George Town Festival (GTF) 2023 will be held for 16 days from 15 to 30 July 2023, spread across 20 locations in George Town and the wider Penang.
It’s that time of the year again, where Penangites alike join in to celebrate George Town Festival, a festival of arts, culture and heritage.
In this 14th edition, GTF2023 will be having over 50 programmes across 16 days, from 15 to 30 July 2023 at over 20 locations in Penang. It aims to unite local communities and festival-goers across ages, backgrounds, localities, and nationalities around a shared love of art.
The festival celebrates outstanding works by Malaysian and international artists across different disciplines with productions ranging from traditional, contemporary, experimental, and multidisciplinary works.
The George Town Festival first came in the works in 2010 to honour George Town’s inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Now 14 years after, GTF has raised the visilibily of the city’s heritage while creating spaces and platforms for increased cultural engagement through the arts.
This year’s curation tethers exceptional creations by artists and performers across
different disciplines, many of which will premiere at GTF, giving audiences new perspectives on how the arts can reflect and celebrate the human experience.
Besides that, to fruther widen the global artistic partnerships, GTF 2023 will facilitate performances and events between artists from East and West Malaysia and creative exchange with Taiwan and Australia.
It will then end with a Light in the City display on 30 July along Beach Street, presenting an eclectic display of colours, patterns, textures, and narratives.
Check out some the programmes they’re having this July:
What’s in store for this year’s GTF2023?
Free To Attend Activities
Inspirations from the Southeast: Penang, Malaysia – 22 – 23 July @ GSC Cinemas, Gurney Plaza (Free)
A free screening of documentary which features the diverse forms of heritage in George Town.
Riso Art Jam (Exhibition, Bazaar & Forum) 15 – 30 July @ The Whiteaways Arcade (Some free & some ticketed at RM60 per pax)
Riso Art Jam celebrates the vibrant Riso art scene in our community and brings together artists and art enthusiasts from around the world.
The Library of Unread Books (Exhibition) – 8 July – 3 September @ Blank Canvas (Free)
The Library of Unread Books is a travelling public reference library hosted within art spaces and museums around the world. It has surfaced in cities such as Manila, Utrecht, Milan, Prague, Dubai and Singapore.
Pulu’em – 22 & 23 July @ Dewan Budaya USM (RM70 per pax)
A musical offering by Sangpuy, a musician from Taiwan’s Pinuyumayan tribe, who pays tribute to the cultural, natural, and spiritual heritage of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples with songs from his latest album ‘pulu’em’.
Luna – 22 & 23 July @ Dewan Budaya USM (RM70 per pax)
A performance by the highly acclaimed Bulareyaung Dance Company which integrates contemporary dance with inspiration from the rituals and singing of the Bunun people, also listed as a cultural heritage in Taiwan.
The Monkey King Adventures: Love of Onibaba – 29 – 30 July @ Majestic Theatre (RM50 per pax)
The Japanese Team ITO collaborates with Penang’s Ombak Potehi to stage a localised sequel to the literary classic Journey to the West, with puppets!
The Senses (Concert) – 16 July @ The Habitat Penang Hill (RM150 per pax)
A sensory and immersive musical experience within the naturescapes of Penang Hill’s 130-million-year-old rainforest that will feature Frank Yamma and David Bridie from Australia and Sangpuy Katatepan of Taitung’s Pinuyumayan community.
bhumiMATA – 28 -& 29 July @ Penang Institute, Jalan Brown (RM30 per pax)
A multidisciplinary production incorporating elements of classical, ritualistic, and contemporary dance forms to uncover and embody the woman’s voice across generations.
Check out their video of last year’s wrap up here.