After several months of pretty much zero issues with bands traveling to Indonesia to perform, a band today has reported some severe issues with immigration officials. The difference this time however is that the band in question was already IN the country. Australian thrash metal band Flaming Wrekage released the following statement:
Our Indonesian tour has come to an untimely and devastating end for both us and all the fans in East Java that wanted to see us play. After police intervention at the Malang Beerhouse, our set was cancelled and our passports were held for over 36 hours by immigration police. Regardless of the fact that the venue held the correct paperwork and permits, the show was still shutdown, much to the disappointment of fans that waited outside the show past midnight, hoping that we might still be able to play.
This photo was taken around the 10 hour mark at the immigration department the following day after being intensely questioned by one of the officers who shut down the show. We had to purchase new flights to get our passports back, turning a relatively affordable tour into a very expensive one for us, our Indonesian tour manager and for the venues we played at.
It really upset all of us to have to cancel the five remaining shows as we were all very much looking forward to seeing more of this beautiful country and the amazing people that call it home. We’ve seen a passion for heavy metal here that is unlike anywhere we’ve ever been.
The three shows that did go ahead were three of the best, most packed shows Flaming Wrekage has had the opportunity to play. The experiences we had in this country will never be forgotten and I highly recommend touring Indonesia to every metal band. You will be given the best treatment possible and all of the shows are incredible.
I’d like to extend a massive thank you to the best tour managers ever, Herman Bimz and his wife Oopie for being amazing hosts and for helping us out so much in a very unfortunate and unexpected situation. We are all home safe and sound so now it’s time to do the only thing we can, keep playing shows. See you on the road.”
Australian based website The Music has also released a lengthier story about the band’s experience: http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2017/03/29/sydney-thrash-band-absolutely-broken-after-indonesian-police-detain-members/
The band has also released a tour recap video: