With a two-day mega showcase to kick-start the festival, walking giants, site-specic performances and more, George Town Festival (29 Juli – 28 Agustus 2016) returns to excite like never before!
Turning a saucy seven this year, George Town Festival is once again set to dazzle audiences with various scintillating performances and exhibitions at exciting locations in and around the heart of the city.
Highlighting at the festival this year are some of the best talents from Australia and around Southeast Asia in a mega two-day event to be held at the Esplanade. Aptly named the A+SEAN Showcase, this outdoor event is sure to draw crowds as giant PVC installations, or Strandbeests as their creator Theo Jansen likes to call them, roam the eld propelled only by wind. Videos of these mammoth machines ambling on Dutch beaches have raked up millions of views online and now is your chance to see the magic in person.
What’s more, they won’t be the only giants there as the Esplanade will also play host to the Snuff Puppets from Australia – gigantic hand-made installations that are sure to enthral children and adults alike!
For those who enjoy a live performance or two, some of the most popular bands from both Malaysia and around the region will be belting out their hits. These include Nidji (Indonesia), whose singles have been used as Manchester United’s anthem in 2013, as well as the background score in the Southeast Asian promo for the highly popular television series Heroes. Also performing will be Malaysian favourites OAG and Ocean of Fire, as well as singers Dasha Logan and Bihzhu. There will also be plenty of action on the side with a chance to indulge in some good old- fashioned retail therapy at a lifestyle market featuring the best of art, books and fashion from around the region, delicious food in mobile stalls and more exciting acts.
On the same weekend, Svara Bhumi will be lling the hall in Dewan Sri Pinang with indigenous music. The event will feature acts like Australia’s leading aboriginal band ‘The Black Arm Band’, Ria Hall from New Zealand, and others from Indonesia and Malaysia. This concert will of ciate the opening of this year’s festival as a tribute to indigenous music from the region.
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Other festival highlights include a GTF-commissioned show – Pearl of the Eastern & Oriental – by Lim Yu Beng and Tan Kheng Hua, the team that brought 2 Houses in GTF 2014; a site-speci c programme – Moved by Padi – by our home-grown choreographer and dancer Aida Redza; the Asian premiere of Triptyque by Les 7 doigts de la main; Southeast Asian premieres – Kaash by Akram Khan Company, Missing by Gecko Theatre and Smashed by Gandini Juggling.
Joining us at the festival will be the committee members of FACP (Federation for Asian Cultural Promotion) from all over Asia. FACP holds an annual conference hosted by a different Asian city each year and Penang was selected to host the 34th Annual Conference. The conference aims to provide a platform for arts and artist managers, cultural entrepreneurs and leaders to facilitate international touring and discussion of issues that the art industry faces.
The festival has always worked on giving back to the community and one such initiative has been to provide community tickets and organise fund-raising projects. This year, such efforts will be formalised with the Arts For Humanity project. We hope to crowdfund more community tickets and raise funds for educational workshops and artistic grants. Together with this project, there will be a talk titled Stories, Humanity and What About The Arts? with several international speakers, including Larry Harvey from the Burning Man Festival.
Once again, we are working on securing partners and sponsors for this year’s festival and highly encourage interested parties to get in touch with us.
For more information, visit www.georgetownfestival.com