Garuda’s in-flight live music doesn’t quite strike chord with netizens

/ 04:19 PM January 13, 2019
garuda indonesia

Indonesian national flag carrier Garuda is bringing music to the skies with a series of live acoustic concerts on domestic flights, the airline said. (Garuda Indonesia/File)

JAKARTA — Last Thursday, national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia announced that it would be bringing music to the skies with a series of live acoustic concerts on domestic flights. The airline said the program was aimed at wooing millennials “who want a different flight experience”, and that sets would last 10 to 15 minutes on select flights.

The first in-flight concert was held last Wednesday by two musicians on a Jakarta–Denpasar flight.


Indonesian netizens were quick to respond to the news with varying emotions, including irritation, anger and annoyance.

Twitter user @Dian Onno said, “I just want to have quiet personal time on the plane. And if I want to listen to music, that should be my choice. Nobody likes to get forced to listen to music they don’t like.”


User @Sullyellow said, “No Garuda, I prefer a headset, music and sleep. Putting acoustic music on a plane is not something revolutionary, imo. No offense to the musicians tho.”

User @catuaries posted a tweet that showed how instead of providing good headphones and more in-flight movies, Garuda opted to feature buskers on board.  

As can be expected, netizens also offered humorous responses to the situation. Twitter user @fschiko replied with the oft repeated words of buskers prior to performing in Jakarta public minivans, “Pardon us, ladies and gentlemen, for we’re merely singing. Instead of pickpocketing, we choose the halal way. One or two thousand won’t make you poor, ladies and gentlemen. Those in the back, please don’t pretend to be asleep.”

Another user, @irvanalam, proposed a suggestion to Garuda that its flight attendants could act as conductors making the rounds for passengers’ flight fees, not unlike a regular public bus or minibus conductor. reported that live in-flight concerts gained popularity in 2007 when British funk band Jamiroquai launched its album, High Times, by performing a live concert in flight between Munich and Athens at 35,000 feet and earning them several Guinness World Records. The record was set anew by James Blunt in 2010 when he performed at 42,000 feet.

In 2012, Southwest Airlines launched Live At 35 live music series and is currently still ongoing. The airline then collaborated with Warner Music Nashville in 2017 for a program of live pop-country music on select flights. Dallas Observer reported that surprisingly they found positive responses from passengers. Anthony Dumat, who flew from Nashville to Memphis in early 2016, said, “It kind of throws a kink into the mundane act of flying. There was a lot of excitement with it, and I thought it was pretty neat.”

Garuda Indonesia could not be reached for additional comment.


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TAGS: Asia, Aviation, Entertainment, Garuda Indonesia, In-flight Service, Indonesia, Live Music
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