Back for its eighth consecutive year, the month-long art, culture, and heritage festival in George Town, Penang is buzzing with a variety of exciting events. With the festivities kicking off on July 27 and lasting until September 3, there are an abundance of things to look forward to in the UNESCO-listed town.
The festival has several live performances from both local and international artists, with the aim to make art an accessible commodity to the public by transforming George Town into a global arts hub. Throughout the month, expect to find theatre workshops, music and dance performances, book launches and various exhibitions accompanied by mouthwatering traditional and international dishes.
A few highlights visitors can look forward to is “Livin’ La Vida Imelda,” a one-man show on July 28 by heritage activist Carlos Celdran about his memories of 1970s Manila. Playing the role of former first lady Imelda Marcos, he will guide you through the horrific consequences of Martial Law.
Continue the celebration with “Ikat” by Artism on August 11 to 12, a theatre performance that showcases the daily lives of people from different nationalities and backgrounds. A collaboration between artists from different countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines), the performance also serves as platform for these artists to exchange ideas.
Music enthusiasts can watch Temple of Fine Arts’s “Anthar Agni” on August 30 to 31. Led by young artist Nawaz Mirajkar, the group will play a combination of Chinese drums and Indian classic music. Dancers will perform a combination of the North Indian dance kathak and the flamenco. The entire event will focus on the power of agni (fire) to destroy lives and its ability to create art.
Tourists who wish to attend the festival can book direct flights to Penang from these airlines: Singapore Airlines (from Singapore), Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong), Thai Airways (Bangkok), Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), and China Southern (Taipei).
The fest serves as an annual celebration of George Town’s 2008 inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. For a detailed list of all events and activities, download the festival guide from this link.