Suede fans fight for their right to party
“We always liked bands that were central to people, rather than just another purchase.” – Brett Anderson of Suede.
Common sense probably leads most to think that the music industry has two main elements: artists and fans. Their synergy has always been fundamental. But what happens when one of these pillars is damaged?
Fans definitely have an equal share in the issue as the artists. They’re the one who to support the artists by buying gig tickets, merchandise and records. It’s understandable if, when things go wrong for the fans, walking a very fine line as it is, they go berserk.
It happened recently here in our lovely Jakarta among the numerous, passionate Suede fans.
Suede, one of the Britpop legions that announced they’re back together as a complete unit last year, will stage a concert in Jakarta on March 19. Suede.co.uk
Suede, one of the Britpop legends from the golden age of the movement, announced that they’re back together as a complete unit as of year. The reunion marked the first work between all five band members since they called it quits in 2003.
So, when all of sudden and out of nowhere a local promoter announced that Suede would play a gig on March 19 here in Jakarta, local fans went wild. They were happy because the visit would be a second chance for them to see Suede on their home grounds. The band visited Jakarta back in 2003 just before their breakup.
Happiness washed over faces, old t-shirts found new life and of course racks of CDs have been revisited again and again. Imaginations of a good night together blossomed.
But that euphoria was temporary. The promoter announced that the festival Suede would play in Jakarta would have an unusual ticketing method: fans needed to exchange their old mobile phones of a certain brand – a brand which of course sponsored the festival — or simply buy a new phone.
Yearry Panji, a diehard fan in Jakarta, shared his story: “At first I thought this was only a rumor. Come on, they only played a few gigs in England and then all of sudden Indonesia will be their stop just before they play Coachella or any other European gigs? I thought Singapore would have the privilege of hosting them.”
He was ready to see the band for the second time. “I went to the 2003 gig. Now, I thought, at last I could relive those same sensations. For me, it was the best concert I ever went to. It was my first expectation after hearing the news that they were
coming here again,” he said.
But the ticketing system broke his heart.
In fact, it made him a bit angry, he said. “As far as my knowledge, Suede’s fans now mostly have their own steady jobs and they have the ability to buy tickets. But they’re not stupid to buy a phone as an entrance fee. It’s not fair. Not because of the amount of money required, but because the method is so strange. Probably this is the first time ever for such a thing.”
Yearry is not alone. There’s Tyas Palar, a writer and an avid Suede fan herself who went mad after seeing the ticketing method. “This ticketing issue sucks. I’m a little angry to see music as a barter commodity. It’s not supposed to be like that,” she said, shouting.
The sentiment stems from the fact that, in order to see their idols, Indonesian Suede fans need to purchase something with dubious relations to the music itself.
Enraged fans went to Suede’s online fan forums in search for support from other diehard Suede fans, hoping to be heard by the band via their management.
Another fan, Lilu Widya cast her anger upon the promoter, who was actually known for brave steps in bringing independent acts to Indonesia despite the acts’ underrated images. In Lilu’s opinion, the promoter failed to prove its reputation.
“From the very beginning, the promoter always campaigned with noble words, ‘Music knows no boundaries.’ But what does reality say with this case?” she asked. “I just hate the system.”
The promoter had yet to respond with an official statement. Christie Atmadja, representative of the promoter, said that they needed to coordinate with the phone brand before issuing a statement regarding the ticketing objections.
These three diehard fans represent hundreds others. Collectively, they have been constantly working via any and all available channels to express their disappointment. “Together, with a few friends who share the same love, I’ve flooded the promoter’s social media channels and emails with criticism, but they said that they don’t have any control,” Yearry said.
Tyas tried a different approach. She was the one who started the thread on the official Suede online fan forum. “I was the one who spoke up first there. I spread the link via Twitter and asked any other disappointed fans to speak up, too. It’s pretty nice, actually. The management of the band finally put a notice on the issue and they spoke with the promoter.”
Fans’ hard work to get the band’s attention finally paid off. A forum moderator said that Suede had heard the issue and managed to secure 500 tickets to be given away via quizzes.
At least, it will ease tensions a bit. A good gesture from the band’s side also needs to be appreciated; it shows us how beautifully Suede treats its fans.
It is nice to see that Jakarta will still host the boys of Suede, Brett Anderson, Richard Oakes, Neil Codling, Mat Osman and Simon Gilbert, for their second visit. The tropical weather will probably always be a great escape for these five Brits from their cold and breezy homeland.
In the end, both the artists and fans are the winners. They’re the one who share the same, mutual love, not anyone else.
A new short video by Brett to the Indonesian fans!