Festival makes a splash online

A cultural dance under the Absolute Penang programme is staged live for arts lovers. — Photos from George Town Festival’s Facebook Page

DESPITE going online this year, George Town Festival’s (GTF) special virtual arts and cultural programme called Absolute Penang opened with overwhelming response.

Absolute Penang, one of the many programmes for GTF, was streamed live on Facebook on Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm.

State tourism committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said Absolute Penang recorded a 44,000 outreach with 12,000 views and 230 shares on Tuesday night.

“As the nation adjusts to the next norm during the coronavirus pandemic, GTF is taking the festival online.

“And this special virtual arts and cultural programme endorsed by the Penang government through the GTF organising team has gained good response.

“It has brought confidence to the state in moving forward to the digital era,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

GTF offers a two-week lineup of nine visual art, theatre, music, dance and film programmes.

Originally scheduled from July 11 to July 26, the festival was cancelled in March due to the pandemic.

But Yeoh said that instead, a digital festival will be happening from July 4 to July 26, featuring virtual showcases, talks and workshops.

“There will be a post-GTF bonus screening on July 26 as well, related to visual art, theatre, music, dance and film.

“With the theme ‘Everyone Everywhere’, the festival continues to make the arts accessible to everyone, from festival-goers to the art communities to the general public.

“This is regardless of age, ethnicity or background as the festival experience is reinvented to create a never-before-seen virtual level.

“And there will be more interesting programmes coming up,” he added.

For the full programme lineup, festival-goers and art lovers can visit https://www.facebook.com/GeorgeTownFestival

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