Bali Arts Festival 2013

Bali Arts Festival 2013 will be held from 8th June till 8th July in a one month long stunning event in Denpasar. If you have not witness this beautiful event, I would recommend you make a date in Bali this early June. As for me, this will be my second time attending this event where the first time was back in 2011 where I was in awe with the amount of culture and heritage on display in one area. 

This was actually the 'Opening of the Bali Arts Festival' where groups from various tribes and cultures from around Indonesia will take part in their traditional ethnic costumes. From beautiful sweet Balinese women in colorful attire to fiercely made up men, this festival is bound to amaze you in all kinds of ways. Huge effigies are often seen by some of the groups where some of them can be quite scary. Kind of like the ones used in the Nyepi Festival.

Each tribe or group consists of about 10-50 participants who line up and wait their turn in parading in front of the main stage where officials and VIPs are seated. When I was there for the Bali Arts Festival 2011, it was held at a huge local field which could accommodate thousands of people. It was indeed a sight to see and I have to thank the Diwangkara Holiday Villa staff for introducing me to this event. 

The best part - I could count the number of foreigners or tourist in one hand when I was there. Not many people know about the 'Openang Parade' therefore I was fortunate enough to have witnessed it. Camera in hand, I blended in with the local journalist and photographers. My movement was chaotic as everywhere I looked, there was something new to see and photograph. To summarize it, I took about 3000 photos of this event which started about 10am till late in the afternoon and until I ran out of batteries!

So this time around, I hope to be there again, with more batteries, lenses and a better camera. If you are going for this and see me there, don't be a stranger and say hello to me. I end this with a series of photographs which I took back then. Click on the pictures or the full image.

Balinese Girls in amazing traditional attire

Local Indonesian men in full make-up and costumes

 Scenes at the Bali Arts Festival

 Some unique Indonesian ethnic costumes

The official website has yet to update the information for this years Bali Arts Festival 2013 (as of 22nd April '13), I am sure they will update it by early next month (May). Anyway, here is an excerpt of what the festival is all about.
"The Bali Arts Festival is a full month of daily performances, handicraft exhibitions and other related cultural and commercial activities during which literally the whole of Bali comes to the city to present its offerings of dance, music and beauty. On display are trances from remote mountain slopes, forgotten or recently revived village dances, food and offering contests, classical palace dances, stars of Balinese stage, odd musical performances, "kreasi baru" (new creations) from the dance schools of
Denpasar, as well as contemporary choreography and dance companies from other islands and from abroad.

The Bali Arts Festival is the Denpasar cultural event of the year, perhaps it would no be too far fetched to suggest that it is the cultural event of Indonesia. The festival is thus a unique opportunity to see local village culture both "live" and at first hand. Tourists are warmly welcomed.

If you are a photography enthusiast or love taking photos of people and cultures, this is one event in Bali that you should not miss. I hope you enjoyed the photos and you can view more of these pictures on my Malaysia Asia Facebook Page while I also hope that you can make it for this years Bali Arts Festival 2013.