The famous Sky Garden nightclub in Bali has reopened its doors after three years of closures and legal action. The venue, ranked in the top sixty nightclubs in the world by DJ Magazine, was shut down by authorities in August 2019. Now, the venue is welcoming back party-goers and has seen a ‘decent turnout’ of guests over the past couple of days.
The nightclub officially reopened its doors on 23rd December with little formal notice to the public; information was mainly circulating on social media. A Sky Garden employee explained that Friday was the official reopening in a video that was shared widely online.
The venue is not charging entry fees, and the nightclub is open from 11 pm until 4 am each night. Sky Garden also offers the Sky Lounge, the Rooftop Garden Lounge, and the Sky Dome, all open from 5 pm onwards.
Set in the heart of Kuta, Sky Garden has long been one of the area’s leading destinations. Despite being closed down by the authorities in 2019, discussion around whether the venue would reopen never ventured far from public dialogue. Although Sky Garden is open and operating and advertising a huge New Year’s Eve celebration, the news of their opening is already triggering concerns with authorities, local leaders, and the community in Legian.
Speaking to reporters, the Head of the Badung One-Stop Investment and Services Agency (DPMPTSP), I Made Agus Aryawan, explained that they had yet to receive an official request for licensing from the company or business stakeholders. He clearly stated to reporters, “It seems that no one has applied for another permit yet”.
The Head of the Customary Village of Kuta, Wayan Wasista, confirmed that he has received communication from the Sky Bar team and plans have been put in place to have meetings in person but that the subject of the meeting had not been disclosed.
Wasista was not able to share much more information with the media and said, “Maybe it’s related to [reopening] he asked to meet. But whether with a new name or still Sky Garden, I have not received any notification…The important thing is that they follow the rules, don’t let them try in Kuta to disturb the comfort of the people around them. Sometimes the music is too big, and operational hours must also be considered”.
Police raided Sky Garden Bali on Saturday, 17th August 2019, on multiple criminal charges, including fraud and operating without sufficient licenses. Police explained that the venue had been served numerous warnings to get their affairs in order and had failed to comply.
Speaking at the time, the Head go Badung Saptol PP (Civil Service), IGA Ketut Suryanegara, said, “we closed the Sky Garden night entertainment. In this closure, we put a temporary operational suspension sticker…We have given a previous warning. However, until the deadline, Sky Garden did not extend its operating permit. Until now, they have not extended it”.
It later came to light, in March 2022, that PT Sky Bali held tax and supplier debts totaling IDR 31,347,215,247 (USD 2 million). It was reported that “in order to avoid paying taxes and debts to suppliers, shareholders were previously suspected of adopting a pattern of changing clothes. The people are the same but make a different PT”.
Earlier this year, Canggu saw the launch of a new beach club and entertainment venue, Atlas Beach Fest. The venue, part-owned by Indonesian celebrity lawyer and TV personality Hotman Paris, was found to have opened without sufficient permits and licenses. After an investigation from Saptol PP, Atlas Beach Fest was permitted to continue operating ‘in good faith’ while licenses were in process.
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