After five years, Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Fest makes a return to KLPac

Festivalgoers can expect live music performances and a whole lot more in the upcoming Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival 2023 programme at KLPac this August. In pic: A drum circle wowing the crowds at YSDAF 2018. Photo: YSDAF

The Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival 2023 (YSDAF), one of Kuala Lumpur's largest arts festivals, is set to meet the masses after a five-year absence.

From now until August, the festival will feature a series of satellite activities and events, including dance, theatre, film screenings, workshops and demonstrations, showcasing mainly local talent.

Everything will lead up to the free admission YSDAF 2023 finale weekend on Aug 19 and 20 at KLPac.

Presented by Yayasan Sime Darby and KLPac, this fourth edition of the festival is themed “Shout it Out: Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow”.

It is an invitation to “Shout It Out” on issues that are dear to our hearts – be it the arts, community, health, education or environment – and stake a claim in our collective future.

“We have almost 350 showcases and activities planned in 19 pocket locations around KLPac. It involves approximately 1,000 artistes and crew and is expected to attract at least 18,000 festival goers. Nowhere else will you be able to sample such a wide variety of what the local arts scene can offer,” says Datuk Faridah Merican, YSDAF's executive producer and co-founder of KLPac.

The festival has kicked off with Pitch Start, an open call for innovative project ideas that exemplify the festival theme. Successful applicants stand to win a grant of up to RM20,000 to premiere the work at YSDAF 2023 big weekend in August.

Submissions for the open call will close on April 30.

Highlights leading up to the festival’s grand finale include open auditions for the festival's Gala Night, mini "festivals", a Radiohead tribute concert (titled True Love Waits, with the Young Choral Academy Chorus) and also a performing arts training programme for the disabled.

YSDAF builds on its past efforts on diversity and inclusivity in line with the “arts for all” spirit, in its mission to be more inclusive and welcoming to all. It is the only festival in Malaysia to have its crew undergo Disability Equality Training (DET) and Disability Related Services Training (DRST).

The biennial festival, a highlight of the local arts calendar since 2014, has brought the arts to more than 50,000 festival-goers.

More info here.

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