Friday, June 12, 2009

Youths swarm Jakarta fair, enjoy horror and live music

The shooting lights of this year's Jakarta Fair danced against in Thursday night's sky, marking the fair's opening night.

White lights beckoning passersby to visit the event, which marked the city's anniversary on June 22, could be seen kilometers away.

The opening night of the fair, which this year boasted a long list of music stars, was mostly attended by mostly young people. Some wanted to watch famous music band performances while others couldn't wait to enter the entertainment booths like the horror house.

The committee said they had scheduled music performances every night from June 11 to July 12. Among the list are Kuburan, Efek Rumah Kaca, Slank, Tony Q Rastafara, Peterpan, Shaggydog, Alexa, Ello, Maliq & d'Essentials and the Changcuters. Ungu is scheduled to perform on July 12, the last day of the event.

High school student Ratri, who came with her friends said she was looking forward to shopping and enjoying other attractions at the fair.

"We can't wait to go into the horror house," said Vivian, Ratri's friend, said.

However, not all was rosy at the fair, which was opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

At one end of the fair, long lines of around 100 kerak telor (Betawi traditional snack made from eggs and rice) sellers sat forlornly behind their portable charcoal stoves, serving at most one or two customers.

Aside from the kerak telor sellers, many visitors said the fair lacked originality.

"This festival's great but it really isn't any different from other events," Ratri said, adding the fair lacked artistic or "Jakarta" elements.

Head of the committee of the 2009 Kemayoran Jakarta Fair, Siti Hartati Murdaya, said the management hoped to surpass 2008 sales figures, saying they "were praying to see Rp 3 trillion this year".

According to Hartati, the fair recorded more than Rp 2.7 trillion in business deals last year, up from Rp 2.4 trillion in 2007 and Rp 1.3 trillion in 2006.

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