sign up

Indonesian Music Festival Drops Tobacco Company as Main Sponsor

June 21, 2013


Showing that it’s possible to tune tobacco out of the music industry, this year’s Java Rockin’land music festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, will take place without one of its most infamous acts – the tobacco industry. Java Rockin’land – like many music festivals in Indonesia – has traditionally been sponsored by tobacco companies trying to lure a new generation of smokers. The concert attracts young music fans from across the country – but this year, the tobacco industry won’t be on stage.

Java Rockin’land is organized by Java Festival Productions, the same group behind the annual Java Jazz Festival that is sponsored by Indonesian tobacco giant PT Djarum and this year was plastered with ads for the company’s Super Mild cigarettes. Java Jazz featured international recording artists whose names and music were used to market cigarettes to kids.

Tobacco sponsorship of concerts and other events is prohibited in the United States and many other countries for a very good reason – they help market cigarettes to impressionable kids. But they’re still allowed in Indonesia, which has some of the world’s weakest laws to reduce tobacco use and is the only country in Southeast Asia that has yet to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This treaty obligates countries to implement proven measures to reduce tobacco use, including bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Indonesia needs to strengthen its laws to reduce the more than 200,000 deaths tobacco causes there each year. In the meantime, our Tune Out Tobacco campaign is urging musicians to stop performing in tobacco-sponsored concerts so they’re not helping market tobacco to kids.

By finding non-tobacco sponsors, Java Rockin’land is setting a positive example that should be widely followed.