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Music festivals all over the world have become a hub for not just music-lovers, but those who go for the ‘Gram, the ones who need a platform to show off their outfits, or even the ones who are there ’cause their friends are there.
Here are 7 of the most common stereotypes in the local scene, made unique by traits that can only be found here in Malaysia. You know what they say, if you can’t spot any one of these archetypes, then chances are you’re one of them.
Nusantara Renaissance Man
Like the man he modelled himself after, this monoloQue acolyte went through an identity crisis during his foray into the scene. Struggling with cultural identity while simultaneously being incapable of fully expressing love for grunge (hey, it’s a Malay thing regardless of age, okay?), the Nusantara Renaissance Man overcompensates by attempting to combine the two into this broad, vague notion of ‘nusantara’ as its own subculture – a recent trope you’d find anywhere from clothing lines to music genres.
Instead of culturally appropriating a traditional headgear foreign to them, you’ll see them at music festivals rocking the tengkolok as a statement piece, possibly barefooted for optimum pendekar scene vibes. Expect silat moves after sufficiently drunk – that is if they haven’t given up drinking.
Local Streetwear Fuccboi
It’s a good day to be into local streetwear – all the hip, New York Fashion Week-attending rappers are wearing Stoned & Co., no? This particular subspecies of fuccbois are distinctive in that they clean up rather nicely, possibly because the likelihood of them being good, Church-going boys is comically high. While those tattoos on them is probably used to depict an edgier façade, upon closer inspection, you’d find biblical passages, Christ, or the cross (or Christ on the cross) permanently etched on their skin.
If not in tracksuits and athleisure wear, they’d be at every festival rocking shorts above the knee with a plain round-neck tee by that local brand, which ever so slightly reveals their crossfit physique. Expect to be momentarily confused, because entering festivals and being surrounded by the local streetwear fuccbois could look like a private college advertisement shoot.
It turns out that the crossroads where the late Jimi Hendrix would cross paths with Frank Ocean is a super specific type of concertgoer. While we don’t even know what to call them, it’s not difficult to spot them in the crowd with a bandana-wrapped around their forehead ala pre-Blond(e) Frank Ocean, and an unbuttoned print shirt accentuating their bead necklaces hanging over their man cleavage all Harry Styles-like.
Expect this Shah Alam native to have a half-finished ciggie placed at the very tip of their lips, magically never, ever ashing it out or have it fall off their mouths. Drink a shot of whatever it is you’ve smuggled into the music festival (’cause they’ll probably want a hit) if you see these lads come over–complete with an idle indie hijabster for a girlfriend.
Persecuted Indie Hijabster
We’ve reached the very image of what ‘Moderate Malaysia’ aspires to be. Ironically, Malay men who would participate in online debates claiming they’re moderates are also the same men who would ridicule covered, Muslim girls for the way they dress and their participation in social outings such as this.
At the same time, urbanites don’t empathise much with those who want to police women, otherwise they wouldn’t have made it on to this list (*cough* apologies *cough*). So, some sympathy for our hijabi sisters, please. Expect them to be way more into Kodaline, Phoenix, or any other bands than that flower-crowned chick who’s too busy Snapchatting herself enjoying the show.
Hipsters are known for being lackadaisical, so raiding your grandma’s wardrobe is hands down the easiest route to hipdom. Now that old things are ‘in’, donning vintage gear literally makes it look like you came right out of Tumblr (what a time to be alive).
Dressed by the Internet, we know vintage chics as ‘art hoes’. Their radicalised love for Van Gogh or Hokusai is clear enough with their bright-coloured striped top and tote bag, or Docs paired with cute graphic socks. They may seem obscure and aloof at first, but after establishing a connection with them, you might just draw them parallel to a pot of milk and honey, since Rupi Kuar’s Milk And Honey is likely to be the only poetry book they blog about anyway.
From the crowd, their edgy bucket hat with embroidery makes them stand out. Or you can spot them by the fog that circulates around them that almost seems like an aura from their vape kit equipped with cryptic stickers and local-flavoured vape juices (like Milo, sirap bandung) they got from Subang.
It’s true, they don’t just do mixes on Soundcloud, they chase clouds too. We’re also willing to take a bet that they probably have ‘Yung’, ‘Lil’, ‘Thug’, or ‘Rich’ in their cyber moniker; if not a dolla sign in replace of the letter “s”. Here’s a tiny warning however, conversations with them may lead to uninviting low-key advances of forcing us to ‘heart react’ to their apparently killer-new-track on Soundcloud. You might also need them to repeat what they just said, since you can only hear mumbles, as heard in their vapourwave-esque rap. But aside from that, they’re actually pretty chill dudes who just want to blaze their sadness away.
“Oh, I’m an Influencer”
You’d think that festivals are humid and sweaty, and NOT Marini’s on 57, but what better way to show off your hotness than to be surrounded by lesser hipsters? Y’all know who I’m talking about, those Instagrammers/Influencers with their feeds filled with tofu smoothie bowls, skincare products, food from ‘atas’ restaurants, and videos of them covering songs.
At the gig, you’ll see them just frantically texting, snapping and Instagramming. Not too surprised here as they tend to document every moment of their life, be it sleeping in with bae after a hangover, clubbing, or in the back seat of their Uber. As the epitome of subjective fame, they’ll never be seen without their hoop earrings or bold lipstick colours in an attempt to look like a badass.
Don’t go to festivals because you’re a purist? Then check out these 7 Scenesters of KL who’ll probably ask you where you were…