After a two-year hiatus, the world-famous Bali Arts Festival commences on the 12th of June. The festival runs until July 10th, 2022 and free events are happening across Bali every day.
The main festival grounds can be found at the Bali Cultural Park and Art Centre, also known as the Werdhi Buddha Culture Centre in Denpasar. Some events are happening in cultural hubs like Ubud. There will be exhibitions held at the Bali Museum which is a 6-minute drive from the Bali Cultural Park.
The festival’s opening parade will be held at the iconic Bajra Sandhi Monument on 12th June 2022, from 2 pm, and will run until 4.30 pm. Entry is free for everyone and no ticket is required. Visitors are advised to arrive early to secure a good spot to watch the parade.
The Bajra Sandhi Monument is a 20-minute walk through Lapangan Puputan Renon Park from the Cultural Centre. Organizers have made it easy for visitors to hop from each venue to ensure they don’t miss anything the festival has to offer.
Event organizers have announced that there will be a big screen set up outside the Werdhi Buddha Culture Centre to enable people to maintain social distancing and enjoy the performance in the unique atmosphere the center creates.
The Head of the Bali Cultural Park Wayan Ria Arsika SS told local newspapers that with 3-days to go, festival preparations have hit 90%. He said ‘We are ready, including for the rehearsal on June 11th. The final 10 percent is the installation of decorations and ornaments so that the Cultural Park looks even more beautiful’.
The festival is set to be opened by President Joko Widodo who was in Bali only two weeks ago for the UN’s 7th Global Platform For Disaster Risk Reduction Conference. Anyone attending festival events will have to scan a QR Code on Indonesia’s track and trace app PeduliLindungi. Attendees will also be required to show their vaccination certificates too.
Before the pandemic, Bali Arts Festival consistently attracted 2-million visitors across the month-long event. The theme for the 2022 festival is ‘Danu Kerthi Huluing Amreta’ which translates as a celebration of the glory of water as a source of life.
Culture enthusiasts from all around the world would plan their visits long in advance to see one of the Asia’s most impressive cultural celebrations. It is unlikely the festival will reach pre-pandemic attendance this year, but organizers are hopeful that the event can be a celebration of Balinese culture, heritage and of the pandemic drawing to a close.
The Bali Arts Festival launches during Bali’s Galungan festival which started on the 8th of June. The 10-day Balinese Hindu festival celebrated the triumph of dharma over adarma and is one of the most significant events in the year. The festival happens every 210-days as decided by the traditional local calendar.
Visitors to the Bali Arts Festival can expect to watch a stunning array of traditional cultural dancing, ceremonies, theatre performances, workshops and music. As the Arts Festival concedes with Galungan visitors in Bali may not even need to specifically attend an event to be able to observe the celebrations and performances.
Throughout Galungan there are numerous parades held in Balinese villages and suburbs. The Ngelawang Parade sees children march their village streets with a homemade mythological status called a ‘barong’. This ceremony is held to repel bad luck and it is traditional to give the children a small amount of money as a donation to call in abundance and help them pay for materials.
The Werdhi Buddha Culture Centre is hosting an exhibition of Batuan Paintings. The exhibition showcases some of the best paintings from Bali’s most artistic village. There will also be workshops teaching people how to paint in Batuan style. The center will also host exhibitions displaying traditional clothing, local documentaries, and craft competitions.
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