This year’s Five Mountains Festival was held in Mantran village on the slopes of Mount Andong in Magelang, Central Java, on June 30. The event, convened to celebrate local arts and culture, was created by the peoples living on a host of nearby mountains and volcanoes: Andong, Menoreh, Merapi, Merbabu and Sumbing.
The festival, which recently completed its 12th iteration, has been enlivened in recent years by the participation of various cities from different parts of Java.
The festival is a people’s party — a grassroots event. The cost and fees for hosting the visiting artists and the event have been borne by the members of the mountain communicites without any government sponsorship.
“We strive to be independent, to the best of our capacity, without relying on the minister, the governor or the regent,” Sutanto Mendut, a local community leader said during a speech to open the event.
“The governor and regent are welcome, but don’t use us as a means to reach an end. It’s an occasion for the people with full freedom,” Sutanto said.