Editors’ Picks: Top music, nightlife, food, and arts events in Bali this September

Photo: La Brisa Bali/Instagram

Here we go again — at the start of every month, Coconuts Bali pulls out our planner to scan all the events happening in Bali in the coming weeks, so that we can pick out the ones that we’re most excited about.

We list them out by event type — music, parties/nightlife, food, and culture — and tell you why we think they’re worth checking out. We update the list throughout the month, too, so check back for new events across the categories.

And now, let’s get to the good stuff happening this September…

MUSIC

8-9 Soundrenaline

Over the years, we’ve had our highs and lows with Soundrenaline, Indonesia’s biggest musical festival held annually at Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park, that features a lot of the same big names in the Indonesian music scene each edition (some of our faves: Shaggydog, Navicula, Elephant Kind, and the Jogja Hip Hop Foundation). What makes this year any different than the past few? The massive sculpture at the limestone cliff park that’s been 30 years in the making is finally finished, so a ticket to the festival grants you automatic entrance into GWK. Alternatively, music-wise, Limp Bizkit will headlining — “rap rock” lovers, dust your red baseball caps from of off the shelf and get pumping.

16 Omnia Phoenix Sundays with Breakbot

Breakbot broke all our expectations when they slayed their set at Potato Head’s Sunny Side Up a couple years back. Now that the nu disco act is making a return to Bali, we are so ready to see them again — it also doesn’t hurt that the show will be up in the Bukit cliff-tops at Omnia. Nothing sets the scene like panoramic ocean views, are we right? So ready to break it down (see what we did there?).

20 Plaga Wine Sofa Jam Session at El Kabron

Manja, a hip Indonesian band you’ve probably never heard of (neither had we until some recent social media research), will be casually jamming out at another Bukit clifftop favorite venue, El Kabron. The band is hip, self-proclaimed millenial, and inspired by the likes of Bali music local legends Superman is Dead, Navicula, The Hydrant, and Dialog Dini Hari. If you’re not as intrigued by the up-and-coming Bali indie, groove crew as we are, at least know that there will be *gratis* canapes and wine since it is a Plaga event.

29 Bali Reggae Star Festival

The Indonesian reggae scene is alive and well and throwing its regular blowout of a festival in Sanur. There will be 32 bands playing, including Indo reggae familiars, Joni Agung & Double T, Souljah, and Merapu. Headlining though will be Indonesian reggae godfather, Tony Q Rastafari. We’ve seen Tony Q a few times, including a performance at this very festival a few years ago, so we’ve got to say he’s captivating AF and if there weren’t such harsh penalties here, you’d really want to light one up as he (and literally every Indonesian person in the audience) crones on to his hit Don’t Worry. The space can accommodate some 25,000 reggae heads and there will be folks coming in from out of town camping, according to the festival’s committee — just to give you a picture of what to expect for the scale of the whole thing. It’s full on. 

29 Summer Closing Party with Jonas Blue

The new Manarai Beach Club down in Nusa Dua in front of Sofitel is bringing in music producer Jonas Blue for a summer closing party, fulfilling that Ismaya Group reputation to get some A-list acts on the roster. Before you ask “who’s that?”, search the double platinum “Fast Car” as well as hits “Perfect Stranger” and “By Your Side” for that a-ha moment.

PARTIES / NIGHTLIFE

15 Silent Disco at W

The concept is odd, though the result is hilarious and oddly freeing. You’re handed a set of headphones as you walk into Woobar and have a choice between live channels of three DJs playing house/techno, hip hop, and pop. This party is as much about as having fun busting moves to whatever music you happen to be vibing with as you flip back and forth amongst stations, as it is about people-watching.

15 Jenja’s 4th anniversary – Dreamscape

A cool staple now in the Bali clubbing scene, it’s hard to believe Jenja is just turning four years old. As most four-year-olds choose to do for the birthday’s the Legian area nightclub is having a themed party: Dreamscape, basically an 80s rave eliciting images of neon and leotards. They’ve helpfully listed the following as their inspo: Ms. Packman, Madonna, Knight Rider, Vice City, Dirty Dancing, The A-Team.

15 Motel Mexicola Independence Day Party

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Motel Mexicola never really ever needs an excuse to throw a party, but hey, it’s Mexican Independence Day — so, yeah. This one’s definitely gonna be more pumped up than usual. The whimsical Seminyak restaurant and bar is going to be spicing things up with Mexican dancers, an El Grito show invoking Mexican passion (pasión?), and a taco competition (sign us up for that last one).

23 Pineapple Club at Mrs Sippy

Oz’s Pineapple Club festival is making a stop in Bali, appropriately at the Mrs Sippy, the Australian pool club transplant. Details of the party are a bit vague, but it’ll basically be one massive salt pool rager full of cocktails, pool floaties, and of course, Aussies, as a DJ spins on. “Think linen” is the suggested dress code. No, really.

29 Bon Voyage Party! La Brisa First Anniversary

Somehow it’s been a full year since La Brisa, the bohemian, whitewashed beach club of Bali’s “La Family” of clubs opened up on the shores of Canggu. To celebrate, the hot beach club is hosting a “Bon Voyage Party!”. We have to say, the name is a little confusing because no, they’re not closing and saying goodbye to us, they’re just making things nautical themed.

FOOD / CHARITY

7 Fivelements Dinner Club

Plant based, raw, vegan, and truly creative, Fivelements earned itself a spot on our roundup of top places to eat healthy in Bali. In a five-course monthly gourmet dinner club, the chefs at the luxury wellness retreat do crazy things you never knew possible with plant-based and healthy food. Set in the countryside, off the Ayung River, in an epic bamboo structure, Fivelements is like Disney World for the Ubud health-conscious type—except for the fact that it’s hella luxurious.

14 Da Maria Disco Charity Lunch

Benefitting a few charities and organized by the Indo Thrive Project, a disco-themed charity lunch at the hip osteria-style Da Maria is going to raise dough (not just the pizza sort) for a Lombok Relief Fund, as well as a recycling facility upgrade and environmental education programs on Nusa Lembongan. We love it when eating and drinking goes to a cause other than just packing some extra pounds onto our bodies. There will be live and silent auctions, and raffles, along with champagne tastings, door prizes, a best-dressed competition and art exhibition.

15 A Dance for Lombok at Potato Head

Here’s another opportunity to party, but at least know this time your money’s going to help earthquake victims, rather than just line deep pockets. A party at Bali Beach Club institution Potato Head with a packed lineup of local and international DJs will see all ticket and merch proceeds going to earthquake-affected communities in Lombok. 

27 Wine & Dine at Plantation Grill

Plantation Grill at Double Six—you may know it as the place with the 1920s Gatsby theme—is doing a four-course Italian-inspired dinner with a wine pairing. The dinner is built around the character and notes of Farnese Italian wines, which date back to the Renaissance (the legacy, not the bottle you’ll be drinking from). For a four-course dinner on the higher end of Bali’s dining spectrum, we’re actually pretty impressed that the night is just priced at IDR675k++ (US$45.26) a person—but then again, the plus-plus puts it at more or less at where we’d expect.

29 Paws & Play lunch at KILN

A lunch benefiting Bali-based street dog rescuer Mission Pawsible, this event is allowing humans to bring their dogs along for a specially prepared menu — but only if the dogs are “well behaved” (so we guess our pup is out, lolz). Humans get to delight on Mediterranean plates from KILN, while pooches get raw, meat-based servings from gourmet Bali dog food company, KIN. There will be dogs available for adoption as well as some stalls for shopping dog-related accessories like The Dog Nest contraption you’ve started to see on scooters for transporting canines.

29 Canggu MMA Charity Fight Night

Bring on the blood, sweat, and beers for a noble cause. The Bali Muay Thai & MMA Training camp is having another one of its energy-packed fight nights, but this time everyone’s entering the ring to raise funds to help Lombok residents rebuild after the earthquakes

30 Distinguished Gentleman’s ride

Engines will be blaring on Sept. 30, when at least 222 motorcycle riders (the current amount registered at the moment) will be cruising around in Bali on vintage and classic style bikes as a part of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, the world’s largest charitable motorcycle event. The focus of the 2018 ride is to raise around US$6 million in 95 participating countries for partner group Movember Foundation, benefiting prostate cancer and men’s mental health. Riders apparently get all into the gentlemen theme dressing dapper. Don’t be put off by the name, women are welcome too. 

CULTURE

9-13 Lovina Beach Festival

A three-day festival up in North Bali, the Lovina Festival takes place in Kalibukbuk and Kaliasem villages. It’s an opportunity to escape the crowded tourist-filled south and get a stronger glimpse of Balinese culture. Highlights of the festival include handicraft exhibitions, an opening parade with traditional music and dance, puppet performances, live music, and most importantly: tons of food.

12-15 Ombak Surf Film Festival

Ombak Surf Festival is back at the bohemian-beachside La Laguna for another showcase of international independent surf films and documentaries. The stoke will be emanating as filmmakers, both newcomers and more established directors, play their art covering something that so many of us in Bali are deeply in love with: the surf.

14-15 Jatiluwih Festival

The terraced rice fields of beautiful Jatiluwih make for more than just a sick Instagram backdrop. The Balinese subak irrigation system has UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape status. This is something that the Jatiluwih community apparently wants to preserve through celebration, which in this case comes in the form of a music and cultural festival. Traditional performances, world music, jazz, and reggae are all on the lineup of events.

Got an upcoming event you think we should know about? Send tips: bali@coconuts.co

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