Reviving Indonesian Culture through SenDalFest 2022

foto @Chua Miles

As International students, the longing for our home country – the language, the food, the music and most importantly, the culture – has always been there. We agree that it’s fun to study abroad and experience different cultures. Still, it’s safe to say that we always return to our roots. 

foto @Gabriel Pratadaja
foto @Gabriel Pratadaja
foto @PPIA UTS

That is why we, led by Saddam Zulfikar, decided to hold an Indonesian music festival this year– grounded on the basis of acknowledging the importance of reviving Indonesian culture in Sydney. We aim to bring a ‘home’ far away from home: Senandung Nostalgia, ‘Utopia of Heritage.’ 

As many of you know, ‘Senandung Nostalgia,’ in short, SenDal, means a nostalgic chant. To deliver such nostalgic feelings, we invited our current #1 top-selling artist Tulus, all-time favourite Indonesian band since 2008 Vierratale and one of the most famous Indonesian DJs Dipha Barus. Combining these three will bring back the long-longed Indonesian culture: the current top-selling music,
the all-time favorite music and closing them off with some local epic DJ, respectively.

To summarise, the journey of SenDalFest has been a rocky but memorable path– we had our ups and downs. From having to reorganise our plans quarter-in the process, struggling to find sponsors and partners, having some of our sponsors canceled midway, to making some other small & big mistakes.

Within around 10 months of our efforts on organising this festival, we have successfully amassed more than 1,000 people to come to our event. Our tickets are sold at a number of 1,172 – surpassing the Indonesian communities to the Malaysian, Brunei, Singapore and Australian communities. SenDalFest has successfully invited some Sydney-based Indonesian influencers and collaborated with Sydney-based Indonesian publications, sponsors, and Indonesian-food vendors. 

Finally, on 30 November 2022, we held an exclusive Meet & Greet session – where we invited our VIP ticket holders to an exclusive QnA and photo session with three of our artists. The next day, 

1 December 2022, our official event was held. It was spectacular, fun and epic– attended by 1,000+ people. By the time the gate opened, we had a massive line lining up to enter the venue and it was terrific. We could feel our attendees’ enthusiasm as they excitedly filled the room. Some of them went immediately to the front line, some of them took many pictures at our photobooth & videobooth, while some of them just casually browsed the whole venue.

After the event, we conducted a small survey through our Instagram account– with the majority saying that they enjoyed the show (94%) and wanted to have it again next year (39%). In the end, we would like to thank Saddam Zulfikar for leading the project – being a very practical, fun and hands-on leader that all our team members need. Thank you for guiding us to achieve such success. 

Also, thank you to SenDalFest 2022’s core team: Vanessa Odelia as the Vice Project Manager, Jesslyn Josephine as the Marketing Communication lead, Santi Untario as the Creative Media lead, Faye Winarta as the Ticketing lead, William Herman as the Sponsorship lead, Denzel Matthew as the Operation lead, Max Mavilian as the Logistic lead, Elise Angelia as the Event lead, and Karema Matamoe as the Liaison Officer lead. 

And lastly, thank you to our Volunteers who helped us establish SenDalFest 2022. We wouldn’t have done it without all of you. To say that this event is such a milestone would still be an understatement. SenDalFest 2022 is one most outstanding achievement we have all been working very hard on. Not only did we successfully organise such a spectacular event, but also we did find a family.

It has been a wonderful journey with everyone involved, and we hope to see you again at Senandung Nostalgia Indonesian Music Festival in 2023! [IM]

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