Sunday, November 20, 2016

LaLaLa Festival

It's been two weeks since I saw Kodaline in the flesh and I don't think I can move on anytime soon? Back in August, Kodaline posted a simple tweet that said "Jakarta". I was like, "What's going on? Wtf is happening? Are they coming to Indonesia? For what? How? WHEN?" Then my sister told me that there was this event called LaLaLa Festival. They claimed themselves as the first international forest festival in Indonesia. What a very, very interesting concept, right? At that time, LaLaLa Festival hadn't fully revealed their line-up, but they had this list of international musicians they'd like to bring and Kodaline is one of them. Days passed by without any significant updates about the line-up, and one day LaLaLa Festival finally announced that Kodaline was going to perform at their event. AND BOY WAS I VERY THRILLED.

My sister and I didn’t wanna waste any time so we bought the pre-sale ticket immediately. We had waited for YEARS for Kodaline to come to Indonesia. Oh, I forgot to mention that LaLaLa Festival did take place in a forest called Cikole in Lembang, around 1-2 hours drive from Bandung. The event was held on November 5th. At first, it was just me and my sister, but Bida joined us at the last minute. I was happy she could come along. The more the merrier, right? So we flew to Bandung the morning the event was held, strolled around the city a little bit, chilled out at a hotel quite near from the airport, and finally took an Uber at 4.00 PM to get to LaLaLa Festival in Cikole.

Here's the thing. LaLaLa Festival said they partnered with Go-Jek so people didn't have to worry about transportation access to the venue. They even had a 40% discount promo if we used the Go-Pay payment feature. So my sister and I were all prepared. We topped up the Go-Pay because we intended to use the Go-Jek service. It was a pretty good deal, wasn't it? But every time we tried to order a Go-Car, there was no vehicle available. It was like the drivers suddenly, magically disappeared. So we took an Uber instead. AND BOY WAS THE RIDE TO CIKOLE VERY STRESSFUL. We took off at 4.00 PM from the hotel, which in normal condition only needs 1-2 hours drive to Cikole, but until 7.00 PM we hadn't even reached the destination. We were literally stuck in the car. The traffic jam was awful. Terrible. Blergh. So my sister, Bida, and I decided to pull over and took a conventional ojek service instead. The ojek drivers asked us to pay for 100k IDR for each service, which made our jaws dropped because THAT'S TOO EXPENSIVE THEY PRACTICALLY ROBBED US. But we didn't really have a choice. Thank God Bida was quite good at making some bargain so we "only" had to pay them for 75k per each service. We knew that if we continued taking Uber, only God knows what time we would arrive. And risking on missing out Kodaline's performance? Hell no.

At around 8.00 PM, we finally arrived at LaLaLa Festival venue. After exchanging our e-ticket with an entrance bracelet, we started walking towards the main stage. At first, we were like whoa this is amazing all these colorful little lamps are very beautiful and romantic blablabla. We even took some photos and videos. But as we went on, we started to feel that there was something fishy about this event. Man, the walk to the main venue was covered in mud. Well, LaLaLa Festival once informed us that the weather would be unpredictable. There might be a chance of raining. And because of that they also warned us not to wear sandals nor white jeans. But I didn't think it was gonna be THAT bad? I know we couldn't blame the mother nature, but hello LaLaLa Fest crew could you prepare a better anticipatory plan? I lost count at how many times I nearly tripped because of how slippery the muddy ground was. And the lack of proper lighting didn't help either. It wasn't a complete dark, but I still couldn't see the ground without turning on my phone's flash.

But did I regret my decision to come to LaLaLa Festival? ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOT. Kodaline’s performance was super great. They were so delightful to watch. The moment they stepped their feet on the stage, my mood was lifted immediately. I forgot about my mud-covered sneakers, mud-splattered jeans, numb legs, empty stomach…. all was gone and replaced by happy butterflies when I finally saw Kodaline. They started the show with Ready, which was a brilliant song choice because of its uplifting melody. And I was really looking forward to High Hopes, you know. It was my number one favorite and BOY IT SOUNDED AS AMAZING AS I USUALLY WATCHED THE LIVE VERSION VIA YOUTUBE VIDEOS. I think at some point I was even dead from happiness. It was very, very beautiful and moving. Steve let us sing the first refrain and I got chills by how loud we sounded. It was like a dream come true. Until this day I still can’t believe I had a chance to sing High Hopes along with fellow Kodaline fans while the Kodaline themselves played on the stage. It was a bit overwhelming, but I’m very grateful.

I wanted to record the whole performances from start to finish but I enjoyed it too much so most of the time I just sang and danced and took some pictures here and there. You should see how the crowds turned into a sea of stars when Steve performed The One with an only acoustic guitar. I was very moved by that. But if there were one or two songs that really caught me off guard because they sounded much better live, that would be Lost and Love Will Set You Free. Lost originally has this cool electric effect that used to make me cringe. But oh my god it sounded so incredible live I was literally in awe. I swear to god I'll never skip that song anymore. And as for Love Will Set You Free, well.... tbh I never really paid much attention to it. I know the lyrics, I sing along when it comes on shuffle. I just didn’t think that Love Will Set You Free was that memorable, but Kodaline’s performance that day really changed my opinion.

To sum it all, my LaLaLa Festival was very interesting. I was quite pissed by how much struggle I had to put to get to the venue, but on the other hand, I can't deny the fact that it all created such a very memorable experience. Well, mostly because of Kodaline's outstanding performance. Bida and Jingga also made a great company. They practically saved my ass from kissing the muddy ground. Too bad we didn't meet Julek there because the signal was so bad and I couldn't send her text or make a call. But despite all those unfortunate events that happened around LaLaLa Festival, I still don't regret my decision to come. Two weeks have passed by and I still find myself watching some videos I took during Kodaline's performance that day. I really hope they will come back soon. :')

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