The first COVID-19 proof event in Indonesia

The first COVID-19 proof event in Indonesia

During these unprecedented times where events are all being canceled and postponed due to COVID-19, Berlian Entertainment took on this challenge in organizing an exciting new event, New Live Experience Drive-In Concert in Jakarta. Marcel Permadi, Account Director of Berlian Entertainment Indonesia, teamed up with Reza Lesmana, Managing Director of Backbone Indonesia, in producing an event that was seemingly impossible, possible. Berlian Entertainment, one of the biggest entertainment event companies in Indonesia, took on the challenge of organizing the first COVID-19 proof event. Backbone Indonesia was tasked to ensure that all technical, safety systems, production management, and crowd flow controls were being executed with the utmost professionalism.

Marcel: “We are being challenged to think differently on putting out the best entertainment for our audiences while implementing strict safety protocols without sacrificing the joy of attending mega production concerts! That's where the idea of drive-in concert with 300 parked cars comes from”. Reza: “COVID-19 shakes up the world, the event industry and the way of working.This period requires a creative approach on bringing people together following the new health and safety guidelines.

“Dear Indonesian government, please tell us the COVID-19 health & safety guidelines to organize an event and we will make it work.”

COVID-19 Regulation challenges

One of the biggest challenges was solving the puzzle of all the COVID-19 regulations coming from the Ministry of Workers, Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Health. A task force was set up in tackling these issues. A team was formed with Backbone and Safety Planet, an independent safety services company. Imam Fauji of Backbone Indonesia, technical producer, focused on the health and safety protocols of this event. Keeping socially distant, disinfecting, and wearing masks at all times is a necessity during this production. “Before the build-up starts, you have to ensure all crew, suppliers, and visitors are informed thoroughly. What to wear, what to bring and what protocols are implemented on-site”. All COVID-19 regulations needed to be written, designed and translated into tutorial videos to make sure that it was being followed properly. Trucks were not allowed to enter the event area without passing through the disinfection station, nor could the crew. No mistakes could be made as the consequences would have been dire.

The drive-in concert was basically born during the first lockdown period in March 2020. Berlian Entertainment eventually became the first company that received the go-ahead to organize this COVID-19 proof drive-in concert. 40 parking spaces out of the 300 were reserved for officials from Indonesia who attended this event to overview it. All eyes were pinned to the outcome of this project.

Rubi Soeratman, Project Director of Berlian Entertainment, "Besides the new regulations that were being implemented, another challenge came from the venue landscape. Jakarta International Expo is a flat grounded area and drive-in concepts must be build up on a leveled area to ensure the entire audience has a clear view on stage. Luckily we managed to get Backbone on board to create a technical drawing with sight-lines ensuring all people could enjoy the concert from the comfort of their cars with great view. We feel fortunate to partner up with a group of experienced technical consultants that work for Backbone in order for Berlian Entertainment to deliver a high standard event quality”.

Teamwork always makes it happen

Many adjustments were needed to ensure all regulations were being adhered to. As one of the examples, no crew members above 45 years of age were allowed to work long shifts on-site. This threw off the production schedule of Juli Valda from JV Productions, the senior producer who led the production management team in overseeing this project. This set age restriction forced him to finish before the next shift even started. The Backbone team assisted in covering these gaps and shared responsibilities in making sure all went according to plan. These adjustments actually increased teamwork and shared joint efforts, in working towards the best possible execution of a drive-in concert.

No matter what regulations need to be followed, in organizing and producing, the safest event during these times, teamwork always makes it happen. Reza: “The technical part and stage set up of this project was no rocket science. The biggest challenge was how to prepare overlay whilst respecting and implementing all the new protocols and safety mechanisms. What do we tell the crew when they arrive at work? And how can we make sure all ‘regulation communication’ is clear, practical and easy implemented."


On the night of the concert, all team efforts resulted in a magical moment. As soon as the pop artist Kahitna went on stage, the audience in their cars erupted by pressing car horns and switching their beam lights along to the beats. In pre-Covid concerts, the audience was able to cheer or roar but now they found creative new ways to engage while remaining in their cars during this amazing event.

Marcel: “Witnessing this gave me goosebumps and a beautiful feeling of togetherness and happiness. Never knew that the new form of showing emotions by singing along and pressing horns could sound very magical to me”. With a very positive outcome of the first drive-in concert edition, the next concert was planned to take place within a month. When it was time to rock and roll, BOOM, the second lockdown was announced. The stage, structure, and protocol communications are all ready to be set up again when the time is right. Everyone is waiting patiently and eagerly till then.