Indonesia’s stand-up comedy industry reached a new milestone in 2023 as a delegation of local comedians led by veteran comic Mo Sidik represented Indonesia at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This momentous achievement served as the international launch of Indonesia’s forthcoming IndoFringe Festival of Performing Arts, scheduled for November 2023, which will put a spotlight on Indonesia as a centre of creative excellence and international cultural exchange.
This remarkable endeavour is a testament to the growth of the professional comedy scene in Indonesia and was made possible by the guidance, support and leadership of the Indonesian Minister of Tourism Mr. Sandiaga Uno and his dedicated team at the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, in cooperation with Chairos International Ventures and Mad About Comedy International. During the festival, a delegation from the Ministry visited Edinburgh to meet with local and national government officials and festival executives to discuss future cooperation and witness the spectacle of the festival first hand.
Mo and his fellow comedians appeared twice daily at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, once at the Gilded Balloon, and once at the Stand 3, and during the three-week festival they hosted more than 50 international guest comedians representing dozens of countries during 52 shows in a unique fusion of cultural exchange, learning, and laughter. The international audience accepted the Indonesian comedians with incredible warmth and enthusiasm, and people from diverse international backgrounds enjoyed Indonesian humour, finding common human experiences within the jokes and appreciating the Indonesian comedians’ unique perspectives on life.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival was founded in 1947 and is one of the oldest and largest celebrations of arts and culture on the planet. For three weeks in August, the city of Edinburgh welcomes an explosion of creative energy from around the globe.
Beyond the performances, the festival provided Indonesian comedians with opportunities for cultural exchange and collaboration, allowing them to observe, work alongside and learn from established international comedians. These forged connections will enrich Indonesian comedy going forward and provide Indonesian comedy performers with a more global perspective as the local comedy industry develops. The organisers hope that this initiative will also inspire more young people in Indonesia to become performers and show them that they can also cultivate a future as professional international performers.
As Indonesia eagerly anticipates the IndoFringe Festival in November, it is evident that Indonesian performers are ready to take their rightful place on the world stage, sharing the joy of the performance arts with audiences from around the world.
About IndoFringe: IndoFringe is an international festival of performing arts taking place in Jakarta and Bali in 2023 and expanding to over 20 cities over the next few years, creating and enabling sustainable hyperlocal creative economy activities across the nation and facilitating international cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. It will be the largest festival of its type in Southeast Asia, bringing together the people of Indonesia and the world to celebrate performing arts of every kind.