George Town Festival 2019




George Town Festival is Back and Everyone’s Invited!

The 16-day long arts and culture Festival to return from 13 to 28 July

George Town, Penang, Malaysia, 3 June 2019: ONE of Asia’s leading arts events, the George Town Festival (GTF) is making a return for its tenth edition from 13 to 28 July 2019. The 16-day long Festival will feature a total of 150 programmes, including visual art, theatre, music, dance, comedy, film to photography and more.

Over 500 talented performers from 20 countries are slated to take part in the Festival, turning the event into a platform for local and international artists to forge connections with the community and to foster artistic and cultural experience for residents and tourists.

Keen to deliver its ‘A Festival for Everyone’ promise to festival goers, some 70 per cent of events in the Festival are free-to-attend. Meanwhile, 60 per cent of the Festival are earmarked for local artists to showcase their talents so that everyone will have a chance to experience the Festival. Event venues will be scattered throughout historic George Town and various locations across the island and mainland.

Visitors will have a rare opportunity to marvel at mesmerising programmes from local and international alike, thus keeping Penang and its arts communities alive and intact. Alongside a host of homegrown talents, the Festival will feature performers from other parts of the world, such as the Netherlands, France, Thailand and Taiwan.


Details of the George Town Festival 2019 highlighted programmes are as follows:



This year, GTF 2019 brings you three highlighted programmes over three weekends namely, When Night Falls, Art in the City and The Extravaganza, carried out in and around the George Town World Heritage Site.

When Night Falls is a two-day event of an eclectic array of illuminated artworks from across the globe. Moz Drums and Compagnie des Quidams from France as well as Teatro Pavana from The Netherlands are joining forces with FILAMEN, a local projection mapping community group to transform the areas around Esplanade, a waterfront location in the heart of George Town, into a glowing playground of lights, rays and projection mapping.

Date : 13 & 14 July 2019
Time : 7pm – 11pm
Venue : Padang Kota Lama (Esplanade)



Based on the concept of art-is-everywhere-and-anywhere-in-the-city, the two-day event will get the clan houses, shophouses, back alleys, and five-foot ways buzzing with a multitude of artistic activities covering music to child-friendly entertainment, and from dance to theatre across intriguing venues, happening all at once in the city. Set within the George Town World Heritage Site, the programmes are slated to run simultaneously in separate locations yet within a reasonable distance, allowing visitors to enjoy most, if not all, of the programmes. Among some of the exciting programmes are Garden Gig, Tiny Touts, Puppet Stage, Malaysia Inside Out, Dance @ 74, Mai Main Kaki Lima! and many more.

Date : 20 & 21 July 2019
Time : 5pm – 11pm
Venue : George Town World Heritage Site


The following table lists the programme line-up for Art in the City:Table 2: ART IN 



The Festival’s grand finale – The Extravaganza – will cast local and international street and performing artists to form an enormous art bash that worth a universal celebration. This free-to-attend street event is brimming with diverse selections of performing and installation arts ranging from contemporary to traditional and novelty performances at selected spots, inviting visitors to experience arts in a new way. Visitors can look forward to taking a short trip back in time in a specially curated photo exhibition featuring photos captured during the first 15 days of the ongoing Festival. There will also be a runway presentation designed to speak for the voiceless, bringing about much-needed awareness on environmental conservation as well as animal abuse prevention. Taking centre stage is our locally-renowned choreographer and dancer, Aida Redza, who will be mesmerising visitors with a dance performance. International and local aerial silk and rope performing artists will hit the stage, delivering eclectic live performances for all to enjoy. Other acts who will be joining the grand finale include Angika Fine Arts which will be presenting varied Indian dances and Incredible Mallakhamb which is set to deliver spellbinding acrobatic movements of Mallakhamb – a traditional Indian sport in which a gymnast performs feats and poses in concert with a vertical wooden pole or rope.

Date : 28 July 2019 Time : 5pm – 11pm Venue : Lebuh Pantai



Those looking for a more epicurean indulgence can do so at the Festival’s 14 specially curated ticketedshows covering dance, theatre, forum, talk, fashion, music, comedy, and film. Among the highly anticipated ticketed shows are BIRD, a dance collaboration between visual theatre company WHS from Finland and Pichet Klunchun Dance Company from Thailand, Armour and Skin 2019 which will be presented by HANDS Percussion and Gamelan Yuganada as well as Great New World – From Free Port to World Heritage Site, a symposium in collaboration with Penang Art District.

Details of the highly anticipated ticketed shows are as follows:


BIRD, created in artistic collaboration between visual theatre company WHS from Finland and Pichet Klunchun Dance Company from Thailand, approaches human society from the perspective of birds. Dark and contemplative but also corrosively beautiful, the show led us to ponder if we are all living in a glorified birdcage we call home.

Date : 26 & 27 July 2019
Time : 8.30pm
Venue : Dewan Budaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia



Under the direction of treasured Balinese musician and artist I Wayan Sudirana and Malaysian writer, actor and director Ghafir Akhbar, the conversations between drumsticks and metal, song and drums, mallets and skin, body and soul, as well as artists and instruments are explored in Armour and Skin 2019. Presented by HANDS Percussion and Gamelan Yuganada, Armour and Skin 2019 is a celebration of our inner spirits, instruments and music, as well as the magic that happens when everything, even discord seems to fall in place for a single purpose – hope.

Dates and times: 26 July 2019 at 8.30pm and 27 July 2019 at 3pm & 8.30pm
Venue : Dewan Sri Pinang



For the longest time, the art history of Malaysia has always focused on Kuala Lumpur as the centre of activity. Join us on this occasion as we decenter this commonplace narrative, to discover what we canlearn about Penang’s artistic past, in order to understand what is happening in Penang today, so that we can begin to recognise new horizons for Penang’s artistic future.

Date : 27 July 2019
Time : 9am – 6pm
Venue : Bangunan U.A.B



As part of the Festival’s community engagement programme, Macam Macam Macallum and Macam Macam Berapit are designed to help the local residents to make the most of the Festival while inviting crowds to take a deeper dive into the sights and sounds of the friendly Macallum Street Ghaut and Berapit neighbourhoods.

Details of community engagement programme are as follows:

Macam Macam Macallum

Dive deeper into the sights and sounds of the friendly Macallum Street Ghaut neighbourhood through glove puppetry, workshop, dance, music and more! Macam Macam Macallum will showcase traditional performances known to the local residents while attracting crowds to the former mangrove swamp with specially curated contemporary performances. Renowned artists and performers such as Yudi Yap 友弟 & WVC – Malaysian Jazz Ensemble, Culture Shot, and Euphoria Penang Modern Dance Ensemble are set to helm this community engagement programme.

Date : 24 & 25 July 2019 Time : 7pm – 10pm
Venue : Gat Lebuh Macallum


Macam Macam Berapit

Arts and culture will take over the streets of Berapit, transforming the local neighbourhood into an international arts stage. Residents and visitors will be treated to performances, installations, and collaborations from international and local artists.

Date : 7 July 2019
Time : 7pm – 10pm
Venue : Public Market Berapit



Adding colours to the Festival are various artistic activities and performances ranging from visual art, fashion, film to photography and more, including exhibitions such as GERIMIS: A Collaborative Orang Asli Art Exhibition as well as a runway presentation by THISNORTHAT fashion label from China.

The OBSCURA Festival of Photography returns to George Town Festival, much to the delight of shutterbugs everywhere. Meanwhile, The Unsettled Dust – Asian Short Film Festival will make its debut at GTF 2019, presenting works from artists and filmmakers from various parts of Asia.



A 5KM heritage walk will be held in conjunction with the upcoming George Town Festival and George Town Heritage Celebrations. The George Town Heritage Walk 2019 encourages participants to appreciate the alluring beauty, sights and sounds of the heritage city of George Town. Keep your eyes peeled for great pop-up performances. Register now to kick-start George Town Festival with us! You will be entitled to special merchandise of the Festival, too!

Details of the George Town Heritage Walk 2019 are as follows:
Date : 7 July 2019
Time : 7.30am
Venue : Lebuh Pantai
Registration link:

For more information, please visit and follow us on Facebook at George Town Festival.

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