March 8, 2023
JAKARTA – The mayor of Surakarta in Central Java, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, said on Tuesday that local organizers of the concert by British rock band Deep Purple would not provide free tickets for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who is a native of Surakarta and a big fan of the band.
Gibran, who is also the oldest son of the President, said that if Jokowi wanted to see the concert he would have to buy his own ticket.
“No. What do you mean I have to invite him? Everyone has to buy a ticket. If he wants to come, he has to buy his own ticket,” Gibran told reporters in Surakarta on Tuesday.
The legendary British rock band Deep Purple is scheduled to hold a concert in Surakarta this Thursday as part of the World Tour 2023.
The Surakarta concert will be the band’s second performance in the country after more than 50 years.
In 1975, at the height of Deep Purple’s popularity, the band performed in Senayan, Central Jakarta. The band’s performance has been credited as one of the crucial milestones in the development of the rock scene in Indonesia.
The Surakarta concert will also feature Indonesian rock legends God Bless, who also opened the Senayan performance 47 years ago.
President Jokowi is well known as a fan of rock and has used his liking for bands like Metallica, Guns N’ Roses and Deep Purple as a way to connect with young voters in the country.
In a video released by Deep Purple last week, the band’s lead singer Ian Gillan made a plea to Jokowi to attend the concert in person.
“We’d also like to invite the President of Indonesia Mr. Jokowi, Central Java Governor Mr. Pranowo and Surakarta Mayor Mr. Gibran. See you all there,” Gillan said in the video statement.