George Town Festival (GTF) 2024 makes a vibrant splash with over 70 programmes

George Town Festival 2024 sees a collaborations between multiple parties from independent collective up to government bodies

The 15th George Town Festival (GTF) returns from July 19 to 28, 2024 with the theme “Here & Now,” inviting everyone to embark on a journey of reflection and reimagination. Since its inception in 2010, GTF has garnered international media coverage, being recognized as “one of the main highlights on the global arts calendar” (Tatler Asia 2022), and generating over 7.7 million Ringgit in PR value.

GTF 2024, helmed by Kerson Media Global Sdn Bhd, continuing the legacy from its predecessor returns with over 70 diverse programmes designed to uplift, engage, and entertain audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The festival seeks to challenge assumptions, inspire new perspectives, and showcase the transformative power of the arts.

The festival’s programme lineup, announced at a press conference at GMBB, features act from Indonesia, Thailand, Italy, Taiwan, Spain, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Colombia, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Vietnam, and more. The lineup spans performing arts, visual arts, family fun, and community engagement, including:

  • Double Bill of Jingju Magic by GuoGuang Opera Company (Taiwan), supported by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia.
  • Waktu Batu. Rumah yang Terbakar by Teater Garasi (Indonesia), supported by Indonesia’s Directorate General of Culture.
  • Alle Armi by Hombre Collettivo (Italy), using toys to highlight the international arms market.
  • House of Mask & Mime (Thailand), a performance for all ages.
  • Switchblade Op: A World in the City (Malaysia), marking the 30th anniversary of Loke Soh Kim’s award-winning dance performance.

George Town will transform into a mini museum of puppetry, featuring various forms of puppetry including glove, shadow play, and giant puppets. Highlights include Taiwan’s Close to You Festival @ GTF, which allows audiences to interact with puppets and puppeteers in unique settings.

Malaysian acts also featured prominently, with groups like Theatresauce, Moka Mocha Ink, Dabble Dabble, Jer Collective, and Patblas Creative, as well as artists like Chacko Vadaketh, Ng Siu Yee, and Steve Goh.

GTF 2024 will nurture local talent and cultivate Malaysia’s arts ecosystem with programmes like Yam Seng Lah!, Journal of Her House, and the Young Arts Programme, encouraging new creative voices. The Artist-in-Residence programme will engage four artists with the local community, inspiring unique interpretations of George Town.

Aiming to establish deeper intercultural ties, GTF collaborates with organizations such as MyDance Alliance, CloudJoi, and the Asian Producers’ Platform that will foster industry networks across artistic disciplines, enhancing connections and collaboration with artists throughout Asia.

The festival will creatively utilize George Town’s historical sites, converting unconventional spaces into galleries, performance venues, and art playgrounds, allowing public interaction with art throughout the city.

The visual arts programme will feature painting, sketching, video art, and technological art, including Miniature Public Art installations by artists like Isaac Cordal, supported by the Embassy of Spain in Malaysia. Another notable installation is Preserving Memories (Liquid Mirror) by Kaito Sakuma, supported by Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur.

The Women’s Film Screening will feature films by female filmmakers under the theme “A Woman’s Body,” promoting societal conversations and understanding of women’s issues through screenings and discussions.

“Arts festivals are more than just events; they serve as a lens to view the world and celebrate our shared humanity. GTF 2024 will show how the arts can spark social change,” says Artistic Director Ling Tang.

George Town Festival 2024 is organized by Kerson Media Global Sdn Bhd, endorsed by Penang State Government and other partners. Tickets for the festival’s events are now on sale, with various promotions available. Visit for more details and updates.

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