want to study: batik making, traditional Indonesian dances, gamelan lessons, Indonesian language and many other subjects. And it’s quite easy to apply – you just need to fill the application form, collect needed documents and send them on time to responsible embassy. So I decided to try my luck and applied. I was one of ~550 people who were selected from all over the world. I quit my good paid job and start my adventure in Indonesia.

Why did you choose your specific program?

I’m dancing from the childhood, but it’s just my hobby, I never thought to become a professional dancer. I tried many kind of dances till now. When I saw that Darmasiswa scholarship suggest to learn traditional Indonesian dances, I decided that it’s the subject which I want to study. What can be better than learn one more “dance style” and collect new experience in my dance “career”, especially when Indonesian dances are so colorful. Each island have different dances, stories behind them, moves, clothing and etc. One year it’s really not enough to learn all dances and learn them professionally, but at least to understand them and enjoy it’s quite enough :). Even if many universities suggest to study Indonesian dance, I choose ISI Yogyakarta university. First of all, I heard many good reviews about this university from previous Darmasiswa students. Second, because of the Yogyakarta city. This city is cultural center and students capital city (in Java island). Where is better to be if not in the center of everything? :).

Here is the short video from music class that I entered.

What was your favorite part about the location?

Yogyakarta is very live city. Here are so many cultural events every day, so many artists with whom you can collaborate and meet. You just need to be open, curious and you will have many possibilities to discover not only traditional Indonesian culture but modern art as well. Also Yogyakarta city location is very grateful; within 1-2 hours by motorbike you can reach really amazing nature places: waterfalls, caves, mounts, beaches and etc. As well in the city you can find many beautiful places, meet interesting people. It’s a city that never sleeps :). ISI Yogyakarta university is located in south part of Yogyakarta city. Here are many places covered by rice fields. So most of the time you can see green color around you and Parangtritis beach is ~40 min. away (yeah it’s not the most beautiful beach in Indonesia, but at least sometimes you can feel sea breeze and see amazing sunsets). For me, this location was perfect – not so far from center, you can still be at least in small part of nature and the prices here a bit cheaper than in other parts of Yogyakarta.

What makes the program you participated in unique?

Uniqueness is to learn about the culture and exchange your knowledge with others.

Pictures from Darmasiswa students participation in cultural camp.

How did local staff support you throughout your program?

Darmasiswa program coordinator in my university Pak Bambang Supinardi just perfect. He is working with Darmasiswa students already many years and everybody tells that he just amazing. He always advices, answer the questions, helps in other issues. I never heard from him “no”/”not possible”. In any case, how he could – he always helps. I think his help made this studies more colorful.

What’s one thing you wish you would have done differently?

All Darmasiswa students enter studies with 1st year Indonesian students. It means, no matter how you experienced with your activity in your country, you had master degree in that field or other. Here you will study with youngster that just finished the school. In this case, I think I could be more curious and go to lessons with last year students, try to ask teachers to let me participate. I followed the rules and did what was asked ;). I think if you into something, you need to try your luck and reach more. How you can know if you wouldn’t try. So my advice, if you want something, you see it more interesting, just be proactive, try to join and participate.

Describe a day in the life of your program.

Dance studies in ISI Yogyakarta for Darmasiswa students was the most active comparing with other subjects. Studies are divided in 2 semesters. Each semester has own schedule and different subjects, different dance styles. In each semester we had to choose 3 subjects from all possible ones. I had lessons every day. Each day the timetable was different – one day 1 had 1 lesson per day, another day 3 of them. 1 lesson is for 1,5 hour, there are breaks between lessons for 20 min and during lunch time longer break. Sometimes we had projects, so we needed as well to work with groups after lessons. Also I had music lesson, for better understanding of dance rhythms.

Here is the short video from music class that I entered.

What was your favorite activity outside the normal day-to-day schedule of your program?

Indonesia is amazing country! First of all, during free time I was trying to see as much as possible and travel around Yogyakarta or somewhere further. I was interested in Indonesian art, so I was going to many festivals, events, celebrations and etc. I was curious to meet Indonesian people, so I tried to communicate with them more. I really tried  to fulfill my day and discover more and more about Indonesia.

What type of accommodation did you have? What did you like best about it?

When we arrived, our university provided us 3 nights in hostel. With university “buddies” (local students) we were searching for a place to stay for all study period. Some of the students found a place to live alone, others the houses for 6 people and etc. The main thing that when Darmasiswa students arrives, most of places (cheap ones and near university) already rented for local students. But still there are always what to choose. We (3 girls) found a place near university, the distance maybe ~10-15 min. by foot. Nice surrounding, neighbors, new build house (yeah it was without any furniture but we bought everything that we need by ourselves). Just pity that after 4 months we needed to move out (even if we agreed to stay there 1 year). If you are curious, here is all story why we moved :)

Now that you’re home, how has your program abroad impacted your life?

The studies period is from September till May/June (depends on university time table) but scholarship period 1 year (if you choose 1 year). It means, that you have opportunity 2-3 months after your study still stay in Indonesia for traveling and you will get still scholarship amount. This is the idea of this scholarship – give opportunity for students not only learn about Indonesian culture, exchange with students your culture but give possibility to see more of Indonesia. My scholarship year is 2014/2015, so I decided to stay in Indonesia. Honestly I don’t want to go home yet, still so many places want to see. If everything will work out I will stay here a bit longer :). And even without coming back home – I feel the impact of this program. I started to see things in different way, realize that we don’t need many things to be happy, met many people who gave impact to my life and views which I saw in Indonesia – just refresh my life.


What is your experience in Darmasiswa program? What you would like to share with future students?

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

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