With a stellar lineup of Indonesian DJs and musicians. Mokshfeast’s debut in the remote area of East Java completely rewrote what is possible for raves in Indonesia. The festival infused the adventurous side of an outdoor rave with an eco-conscious twist, while showcasing the diverse talent of Indonesia. The lineup was made up of a selection talents from all corners of the country’s diverse musical palette, including Robi Navicula, Wake Up Iris!, and Atlesta representing the vibrant indie scene, while house and techno acts were represented by Latex, Claudia Jaramila, Tantra, Kenny Gabriel, Halim Ardie, Metzdub, and Lunette.
The festival began with a collective of DJs and producers from cities surrounding East Java who wanted to deliver a forward thinking event concept to the party-hungry electronic music fans in an area where the festival scene was virtually non-existent. Taking over a serene beach on conservation protected land, the area Mokshfeast took place in is also a site for native monkeys being raised to be released back into the wild. This is one of the many ways that the festival tried to connect its punters with the concept of getting back to nature.
With all of the concepts in place, the journey to change the festival game in Indonesia got on its way. The trip to the hidden paradise began with all the participants gathering in the city of Malang where we were shuttled into buses, in what became a 40 vehicle long convoy that snaked its way through the cities street to the coast four hours away. Though tired by journey’s end, I was revitalized when I came across the stunning view of the venue, and the festival got underway.
The festival site was a sprawling layout of camping grounds, yoga areas, water sports locations, and bean bag rest areas. A beautiful stage was nestled against a massive tree, framed by the postcard-worthy coastline with islets sprinkled along the never-ending ocean horizon. Following Javanese tradition, the festival’s opening ceremony began with a prayer session with a sharing of a mountain of yellow rice for everyone in attendance. This happened right on the beach, and was definitely the perfect way to start the weekend.
Before the music began Robi Navicula, a prominent folk singer, lead a discussion panel with the conservation park rangers and festival attends about decreasing pollution in Indonesia. He then went on stage to perform an array of folk tunes, and was followed by a few bands who brought out reggae and indie tinged songs.
The folk duo Wake Up Iris!, perfectly set up the festival for night time, then Metzdub began with choice cuts from electronic music throughout the decades.
Live techno act Latex followed, and was a definite highlight of the festival. His setup looked akin to a high-end studio, which he controlled with the focus of a mad professor in the laboratory. The pounding on-the-fly beats went down well with the tech fans of this festival, which at this point was slowly turning into a beach rave.
Lunette took control of the decks next and brought out a deeper layer to the party, which admittedly the folk partiers weren’t quite into—but the techno heads were loving it. When Kenny Gabriel was in charge of the decks, he was able to unite both sides of the party with his selection of party hits and flashback dance tunes. With the full moon, the night then moved on to a full-on dance party with Halim Ardie, Tantra and Claudia Jaramila, who led punters until the early morning underneath a sky full of stars. Those who made it through the night were greeted by an amazing sunrise, which illuminated the islets across the horizon.
The next day of the festival was all about enjoying nature and joining in the many adventure activities. The last few hours of paradise were enjoyed with the sun soaked waves that helped ease the hangover of the night before, festival attendees then made their way back to town, with the memories of a perfect weekend.
Follow Mokshfeast for more info about when it will return next year.