Sat, 05 Jul 2003

Fairground security upped to anticipate rockin' crowds

Arya Abhiseka, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Jakarta Fair organizing committee will tighten security at the Jakarta Fairground when the country's top musicians perform there during the last week of the one-month fair, which is expected to attract huge crowds.

More than 800,000 visitors are expected to attend the shows featuring noted singers and bands, such as Inul Daratista, Slank, God Bless, Jamrud and Sheila on 7.

The shows, to be held at the fair's main stage, will start on Saturday and continue until the fair closes on July 13.

The fair's public relations manager, Magdalena Wenas, told The Jakarta Post that the committee would recruit up to 1,000 police and military personnel to maintain security during the events.

"Our concern is not only for the safety of spectators, but also for other visitors who come to see other attractions at the fair," she said.

Up until the 23rd day of the annual fair on Friday, the committee recorded 1,067,376 visitors.

The event project director, Ralph Scheuneman, said that the number was larger than last year's attendance on Day 23 of only 881,226 visitors.

"This year's number of visitors is increasing dramatically each day. Last weekend, we had more than 100,000 people visiting the fair on each day," he told a press conference on Thursday.

However, it is unlikely that the target of two million visitors would be met, despite the star-studded performances. The Jakarta Fair's total attendance was 1,468,019 last year.

The most popular show may be one featuring Inul, a controversial dangdut singer, who will perform on Monday night at 7 p.m.

Inul, known for her ngebor or gyrating dance style, has attracted local and international attention, especially after Rhoma Irama or the "King of dangdut" condemned her movements, saying they were too sensual, and banned her from singing his songs.

Several music groups that charm the younger set are rock bands Slank, God Bless, Sheila on 7 and Jamrud, which will also perform in the fair currently hosting some 950 stands.

The organizing committee also predicted an increase in total business revenue.