George Town Festival (Saturday to Monday, August 1st-31st) is an exciting month-long celebration of local art, music, theatre, dance, and film in Penang. The event started back in 2009 as a series of arts and cultural events to commemorate Georgetown’s listing as a UNESCO Heritage Site before becoming one of Malaysia’s most high-anticipated cultural events of the year.
For the entire month of August, the festival allows visitors to enjoy a diverse range of shows and attractions exploring Georgetown’s well-preserved heritage buildings and colourful street arts. There are also hundreds of booths selling Penang’s well-loved delicacies and snacks as well as local artwork, books, trinkets and souvenirs.
With venues ranging from auditoriums and sidewalk galleries to five-foot alleyways and colonial shophouses, George Town Festival hosts curated collaborations, experimental art shows, traditional dance performances, theatre and opera, live bands and poetry readings, community activities and public space installations.
Previous international acts include with stunning acrobatics by dancers from Finland, Japan, China and Thailand as well as dance productions by award-winning Flemish-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. In 2015, visitors can enjoy local traditional stage performances such as Kuda Kepang and Mak Yong.
George Town Festival is held within Georgetown, which is accessible within a 25-minute taxi ride from Penang International Airport. Perfect for visitors who want to stay close to the festival, this popular locale is also home to a wide range of accommodation options, from modest backpacker inns and boutique hotels to quaint heritage hotels and five-star establishments.
Whether you’ll be staying in Penang for a week or an entire month, expect vibrant street parties and all-day concerts held against the colourful backdrop of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Highlights: Saturday – Monday, from August 1 – 31
- Location: Georgetown, Penang
- Tel: +604 261 6308