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Low Visitor Numbers Causes Bali Cultural Shows To Be Canceled

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It definitely feels like the low season in Bali. Beaches are quieter, and the traffic feels a little more manageable. The impact of the low season brings about benefits for both tourists and businesses.

Barong Dance Culture Cultural Show Bali

While the low season makes many of Bali’s busiest attractions more quiet and enjoyable for visitors and allows hotels and resorts to take a breather, the impact of fewer tourists has a huge impact on small businesses and community-run initiatives.

According to I Made Wija, the Head of the Sekaa Barong Putra Barong performers in Sukawati, close to Ubud, the lower number of tourists has led to the team having to cancel performances.

The Sekaa Barong Putra Barong, a cultural performance group, is made up of 54 members, including dancers and musicians. The team usually performs for tourists twice a day, but since the beginning of Ramadan, there has been a noticeable decline in domestic visitors.

The traditional Barong dance is a must-experience cultural highlight for everyone who visits Bali.

The Barong dance is perhaps the most famous cultural dance in Bali, aside from the Kecak. The Barong dance is an electrifying performance that tells the story of the battle between Barong and Rangda.

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@calonarangtaksu_real kelakuan leak monyet pengikut Betari Durga dalam pementasan Barong Kunti Sraya oleh Sekaa Barong Catur Eka Budhi Kesiman . #rangda#seram#mistis#calonarang#barongan#budaya#bali#tradisi#fypシ #fyp ♬ suara asli – Calonarang Taksu

The dance symbolizes the eternal conflict between good and evil, and it is now performed as a cultural show for tourists, both international and domestic, but at its core, the Barong dance is a ritual and is still performed as such at important events for Balinese Hindus.

Tourists can watch Barong performances daily across Bali. Some of the most famous performances are held in Ubud, with a daily evening performance hosted at Ubud Royal Palace itself.

Batubulan Village in Sukawati, a 30-minute drive outside of Ubud, is also incredibly famous for its Barong performances.

Down on the Bukit, a Barong dance performance is hosted daily at 3 pm at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park.

@ofank_dex Ada yang tau kang bapangnya??? #Fyp #barong #bali ♬ suara asli – OFANK_DEX

The Barong dance is not to be confused with the Kecak dance, also known as the Bali fire dance.

The Kecak dance tells the story of Ramayana, the story of Rama and Sita. When Rama leaves his love, Sita, to go hunting, she is kidnapped by the evil Ravana.

The dance depicts how Rama’s younger brother discovers that Sita is missing and employs the help of Jatayu to rescue her but he is injured in the process.

Hanuman comes to the rescue but is then captured by evil Ravana. Despite the evils of Ravana, Hanuman triumphs and rises from the fire. One of the most famous Kecak performances in Bali is held in Uluwatu.

@gnrbrd Adegan Anoman Obong dalam Tari Kecak Ramayana di Uluwatu, Bali. #uluwatu #bali #tarikecak #kecak ♬ original sound – ganang

As for the canceled Barong performances in Sukawati, Wija told reporters he is hopeful that his group will be able to restart their shows soon.

He explained, “Our market is purely [domestic tourists]. Not foreign tourists. It is possible that only our group will be paused, while other groups whose market is foreign tourists can still perform.”


He noted that the pausing of performances creates a huge loss of revenue, with each performance generating, on average IDR 2 million.

But Wija remains hopeful; with the Eid holiday just around the corner, Bali is preparing for a huge influx of domestic tourists.

The Denpasar City Tourism Office has announced that they are preparing for an 80-90% increase in domestic tourist arrivals during the Eid Holiday. In Indonesia, the Eid al-Fitr festival is referred to as the Lebaran holiday.

This year the Lebaran holiday will start on the 19th of April, and closing on the 25th April. With the Islamic holy days falling on the 22nd and 23rd of April. In Indonesia, Lebaran is also used to refer to the Eid al-Adha festival that falls on 28th June in 2023.


During this time, millions of Indonesian citizens travel all across the country, with many choosing to spend the Lebaran holiday in Bali.

Speaking on behalf of the Denpasar City Tourism Office, MA Dezire Mulyani said, “Our predictions [show an] increase in domestic tourists; predictions can be up to 80-90 percent.”


Mulyani added, “This Eid holiday is expected to support hotel occupancy and other tourism. This is because tourism actors have long dreamed of tourism recovering as before.”

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Saturday 15th of April 2023

Which part of Bali are you referring to? Ubud may have less tourist but traffic is ridiculous in canggu, Seminyak, pereranan, berawa.


Sunday 16th of April 2023

The traffic jams are not really caused by tourists. It is locals working in the area and the new trend after covid with gig economy: motorbike taxis and all things ordered online transported by motorbikes. Just my 2 cents.


Saturday 15th of April 2023

Maybe the visitors are stuck in the never ending traffic jam.

Sally goome

Saturday 15th of April 2023

Sack the Vax mandate to travel

Karen North

Friday 14th of April 2023

In Lovina we have the Jimmy Hendrix School of Dance. Local children are taught Balinese music and dance and perform at night to tourists. Payment is by donation. This money goes to the kids school fees at school. It has been now 3 years since this was first shut down because of COVID. And still Lovina has few tourists. And so the children rarely put on shows. And have no school money. And so I support them. When will the Bali Sun help Lovina and write articles on my town? Shall I google you the Maps location because you just can't seem to find it?


Saturday 15th of April 2023

@Karen North, Get a life, seriously. Why do you dribble with greed on this comment section every dam day? The lady who wants everything for free.

Wayan Bo

Saturday 15th of April 2023

@Karen North, there seems to be a mistake, perhaps Jimmy Hendrix school of electric guitar and a Woodstock school of dance !?


Saturday 15th of April 2023

@Karen North, Please stop. What is wrong with you? Mve to Seminyak where there is enough business to support your lifestyle.

Neil gill

Friday 14th of April 2023

think of how many international travellers you would have had if the U20 FIFA carnival had not been cancelled in Bali as those people that had planned their holidays here so far in advance, they will never come back as they are left with a sour taste in their mouths about Bali. Sports and politics do not mix.


Saturday 15th of April 2023

@Neil gill, I think they did it because of bomb threat.