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NewsMusic NewsHere are the biggest concerts and music festivals to catch in Southeast Asia in 2022

From Justin Bieber to Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix to 88rising’s Head In The Clouds, NME rounds up all the events and performances to have on your calendar as live music returns to the region

By Surej Singh

Calvin Harris, F1 Singapore Grand Prix 2017
Calvin Harris at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix 2017. Credit: Kielcscn / Alamy Stock Photo

After two years of silence, Southeast Asia’s live music calendar is slowly whirring back to life.

As governments ease pandemic restrictions on mass gatherings and open borders, we’re seeing more events big and small – complete with international performers – announce their anticipated returns to the region.

Music fans all over the world have had their hopes brutally dashed time and again over the course of the pandemic, optimistic announcements leading to postponements leading to depressingly inevitable cancellations. It’s hard to blame gig goers for being skeptical. But vaccination rates and governments’ decisions to treat the coronavirus as endemic make this round of announcements feel different.

So get excited as you want to be by NME’s list of festivals and big-ticket concerts to catch in Southeast Asia, which range from a long-running jazz festival to Creamfields’ Thai debut to Justin Bieber’s two stadium shows in Indonesia and Malaysia.

And make sure you save space on your calendar to support local artists playing smaller shows at grassroots venues that have weathered the pandemic – our scenes will need all the help they can get.

Joyland, Bali, Indonesia

When: March 25 – March 27
Tickets and more info: https://joylandfest.com/

Indonesian festival Joyland has announced an all-local lineup spanning three days in Nusa Dua, Bali. Slated to perform for its comeback are Pamungkas, Kunto Aji, Senyawa, Raisa, Isyana Sarasvati, Maliq & D’Essentials, Gabber Modus Operandi, Lomba Sihir, The SIGIT, Grrrl Gang, Basboi, The Panturas and many more.

  • READ MORE: Lomba Sihir: Indie supergroup’s debut is a tribute to Jakarta in all its chaotic glory

The three-day event, promoted by Plainsong Live, will also include an array of side activities throughout its run, including workshops, comedy shows and film screenings at an outdoor cinema.

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PPOP CON, Quezon City, Philippines

When: April 9 – April 10
Tickets and more info: https://ppopcon.ph/

This April, the Philippines will host its first-ever PPOP CON, a two-day convention to celebrate all things Pinoy pop. Besides panel discussions and more, the convention will also see performances from some of the genre’s biggest acts.

  • READ MORE: SB19: P-pop leading lights determined to do their fans proud and “live with a purpose”

Scheduled to perform are the likes of SB19, BINI, BGYO, 1ST.ONE, Press Hit Play, MNL48, Alamat, 4th Impact, VXON and KAIA.

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Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA)

When: May 20 – June 5
Tickets and more info: https://tickets.sifa.sg

SIFA is back this May with an eclectic slate of performances led by American avant-garde electronic musician Holly Herndon, who will stage her first concerts in Asia. Others on the line-up are Thai experimental duo Stylish Nonsense, Singaporean acts Tiramisu, SAtheCollective and more.

  • READ MORE: Shelhiel: The auteur riding a new “organic” wave of Malaysian pop music

This year’s edition of SIFA also includes a +EAT exhibit – curated by local electronic label Syndicate – that features Yeule, Weish and Phua Juan Yong, Shelhiel, Kiat and Strangeloop, Cyber Cesspool, Deførmed and Claude Glass and more.

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Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, Indonesia

When: May 27 – May 29
Tickets and more info: https://www.javajazzfestival.com/

Jakarta’s long-running Java Jazz festival is back for its 17th run this May after a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not much information surrounding this year’s event at JIExpo Kemayoran Jakarta has been shared, although tickets are currently available.

Past international performers at the festival include TOTO, H.E.R., Raveena, Omar Apollo, Ari Lennox, Bruno Major, Daniel Caesar, LAUV, Jhené Aiko and many more.

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Kolour In The Park, Thailand

When: June 4, June 11
More info: https://www.facebook.com/kolourinthepark/

Thai electronic music festival Kolour In The Park has announced an event set for two weekends in June. The popular techno festival was first scheduled to return to Bangkok in February, but was postponed as it was unable to obtain the necessary permits.

Kolour In The Park has also said that its June event will take place not in Bangkok but on a different island, although further details, including its line-up, have yet to be announced.

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JogjaROCKarta Festival, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

When: September 24 – September 25
Tickets and more info: https://bit.ly/TiketJRF2022

Rajawali Indonesia’s JogjaROCKarta Festival has announced its first wave of performers for its two-day event in Yogyakarta this September. Scheduled to perform at the heavy metal and rock festival are  Voice of Baceprot, Burgerkill Seringai, DeadSquad, Death Vomit, Edane, Jamrud, Serigala Malam, Superman Is Dead, Prison of Blues and The Hydrant. More acts are expected to be announced in the coming months.

  • READ MORE: Voice of Baceprot: Indonesian metal trio forge ahead to Wacken Open Air in defiance of sexist mudslinging

It is currently unclear if the festival will feature international headliners this year. Past editions in 2019 and 2020 included sets from Extreme, Power Trip, Scorpions and Whitesnake.

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Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

When: September 30 – October 2
More info: https://singaporegp.sg/en

After two years away, the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix will be making its return this September and October. In January, organisers said that its full entertainment line-up will be “released as soon as possible”.

The race has brought a slew of A-list performers to Singapore since its inception in 2008, including The Killers, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Queen and Adam Lambert, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Linkin Park.

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Justin Bieber, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Jakarta, Indonesia

When: October 22 in Kuala Lumpur and November 3 in Jakarta
Tickets and more info: https://www.golive-asia.com/

Justin Bieber will be returning to Southeast Asia for two shows this year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Jakarta, Indonesia as part of his ‘Justice’ world tour. In his first global outing since 2016/2017’s ‘Purpose’ tour, Bieber will take over KL’s Bukit Jalil National Stadium and Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Madya Stadium.

Tickets for the Malaysia show go on sale March 31. More dates in Asia are on the way, a press release has said, so stay tuned.

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Head In The Clouds, Jakarta, Indonesia

When: Dates TBA
More info: https://hitcfestival.com/

88rising has confirmed that its Head In The Clouds festival will return to Jakarta sometime this year. It has also teased performances from NIKI and Rich Brian – the label’s two biggest signees who hail from Indonesia.

  • READ MORE: NIKI: “I’ve felt this beckoning call back towards my singer-songwriter roots”

The festival last set foot in Jakarta in 2019. It was scheduled to return in March 2020 with performances from Brian, NIKI, Higher Brothers, Stephanie Poetri and more, but was cancelled due to the pandemic. On Twitter, 88rising said it will soon let fans know if 2020’s tickets will be honoured at this year’s event.

Creamfields, Pattaya, Thailand

When: Dates TBA
More info: www.creamfields.com

Long-running UK-founded electronic music festival Creamfields has teased an anticipated debut in Thailand this year.

Details surrounding the festival have yet to be announced, although it will be held in the city of Pattaya. Fans can expect some of the biggest names in EDM, as past performers at the Asian legs of the festival include Martin Garrix, Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Alesso and more.

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It’s The Ship

When: Dates TBA
More info: https://www.itstheship.com/

Asia’s biggest festival at sea will return later this year. The event, which takes place on a cruise ship, has teased its return on social media, although firm details have yet to be revealed.

The festival last took place in 2019, sailing from Singapore to Phuket. That same year, the festival also expanded to include trips in Japan and South Korea. Past performers include Yellow Claw, Showtek, Chocolate Puma, Andrew Rayel, Knife Party and more.

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