Friday, June 9, 2023

Party Gone Wrong: Dangdut King's Impromptu Show Leads to Mass Covid-19 Testing

Jayanty Nada Shofa
July 6, 2020 | 11:53 am
King of Dangdut Rhoma Irama. (Antara Photo/Zarqoni Maksum)
King of Dangdut Rhoma Irama. (Antara Photo/Zarqoni Maksum)

Jakarta. Dangdut King Rhoma Irama hits the wrong note when singing on stage in front of hundreds of people amid the Covid-19 pandemic. His intent to entertain the crowd has only led to potential charges from the regional gov't and massive rapid testing. 

Last Sunday, Rhoma was caught performing at a circumcision party or khitanan in Pamijahan, Bogor. Songwriter Surya Atmaja, with whom the singer had founded the dangdut band Soneta Group, hosted the two-day event.

Rhoma had initially planned to hold a concert with the Sonnets at the event. As soon as the news spread, Bogor District Head Ade Yasin immediately warned Rhoma to call off the performance, since the region was still under proportional large-scale social restriction, to which the singer agreed.

The Dangdut King still attended the event as a guest with the intent to rekindle with his old friend Surya. Although Rhoma came alone without his band crews, his arrival caused a rave, and so he performed on stage.


Because of this, Ade threatened to report Rhoma and the organizer for violating the social restrictions.

"Everyone who violated the rules should be legally processed regardless of who they are. Don't let this be a Covid-19 epicentrum because of these irresponsible people," Ade told local news media Kompas last week.

Bogor Covid-19 Task Force has also prepared 500 rapid and swab test kits for both the organizer and the attending guests. The mass testing will be held on Tuesday.

Just A Guest

In response to the charges, Rhoma uploaded a clarification video on his official Youtube account last Tuesday.

According to Rhoma, he had only arrived at the venue in the evening. The outdoor stage had already been set up with live music pumping since the morning. He was also not the only artist to attend the event. 

Upon arrival, the host and guests had asked him to come up on stage to deliver a short sermon at first. 

"The crowd then cheered me on to sing a song or two. I think it is a normal thing. I had also been guarded by the police even until I returned to my vehicle," the "Guitar Warrior" said.

Rhoma felt that the charges against him would have been unfair.

"The event's organizer should have been the one held responsible. I only came as a guest. If I have to take responsibility, all attending guests should have prosecuted as well," the celebrity said.

He added that the governor should have dismissed the two-day event as soon as the stage was set. The traditional puppet show or wayang golek held on Saturday night should have been dispersed as well.

However, the police said that the wayang golek did not attract that much crowd.

Waste of Resources

According to West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, the ignorance towards health protocols would only disrupt the government's efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Everyone now has to undergo a rapid test. It is exhausting and will only use up the resources. Because they are limited, the rapid tests and PCR are prioritized for the people under surveillance (ODP), patients under treatment (PDP), families, tracing and so on," Ridwan said at a press conference on Friday.

Bogor Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Syarifah Sofiah also told Kompas that not all attending guests would undergo the rapid test. That is because the task force has to preserve the test kits for testing at traditional markets. 

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