George Town Festival returns


THE George Town Festival 2019 (GTF 2019) is back with more exciting events this July!

Themed ‘A Festival for Everyone’, the 16-day long event (from July 13 to 28) will be bringing 150 exciting programmes featuring 500 talented performers from 20 countries.

“The festival has been instrumental in positioning the state as Asia’s arts and culture hub. It has drawn thousands of visitors to Penang each year,” Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow told a press conference at Komtar today.

“The event is an opportunity for art enthusiasts to showcase their talents. It is also a chance for visitors to enjoy free-to-attend events and ticketed shows.

“Although the budget for this year is lower, at RM3 million, as compared with last year’s RM4.5 million; the programmes are equally outstanding.

“TLM Event Sdn Bhd, is the event manager and curator of the GTF 2019 and 2020. It is a two-year contract,” Chow said.

George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) Department of Communications and Collaborations manager Josephine Jalleh said GTWHI conducted a Request for Proposal (RFP) between Sept 5 and Nov 1 last year.

“We received nine proposals which were evaluated by a five-member evaluation panel.

“The evaluation panel includes state Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin and representatives from the Penang Island City Council (MBPP).

“The panel members did not know who the proposers were. The selection was done based on the quality of the proposals.

“Three proposals were shortlisted and presented to the Board of Directors (BoD). In the end, TLM Event Sdn Bhd was selected,” Jalleh said.

She added that the proposers had to tailor their programmes to fit the RM3 million budget besides following other criteria such as ensuring that majority of the local contents would be highlighted, and at least 70% of the events would be free to attend.

Yeoh said the festival would bring visitors three highlighted programmes over three weekends, namely – When Night Falls, Art in the City and The Extravaganza.

“When Night Falls is a two-day event of an eclectic array of illuminated artworks from across the globe. The event will be held from 7pm to 11pm on July 13 and 14 at the Esplanade.

“Meanwhile for Art in the City, the George Town World Heritage Site will come alive with celebrations on June 20 and 21 from 5pm to 11pm.

“Various programmes are slated to run simultaneously in separate locations within a reasonable distance to allow visitors to enjoy most, if not all, of the programmes.

“The Extravaganza, GTF 2019 grand finale, will cast local and international performing artists who will be performing at selected spots in Beach Street.

“It will be held from 5pm to 11pm on July 28,” he said.

There are also 14 specially curated ticketed shows covering dance, theatre, forum, talk, fashion, music, comedy and film throughout the GTF 2019.

Those who wish to appreciate the beauty of George Town can also register for the 5km George Town Heritage Walk 2019.

It will be held at 7.30am on July 7 in Beach Street.

Visit to register.

For more details on GTF 2019, visit

Story by K.Thaarshenii
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud
Video by Chan Kok Kuan