THE 16-day George Town Festival (GTF) 2019 kicks off tomorrow with a grand lights-themed show at the Esplanade on Penang island.
Titled, ‘When Night Falls’, the programme from 7pm to 11pm, will see the Esplanade, City Hall and Town Hall basking in lights, rays and projection mapping from the works of artists around the world.
GTF 2019 director Jack Wong said the opening weekend would feature a wide range of local and international performances, including acts from countries such as Colombia, Indonesia, Italy, Hungary, Brazil, China and Mexico.
He said the programme, to be carried out nightly at similar times on boths days, would feature ballet performances on stilts, light manipulation stunts, circus parade, audio-visual shows, fire stunts and glowing drummers parade.
“The event will also feature ‘The Living Screen’ segment, where local and international performing groups will present interactive shadow acts for all.
“Coupled with fireworks display and live performances, the festival will definitely be a lively one for all,” he told reporters at a press conference in Komtar on Wednesday.
Penang tourism development, arts, culture and heritage committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the opening event would illuminate the history-rich Esplanade.
“This will be a special year, as the opening ceremonies for the annual George Town Festival in previous years were held indoors.
“But this year, everyone can access world-class performances and shows in the open-air, making GTF 2019 truly a festival for everyone.
“There will be seven zones with different themes and 60 artistes from eight countries in this year’s celebration, and we are expecting some 100,000 visitors this year,” he said.
Yeoh added that in conjunction with the festival, Jalan Padang Kota Lama and Lebuh Duke will be closed until 6pm on Monday to facilitate the festival.
Cars, however, will be able to access these roads from 7am to 6pm today and from 7am to 5pm tomorrow.
“We also advise visitors to use public transport or carpool when attending the festival to ease traffic congestion,” he said.
Yeoh said Grab ride-sharing promotions are also available under the GRAB2GTF19 promo code where visitors can enjoy RM5 off each ride for four rides to and from the festival’s highlighted programmes.
For more details on other GTF activities, visit https://georgetownfestival.com or call 012-6646251.