The 41st Bali Arts Festival or Pesta Kesenian Bali (PKB) is officially underway! Bali’s biggest arts and culture event was launched by non-other than Indonesia’s beloved President Joko Widodo who opened the street parade in the morning and officiated the festival in the evening on the 15th of June 2019.

Bali Governor I Wayan Koster said, “The president attended both the cultural parade and the opening ceremony accompanied by his wife, son and grandchildren. The first lady was also accompanied by 15 wives of ministers to the event.”

First held in 1979, Bali Arts Festival is Indonesia’s longest-running art festival and the theme this year is “Bayu Pramana”. In a statement issued by the Badung Regency Government, the theme “Bayu Pramana” highlights the valuable power of the wind – the performances featured at the festival will remind visitors of this value. Bali Governor I Wayan Koster also said, “From this year onwards, the theme and actual program will be synchronized. The theme will no longer be just a mere sweetener and neither will the performances be just the same from year to year,” as reported by state news agency ANTARA.

Bali’s most awaited cultural event has thousands upon thousands of Balinese participating as they showcase the island’s beautiful and unique heritage via traditional performances and cultural highlights at the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar. The opening parade took place around the Bajra Sandhi monument in Denpasar – a symbolic gesture which honours the struggles and the rich history of the Balinese people and was attended by over 4,000 participants.

According to ANTARA, the parade was also attended by ambassadors of nine regencies and cities in Bali, ISI contingent Denpasar, SMK 3 Sukawati Gianyar, participants from outside the regions and abroad, ISBI Tanah Papua, Department of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports of Sumenep Regency, East Java, and those from the People’s Republic of China.

In line with the island’s new “no plastic” policy, the festival and performances only use eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Aside to live performances, visitors can also browse through and purchase handicrafts, textiles, paintings and sculpture, look through exhibitions as well as enjoy traditional Balinese culinary delights which are available for sale.

The festival will run until 14th July 2019 and will feature 220 performances, seven performances daily, 11 foreign art ambassadors and 21 artistic performances from various regions in the archipelago along with 38 types of competitions, 10 workshops and more.

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