George Town Festival to go hybrid next year for a unique experience


PENANG’s signature festival, the George Town Festival (GTF) will go hybrid in 2021 after having a successful virtual run this year.


State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said GTF 2021 is slated to take place from July 10 till July 18 next year.


“The 12th edition of GTF will be integrating traditional forms of on-site entertainment with modern virtual elements. It will be more inclusive, safe, and exciting at the same time.


“The combination of physical and virtual programmes will create a unique experience for the locals to unravel George Town’s very own cultural heritage.


“The GTF 2021 is committed to making arts accessible to everyone, let it be the art communities or the general public irrespective of age, ethnicity or background while adhering to the new norm,’’ said Yeoh during a press conference today.


Yeoh said small and medium events on a reduced scale would be held throughout the festival with diverse themes at different venues to create the mood for universal celebration.


“GTF is the pride of Penang, a festival which is surely a treasure and in order for it to sustain, we need to reimagine it.


“Various online programmes will be designed for those who are unable to take part physically due to travel restrictions and to encourage inclusivity, especially for the vulnerable groups, while the on-site programmes will be organised across open spaces and hidden or unique venues,’’ Yeoh added.


Apart from that, Yeoh also stated that this year’s online edition of the GTF has given a new dimension to the festival.


“The virtual GTF 2020 certainly has heightened our awareness around inclusivity, too. We realised that online programmes not only allowed us to reach wider audiences, but it also enabled the vulnerable, housebound, and less able-bodied to participate and connect with the festival,’’ Yeoh said.


Meanwhile, TLM Event managing director Jack Wong said the festival is calling for proposals from local as well as international creative talents.


“Venue owners are also encouraged to approach GTF to explore the possibilities of hosting the physical programmes at their venues.


“Interested applicants can send in their proposals to by Nov 15, 2020. For more information, visit


“They can also follow George Town Festival on Facebook (George Town Festival) and Instagram (georgetownfestival) for the latest updates,’’ said Wong.


Also present were George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee and State Museum and Penang State Art Gallery curator Haryany Mohamad.


Story by Tanushalini Moroter
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad