Jakarta. Musician couple Bonita and Petrus Briyanto Adi – the singer and guitar player of Bonita & The Hus Band – will organize Festival Music Rumah, or Home Music Festival, the first home concerts festival in Indonesia from Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, bringing together local indie musicians and their fans in a series of intimate gigs at people's houses.
"This is a first for Indonesia. Festival Musik Rumah will show your favorite indie bands and musicians playing in the comfort of their own – or someone else's – homes," Adoy – as Petrus is usually called – said.
In other countries, home concerts have become the stage from which a growing number of singer-songwriters launch their careers.
"A home can be a space not just for your family but also a place where you can hangout with your friends," Adoy said.
Three years ago, the couple started a home concert program called "Live at Rumah Bonita" ("Live at Bonita's House"), playing long sets right in their living rooms in front of friends.
"For me personally, this started as a way to give my son [10-year-old Pram] a richer musical experience. But as it went on, more and more indie musicians came to the concert and I became friends with them. This gave me the encouragement to start Festival Musik Rumah with Adoy," Bonita said.
Festival Musik Rumah will pull together home concerts performed in living rooms or backyards of people's homes all over the country and stream them for free.
The family home setting is expected to create an intimate atmosphere for the musicians and the fans.
"Home concerts have become serious business for many indie musicians. It's a cool thing to do, not too loud and never too crowded," Bonita said.
So far, home concerts are already being organized in Semarang, Jepara, Salatiga, Jogja, Solo, Ngawi, Surabaya, Nias, Bali, Samarinda and Gorontalo for the festival.
More than 90 mostly indie musicians from many different genres will play. The lineup includes Nonaria, Endah 'N' Resha, Markus Sirait, Attar & Rahel, Huhu dan Popo, Muhammad Arief, Riuh Sunyi and Bintang Indrianto.
Bonita said these artists can use Festival Music Rumah to promote their music.
Sarigama, for example, will use the event to promote an album featuring songs written and played on the okarina, a traditional music instrument made from mango seeds.
The band will perform a concert from their home in Karanganyar, Central Java.
Dialita, an all-female choir comprising survivors of the 1965 anti-communist pogrom and their descendants will also perform at Festival Musik Rumah.
"We'll have musicians and artists with different styles and from so many different genres. It'll be exciting," Bonita said.
Indonesian musicians who are currently based overseas will also take part in the festival, streaming concerts from their residences.
Toffi Hamburg, a band of Indonesian expats based in Germany, will perform a special show in Hamburg featuring Syrian refugees.
A few concerts have also been organized in Cambodia for the festival.
Bonita said every home registered for the festival will host three to five performances a day. The concerts will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Indonesian time on Aug. 17-19.
"Your favorite bands might play at the same time slot. You should definitely check the schedules before the festival starts," Bonita said.
The concerts will also be streamed live on the festival's website and Facebook page, and the archives will be made available until the end of the festival.
"The live streams will available until the last day of the festival on August 19, so you can technically watch all the gigs," Bonita said.
The concerts are free of charge but you might want to book your place to make sure you can get in.
"We will not charge admission fees but there might be limited space at the gigs since some of the houses are not that big," Bonita said.