The Bali Arts Festival is a cultural treat for lucky visitors who are in Bali until mid July. The festival traditionally starts on the second Saturday of June and runs through the month of July. It is the perfect moment to witness Bali’s wealth of performing arts together with various cultural highlights from other islands in Indonesia. As one of the main highlights in Bali’s calendar of events, the annual celebration features various artworks and cultural achievements, inviting locals and international visitors to the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar where most of the daily exhibitions and art performances are focused.
On regular days, a visit to the Denpasar Art Centre is a small tour to admire magnificent sculptures and Balinese architectural features as well as a venue of choice for photo shoots with exotic backdrops. But throughout the Bali Arts Festival in June and July, the complex becomes alive with colourful traditional bamboo and coconut leaf decorations and banners. Crowds gather in front of its open stages, auditoriums and outdoor pavilions to witness a variety of traditional and contemporary dances, shadow puppetry, music compositions and youth competitions that fill the festival agenda. Hundreds of artisans from the Denpasar municipality, Bali’s eight provinces, other neighbouring islands and even art troupes from abroad participate and showcase their talents. Now in its 38th year, the Bali Arts Festival returns, June 11 to July 9, 2016, and carries a main theme "Pasuk Wetuning Bhuwana: Maintaining Universal Balance and Synergy".
Following the June 11 weekend kick-off this year, expect lavish parades around the Bajra Sandhi monument in Denpasar, and witness a series of stage performances by art groups from the subdistricts in the Bangli, Gianyar and Karangasem regencies at the Angsoka, Ratna Kanda and Ksirarnawa stages of the Arts Centre in Denpasar. The Ardha Candra main open stage usually features a female Gong Kebyar performance, presented by the Mekar Sari Balerung art community of the Peliatan village in Ubud. On the following days up to Saturday, July 9, these stages feature a wide and colourful variety of performances from different art groups from all over the island and Indonesia for the Bali Arts Festival, offering a lively celebration of arts and culture for all to see.