Colourful lasers, magnificently futuristic stages, delectable treats, and blaring, good music with friends, are why thousands of electronic dance music (EDM) lovers from Indonesia and around the world had specifically travelled to JiExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta.
The desire to let loose, for perhaps the longest three nights of the year was the draw.
Djakarta Warehouse Project (DWP) 2019 returned to Jakarta, after celebrating its tenth anniversary in Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Bali, last year. Running for an extra day, this three-day celebration of EDM featured mega DJ names who haven’t performed in Indonesia for years, as well as marking a few international and Indonesian DJs’ debut performances at DWP. But it wasn’t just all about DJs. Similar to last year’s line-up, Ismaya Live decided to give a twist, by announcing an RnB singer who made her first-ever appearance in Indonesia – it may have raised some eyebrows but this singer’s performance absolutely awed the audience.
Day 1. Friday 13th December 2019
Since 2016, DWP had always featured the moment of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, because a diversity of sub-genres from across the dance music spectrum each year is a key value. On this day, a Betawi dance named Kinang Kilaras stole the crowd’s attention as they proudly raised the flags of their respective countries, surrounding the Garuda Land stage. DJ Devarra also featured Indonesia’s national song, Indonesia Raya, in his set.
Festival-goers were spoiled with various surprises from musicians who performed on the first day of DWP 2019.
For the last act of the night at the Garuda Land stage, Martin Garrix was joined by Zedd, who had previously performed on the same stage. The crowd went hysterical as both of these DJs took the decks together.
“I was very excited to see Martin Garrix. I’ve travelled from Japan to come and watch him tonight, but I’m definitely sticking around until Sunday,” said Amy from Japan.
Yellow Claw’s return to DWP was phenomenal, as they were accompanied by RAMENGVRL and keyboardist Arindi Putry. Blasterjaxx also spontaneously played Reza Artamevia’s “Berharap Tak Berpisah”, or Hoping Not to Split, that had been modified into a koplo dangdut version.
A meet and greet session took place where audiences could interact with their favourite Barong Family musicians such as RayRay, Moksi, Wiwek, and Sihk – the only Indonesian musicians to ever perform at TomorrowLand. Also, fans could rock apparel and accessories from the DWP 2019 x Barong Family merchandise collaboration. After a shopping spree, festival-goers were then able to line up for the colourful light installations and capture some memories with their squad.
Day 2. Saturday 14th December 2019
On the second day of DWP 2019, the Barong Family stage was transformed into the long-awaited, exceptionally colourful and spectacular stage called Elrow. The theme, El Triangulo de las Rowmudas, was showcased for the first time in Asia. Designed as a giant ship-shaped partying tub in the belly of the Kraken, colourful confetti, stilt walkers with undersea-themed costumes, and colourful floats made Claptone, Meduza, Marc Maya, Riva Starr, Chelina Manuhutu, Mario Biani, Hyde, and Okiocto’s performances nothing like what had ever been seen at DWP.
Oliver Heldens, world number seven DJ according to the Top 100 DJs 2019 magazine, returned to DWP for the first time since 2015. Then, Disclosure made their debut performance at DWP. They asked the crowd at the Garuda Land stage to sing every single word to their songs “You and Me” and “Latch” towards the end of their slot.
Late into the night, it was finally the turn of highly anticipated dubstep genre pioneer, Skrillex, to take the same stage. “We got to see who we wanted to see: Skrillex! He was really good. We had a blast,” said Jeremy from Singapore.
Fans were cheering as Skrillex ended the night by carrying the Indonesian flag and headed down into the audience separator, as Damien Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock” serenaded the masses.
Day 3. Sunday 15th December 2019
Following the announcement of the full line-up of DWP 2019, fans went hysterical as soon as the name Calvin Harris was included on the list.
“I went to last year’s DWP in Bali and now here I am again because why not? This is the biggest festival in Southeast Asia so of course, I’ll be here. I want to see Calvin Harris. He’s usually in Los Angeles and Las Vegas but he’s finally here in Jakarta,” exclaimed Morgan from France.
Scottish DJ and producer Calvin Harris had finally returned to Indonesia after seven years. The crowd sang along to hit after hit such as “Summer”, “We Found Love”, “How Deep is Your Love”, and “Sweet Nothing”. French DJ and producer, Martin Solveig, also returned to the DWP after his last performance in 2013. Martin brought his latest song, “Juliet and Romeo” as well as “Hello” and “Intoxicated” to the dancefloor.
American singer and songwriter Tinashe made her debut performance in Indonesia and DWP at the Neon Jungle stage, just ten minutes before Calvin Harris. Her charisma, powerful choreography, spot-on vocal abilities, and fun energy captivated RnB fans as she performed songs such as “Company” and “Faded Love”.
“Apart from the DJs and Tinashe, I came to enjoy the event itself. Everyone from different races comes and unites in one spot so it’s quite nice to see that,” said Wira from Malaysia.
DWP 2019 continued to flourish until the final hours of this year’s festival. Colourful fireworks alongside the bright moonlight illuminated the site and Rise by Jonas Blue ended the festival.
Inaugurated in 2008, DWP was initially held at Jakarta Blowfish Club and was called the Blowfish Warehouse Project. A total of more than 5,000 people were present for the first edition of this festival created by Ismaya Live. Year to year, the amount of people has consistently grown to this day, making DWP one of the biggest music festivals in Asia.