GEORGE TOWN, Aug 12 – The 3rd year of Butterworth Fringe Festival (BFF) was launched at Old Jetty Road (or Jalan Jeti Lama) in Butterworth, Penang here this evening and was officiated by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. It is a vibrant, free-for-all, public street event celebrating the arts, culture, and heritage of this fine town.
The event was set to be the nation’s busiest and noisiest street. The two-day BFF is a joint effort by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council, GTF, Think City Sdn Bhd, the state government and the National Department for Culture and Arts (Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara).
Also present were Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, State Exco member Lim Hock Seng, Seberang Perai Municipal Council president Datuk Rozali Mohamud, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Maimunah Sharif and Festival Director Joe Sidek at the festival grounds along Jalan Jeti Lama.
Lim said BFF organisers have organised many fun and interesting programs under the “Free + Fun Street Festival” concept where locals can get involve and participate in. Joe Sidek said Butterworth is a strategic destination, filled with lots of potential for growth of the arts and cultural activities; unearthing local creative talents at the same time.
He said the event are aiming to wake up the neighbourhood. He said although this is the third year running the festival, it has successfully become a street fiesta that attracts the attention of local residents and international visitors. The two day program will have 20 events organised by local groups while another seven events are organised by foreign performers.
The Penang Dhol Blasters- one of the group performers was kicked off the start of the festival with a reverberating performance involving traditional punjabi dhol drums. Followed by a slick Silat Dulang performance by the National Department for the Culture and Arts.
Street acts from Australia (360 Allstars, A Simple Space, JP Koala), an Argentine Charlie Chaplin, homegrown contemporary dancers, and a traditional Malay theatre Mek Mulung (that is unique to Kedah) look set to make it another unforgettable BFF. The Angin Dan Air dance show is set to be a BFF highlight. Inspired by a local tale of a Butterworth fisherman, this performance by Zamzuriah Zahari and Liu Yong Sean, with the Euphoria Dancers, will be presented outdoors.
The Roots Street Art, organised by Penang-based Lokalhouz, also returns as part of BFF with a 20-hour marathon wall art competition, while a collective of more than 10 independent publishing houses will host a literary market. Among other activities are gigs, a comic book launch by local artist Azmi Hussin, a doll painting workshop and a photography exhibition of Seberang Prai. — PN