Monday, September 25, 2023

Organizers Charged for Overcrowded Live Music Show

Muhammad Aulia
November 5, 2022 | 10:51 pm
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Thousands of fans pack the Istora Indoor Stadium to watch Berdendang Bergoyang live music show in Central Jakarta on October 29, 2022. (Beritasatu)
Thousands of fans pack the Istora Indoor Stadium to watch Berdendang Bergoyang live music show in Central Jakarta on October 29, 2022. (Beritasatu)

Jakarta. The Jakarta Metropolitan Police have charged two members of live music show organizers for criminal negligence after it was found that they sold tickets nine times the number they mentioned in police filing, an officer said on Saturday.

Last week’s Berdendang Bergoyang (sing and dance) live music festival at the Istora Indoor Stadium in Central Jakarta drew tens of thousands of fans and many of them fainted in a crush, prompting police to stop the show early.

The final edition of the three-day show last weekend was also canceled by the police.

Police immediately launched an investigation -- in the wake of the deadly crush at a football stadium in the East Java town Malang that killed 134 people last month.

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The investigation revealed that the organizers have sold 27,000 tickets while their prior notification to the police mentioned that only 3,000 tickets were available, Central Jakarta Police Chief Komarudin said.

The two suspects are identified by initials HA, who chairs the organizing committee for the music show, and DP, the director of the event organizer.

"From the data that we have collected, we can establish criminal negligence and deliberate conduct [of ignoring known risks] because the way the event was conducted was very different from their filing,” the officer said.

“The number [of tickets] sold online was way bigger than what they have told us,” he added.

The two suspects aren’t detained for being cooperative and also because the criminal charge carries a sentence of below five years in prison, Komarudin said.

Both have been charged under Article 360 of the Criminal Code, stating that whoever commits recklessness that results in other people getting severely injured can be sentenced to one year in prison. 

At least 50 spectators fell unconscious during the show in the overcrowded Istora Stadium, according to the police investigation.

Police said at least 21,000 people came inside the stadium, more than double Istora’s capacity, while thousands more gathered outside.

The incident occurred on the same day when a Halloween party caused a crowd surge and killed more than 150 people in the nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul, South Korea.

“Taking a lesson from Itaewon and the Bergoyang Berdendang event that both drew complaints from spectators, I warned all event organizers against taking advantage of an opportunity,” Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said.

A senior lawmaker from the House of Representatives legal commission praised decisive actions by police to stop the show early and prevent things from getting worse.

“I call on the police to investigate factors of negligence committed by the organizers because we need to teach other organizers a lesson that there are rules to follow,” Ahmad Sahroni said.

“We simply do not want bad things to happen,” the National Democratic Party (Nasdem) politician said.

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