The former Bali Festival Park, in Padang Galak, is gaining an increasing amount of attention from international tourists. The venue, now abandoned, sits on Jalan Pantai Padang Galak, Banjar Kedaton, Kesiman Petilan Village, East Denpasar. The building is said to be haunted and that was partly why the venue was put out of use in 1998. Now the area is unused, abandoned, and proving to be a point of curiosity for intrepid travelers.
The former Bali Festival Park was also the site of a major fire that ripped through two of the outer buildings. The fire damage adds to the haunted and eery feeling of the place. The whole site is overgrown with wild, rambling plant, the roofs of the buildings have caved in and artists from across Bali and around the world have painted murals on the bare, concrete walls.
Despite the site being abandoned for over 20 years, the site still has a guard employed to keep an eye on the place. I Wayan Hendrayana told local news reporters that since the beginning of 2022 the former festival park has been supervised by the Kesiman Traditional Village.
This is perhaps why the area has caught the attention of both international and domestic tourists. In Bali, it only takes one social media post about a newly found hidden gem for the place to become the island’s next must-visit destination.
Hendrayana said that every day visitors come to explore the old Bali Festival Park. He explained how it gets busy on the weekend and visitors average around 20 people a day. According to Hendrayana, the visitors come to explore the site because they have seen photos of the murals on social media.
He explained how the visitors come to take photos and that others come to paint new murals. Hendrayana confessed that many of the visitors are on the hunt for the opportunity to create content for social media.
While initially, visits to the Old Bali Festival Park were informal the Kesiman Traditional Village is actively welcoming visitors to the site. According to Hendrayana artists are welcome to voluntarily create murals in the abandoned buildings if they arrange with the community first.
He explained how local artists are also approaching the village leaders to put their own lasting mark on the place. Hendrayana told the reports that visitors can explore the Old Bali Festival Park from 8 am to 8 pm. Those who wish to explore the property at night time for the purposes of making content can discuss options with the community leaders.
Hendrayana said that some people who come are curious about the haunted nature of the space. He explained ‘Sometimes there are guests who ask to be accompanied, but mostly they don’t’ and that although he walks around mostly in the daytime that he has not felt anything supernatural around him.
The Village Chief of Kesiman Indigenous Village, I Ketut Wisna chatted with local reports too. He confirmed that the Old Bali Festival Park is now under the supervision of the community and that the rumors of the area being haunted are to be believed. He explained how the space had previously been used for ‘negative rituals’ that sit outside of the Balinese Hindu belief systems.
These rumors of negative forces and haunted energies are the reason why the site has not been developed. Many in the community want the area to be left well alone. According to others in the community, the area was used for drug abuse and there are even reports of people taking their own life within the abandoned buildings.
In light of this, the community remains unsure about what to do with the area long-term. The Old Bali Festival Park could become the next biggest informal tourist site in Bali. Visitors may be asked for donations for visiting the space to help the village community cover the costs of security guards who are doubling as tour guides and basic maintenance like sweeping of pathways and provision of parking.
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Sunday 17th of July 2022
"Visitors may be asked for donations". Yes, this concept is well established for every nook and cranny in Bali, so why not for this abandoned site as well. Do not miss the opportunity to add in parking fee, mandatory guide, photo and drone fees as well to top it off. Nightly techno / trance concerts there will also make sure the neighbours feel they are involved too...
Monday 18th of July 2022
@Exp, Best comment! Love it! :)