The Bali Arts Festival is a cultural treat for lucky visitors who are in Bali until mid July. The festival traditionally starts on the second Saturday of June and runs through the month of July. It is the perfect moment to witness Bali’s wealth of performing arts together with various cultural highlights from other islands in Indonesia. As one of the main highlights in Bali’s calendar of events, the annual celebration features various artworks and cultural achievements, inviting locals and international visitors to the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar where most of the daily exhibitions and art performances are focused.
On regular days, a visit to the Denpasar Art Centre is a small tour to admire magnificent sculptures and Balinese architectural features as well as a venue of choice for photo shoots with exotic backdrops. But throughout the Bali Arts Festival in June and July, the complex becomes alive with colourful traditional bamboo and coconut leaf decorations and banners. Crowds gather in front of its open stages, auditoriums and outdoor pavilions to witness a variety of traditional and contemporary dances, shadow puppetry, music compositions and youth competitions that fill the festival agenda.
Hundreds of artisans from the Denpasar municipality, Bali’s eight provinces, other neighbouring islands and even art troupes from abroad participate and showcase their talents. Now in its 38th year, the Bali Arts Festival returns June 11 to July 9, and carries a main theme “Karang Awak: Cherishing the Home Island”.
The Bali Arts Festival kicks off with a June 11 opening parade in front of the Bajra Sandhi monument in Denpasar. At the Ardha Chandra stage of the Bali Arts Centre, witness a series of stage performances by the Indonesia Arts Institute (ISI) of Denpasar. On the following days up to Saturday, July 9, the various stages and different venues come to life with the wide and colourful variety of performances from different art groups from all over the island and Indonesia. The month-long festival offers you the best showcase of Balinese and Indonesian arts and culture in the entire year!
Enjoy traditional music and gamelan recitals at the Ayodya and Angsoka stages, as well as evening Balinese documentary film screenings at the Ksirarnawa auditorium. Balinese children’s Gong Kebyar gamelan jam sessions at the Ardha Candra amphitheatre is also a unique highlight, with vocal, musical and dance collaborations by troupes from Denpasar and the Tabanan regency. Also find handicraft, painting, sculpture exhibitions and traditional culinary bazaars featuring favourite Balinese dishes. The Bali Arts Festival customarily closes with a lively ceremony with an evening traditional ballet known as ‘sendratari’, held at the Ardha Candra open stage from 20:00.