Bali’s world-famous International Kite Festival was welcomed back to Sanur from 11-14th August. The festival saw spectators and participants from all over Indonesia, and eleven different countries join in the celebrations.
Participants arrived in Bali from cities across Indonesia, most notably from Jakarta, Bandung, Magelang, Yogyakarta, Gresik, Surabaya, Cilacap, Lampung, Batam, and of course Denpasar. International participants came to Bali from across Asia, Europe, North America, and beyond. There were participants from the United States, Australia, Philippines, India, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Poland, and Singapore. , Thailand and Turkey.
Organizers were grateful to be able to run the event in full for the first time since the pandemic began. In pre-pandemic years the festival welcomed participants and spectators from 38 different countries. The Coordinator of the Sanur International Kite Festival 2022, Kadek Armika, told local reporters ‘Because it is still in a pandemic atmosphere, many enthusiasts have canceled their attendance due to flight difficulties or conflict with policies in their country’.
Armika confirmed that it was his belief that the lower attendance rates were purely due to pandemic-related travel issued and not on the grounds that Bali ‘wasn’t good enough’ for spectators to come and visit.
Armika expressed his gratitude for those who had traveled from across Indonesia and across the world to take part in the festival. He said that the Bali Kite Festival is an important part of the world kite exhibition and championship. Armika explained to reporters that he hope that next year’s event would be back to full participant capacity.
Armika also explained his delight that Sanur is being promoted as a destination through the festival. He explained how Sanur’s community has a deep-rooted relationship with kite flying and that this should be celebrated. He explained ‘This image [of being a kite destination] is getting stronger with the presence of various championships, including the Sanur International Kite Festival’.
The Kite Festival attracts people from all walks of life, which is why people like Armika love it so much. The festival brings together hobbyists, competitors, and craftspeople who are all keeping the tradition of kite flying alive. The festival is also enjoyed by spectators from equally broad walks of life, many travel bloggers, and travel photographers attend the event that has become so synonymous with Balinese culture.
Armika is not only the event organizer but also one of Bali’s leading kite masters. He has participated in kite festivals around the world and feels that Bali’s kite events are truly world-class. The program included various traditional kite competitions to explorations of modern creations, as well as pindekan competitions, mini ogoh-ogoh, photo competitions, and kite performances accompanied by traditional music competitions.
The Sanur International Kite Festival is part of the much bigger Sanfest which continues throughout the month of August. Sanfest is too making its come back after the height of the pandemic. The Kite Festival was the main program over the second weekend of August and there is more to come throughout the month.
The festival continues officially until the 21st of August, with a few events falling in the last week of the month. The program includes all kinds of family entertainment including traditional performances, live music, sports and games, and panel discussions about the environment and sustainable living. There will also be cultural arts parades and culinary events celebrating Bali’s unique food heritage.
Bali’s events calendar is beginning to fill up again after the pandemic. With the successful return of the Bali Arts Festival in June and July a clear example of how the island is bouncing back with strength. The Island of the Gods is welcoming big and small events throughout the remainder of the year.
The biggest of all is the G20 Summit that will be held in November and see world leaders from the twenty biggest economies in the world descend on Bali to discuss the future of sustainable development and digital economies, amongst many other matters.
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