Our Experience - We The Fest 2018

See what you missed out on while you were at Splendour.

Will Marsh


hilst everyone else in the country were on their way to destroy their serotonin receptors at this year’s Splendour in the Grass, the two of us here at Pink Milk found ourselves flying the opposite direction from the masses.

The reason for this was simple enough: we'd found a festival that we knew we'd enjoy more. We'd found an absolute gem of a festival taking place in Jakarta called We The Fest. Check out the lineup.

As well as sharing a couple of Splendour’s big bookings, We The Fest’s lineup managed to pull in some surprisingly big acts: Lorde, SZA, What So Not, James Bay and Odesza just to name a few. Of course, it's only my opinion, but when looking at the two lineups side by side, I genuinely thought I'd get more bang for my buck out of We The Fest; so that's what we decided we’d do.

So there we were, flying overseas to a festival no one in Australia knew about, whilst everyone else was busy paying $600 for an outfit they'd wear once and Googling the most efficient way to get past sniffer dogs.

The Festival Experience 

We knew we were in for a different experience, but I don't think either of us were quite prepared for what the festival scene would be like in Jakarta. Honestly, compared to Perth, it was mind-blowing. There was so much going on, within 30 seconds of walking through the gates I was almost overwhelmed by how much there was to see and do. 

We were surrounded by punters on trampolines, people swinging their fists at air as they wore VR headsets, an immense amount of lights, neon signs and brightly lit areas. I could have happily spent four hours wandering around without actually listening to any music, there was that much to do.

I don't have much to compare it to - I've never been to Splendour, and have only dreamed about going to Coachella or Lolla (maybe one day), but when comparing it to what I've seen, We The Fest stomps all over it. The main stage setup was phenomenal and was worthy of having the headliners perform on it, with enough lights, beams and strobes to melt a few corneas. Take a look at the small after video of Day 3.


It's safe to say the festival was dominated by locals, and those from neighbouring Asian countries, which wasn't unexpected of course, but I'd thought a festival of this scale might have drawn a few more international guests such as ourselves. As per usual I seemed to be wrong, and if I was to hazard a guess I'd say we fitted into the 2% of non-Indonesian people.

On the streets, this meant we spent most of our time being stared at, but inside the festival this wasn't the case, thank lord. In fact, because we were foreign, everyone were even nicer than I would have expected. People were constantly asking where we were from, giving us high fives, hugs, and even feeding us some weird-ass homemade green shit from a bottle which they claimed to be alcohol (still unsure about that one, please be careful kids). It felt nice to be in a festival environment where you could bump into someone and apologise, without having to worry about the possibility of being glassed.

The two of us have quite a diverse taste in music. While I personally lean more towards the electronic side of things, the festival offered all sorts of acts I was excited to see; like Miguel, Honne, and in particular Louis the Child. There was definitely something for everyone, covering Rap, Electronic, Pop, Indie, and whatever category you'd put Lorde into. Out of everyone we saw, it's safe to say that a handful definitely stood out.

Our Top Performers

Louis The Child

Without a doubt the best performance of the festival came from these two. Their set had all the characteristics that were guaranteed to make it memorable. Excellent stage presence, brilliant mixing, a constant flow of good music, and a pumped up crowd. Louis the Child played a fresh, exciting set that kept everyone on their toes. Their style of trap is guaranteed to make you bounce, and some of the songs they dropped were just fantastic. They played all their biggest tunes including 'Better Not' and 'Slow Down Love', as well as my personal fav 'Last to Leave' - give it a listen in our Songs We Like section. They worked brilliantly as a duo, one taking charge of the mixing whilst the other pumped up the crowd, and I was genuinely sad when it came time for them to leave.


I must admit I've never been the biggest fan of Lorde's music, but with all the hype surrounding her live performance I was definitely going to see what she had on offer. Well, I'm definitely glad I did, because as a live performer Lorde absolutely kills it. Her live vocals are just as crisp and melodic as her studio recordings, which combined with her brilliantly rehearsed backup dancers, made for a very enjoyable set. Lorde’s set had a hypnotising flow, as we watched her running energetically around for ‘Homemade Dynamite’, to sitting on the edge of the stage for an intimate and heartfelt performance of ‘Liability’. Drawing the biggest crowd of the festival by far, it seemed nearly everyone was there for Lorde, and the crowd was brilliant, belting out the lyrics so loud it almost overpowered Lorde herself. You'd have to really hate fun to have not enjoyed this set.


A duo I've been wanting to see for a very long time, Odesza were one of the key acts that sold me on this festival. Having been constantly told how amazing they are live, and after seeing some incredible videos featuring everything from drummer boys to drones, I was finally able to see Odesza in the flesh. Their live performance was incredibly well rehearsed, and even included the addition of trumpeters, but sadly no drummer boys this time round. Everything from their drumming to their crystal clear backgrounds was top quality, and you can tell just how much work these two put into every set. Their backgrounds get a special mention, taking the crowd on a journey through the four elements. Flowing from erupting volcanoes, brightly coloured clouds and bursts of light, into crashing waves and beautiful flowing waterfalls, it really was breathtaking. Odesza's set was everything I wanted it to be, and I can finally now say I understand the hype that surrounds their name.

Odesza : A Moment Apart Tour

We the Fest was an incredibly enjoyable experience, and one that I'll most definitely consider returning to next year, depending on how the lineup compares to that of Splendour. Indonesians definitely know how to enjoy a festival, and despite having to dodge around the occasional person balls deep in a K-Hole, the crowd was brilliant to be a part of. Everything down from the acts to the atmosphere was brilliant, and I can't wait to go back.