It’s back to business for Bali.
After all the red-letter days and big, blowout parties of the festive season, the holiday-makers have gone home, locals are back to work, and the beautiful people who get to eschew office life are back to yoga and hydrating with coconut water.
Events-wise, the island is traditionally pretty quiet in January, with venues keeping their big-money concerts and international festivals for the busier months ahead. Nevertheless, there are still a good handful of cool music, culture and nightlife events unfolding in the coming weeks — here are our picks.
MUSIC, ARTS & CULTURE
What to expect from the first edition of [,sil.u’et]? Well, apart from 15 straight hours of minimal house music, there’ll be live mural painting, art expos, and tasty bites from Bali-based food vendors. DJ Bass Ibellini — a Londoner who’s played in Ibiza, New York, Miami and all over Europe — heads the musical line-up of local and international talents. And art-wise, the focus is on young and emerging Indonesian players, like @whateveritnames, an amazing line sketcher from right here in Bali, and Jakarta-born street artist and muralist, @masgaga.
This year’s venue is Joshua District, a cafe-cum-“creative space” encircled by the wild rice fields of Tabanan. Getting there is a bit of mission (it’s past Tanah Lot Temple towards Kedungu Beach), but the peeps behind [,sil.u’et] are putting on a bus service especially for the festival (details via @siluetbali_/).
Maybe stock up on Red Bull, though, because this one’s an all-nighter — the party starts at 3pm and goes on until 6am the following day. Pre-sale tickets, IDR350.000 (US$25), are available here.
If you’re in need of a culture fix, then here’s a good one: an evening of indigenous film in Ubud. This one’s coming from Paradiso, the vegan-friendly cinema and workshop space in Ubud (because, really, where else on this island would you find a venue like that) — as part of their indigenous film night series.
This time, they’ll be screening Tanah Mama (Mama’s Soil), a documentary about the lives of tribal women in remote Papua, and Mother Jungle, a short film exploring the wisdom of the Dayak women of West Kalimantan. There’ll be director’s talks and discussions following both. Tickets are IDR120,000 (US$8.50) and are available here. Note: the event sold out last month, so best to get in quickly if you’re interested.
It’s a rare occasion when you get to see a well-known international stand-up comedian in Bali. Last time we remember that happening was when Bill Bailey made an appearance as part of his Larks in Transit tour more than a year ago. This time round it’s the turn of loud-mouth comic and talk-show host, Jim Jefferies.
His jokes are on the controversial side (he once copped a punch from an angry punter), but if you’re a fan of anecdotal humor and you’re not too much of a sensitive soul, then this one’s definitely worth a look in. Tickets are pricey, starting from IDR1,092.500 (US$77), and are available here.
Show starts at 8pm.
So The Slow’s gallery space is super small, but their exhibition programming is really pretty interesting. This month, they’re hosting a pop-art-inspired collection by Daniel Watkins, AKA “Rad Dan,” an artist, graphic designer, and creative director (of a surf brand, if the name didn’t give it away). Dan’s exhibited in the USA, Europe, Japan and Australia before, but this’ll be his first stop in Indonesia. Lovers of retro will likely enjoy Watkins’ bold, poster-like images, which smack of Warhol — expect splashes of color, cartoon-like elements, and cool ’70s typography.
Music-wise, there’ll be an all-vinyl DJ set by Radio Rahill of Brooklyn band, Habibi (they played at The Slow last year). So if the artwork doesn’t turn out to be your thing, then you could just chill in the bar next door, to Rahill’s weird-but-intriguing mix of vibey jazz, tropical dance music, and ’50s reggae.
With regular guests like DJ Harvey and Disclosure, the peeps at Potato Head have a nose for really great house and disco music. This month, it’s Midland, a London DJ who started turning heads in 2016 when his track Final Credits won Mixmag’s Record of the Year. He’ll be supported by the PNNY crew, a Bali-based DJ collective that have been popping up in venues all over the island. Tickets are IDR300.000 (US$21) and the doors open at 7pm.
Next up in 40 Thieves’ bartender takeover series is Shanghai-based bar guy Timothée Becqueriaux. He’s won awards for his cocktails, and is particularly known for specializing in original mixes based on absinthe, the heady, anise-flavored spirit. It’s a mid-week gig, but if you’re up to the challenge, he’ll be whipping up a menu of super-charged drinks using La Maison Fontaine’s French absinthe from 10pm onwards.
If Aussies in Bali ever needed an excuse to sink their weight in Bintangs (typically, no excuse needed) — then it’s Australia Day. The national holiday falls on the 28 January, but as that’s a Monday and nobody would come around and get too lit on that day, Finns Recreation Club is holding their barbecue party on the Saturday before.
We took a peek at the day’s schedule and are intrigued by the pavlova eating competition, barbecued meats, 1-for-1 drinks prices, and a cover band called Silent Alarm. Bound to be a messy one, we think. Entry is free and festivities begin at 5pm.