Esplanade, Penang
See & Do

6 artsy things you must catch at the George Town Festival 2019

Who knew that Penang, which is world-famous for its food, colonial charm, and semiconductor exports, would also be home to a major Asian arts and cultural festival? Back in its 10th edition and with the theme “A Festival for Everyone”, the George Town Festival (GTF) is a 16-day long festival of visual art, theatre, music, dance, comedy, film, photography and more. This year, there are more than 150 programs by over 500 talented performers from 20 countries taking part in the festival. 

Most of the events are FREE to attend (yay!) and will be held in various spaces in the heritage enclave of George Town, as well as around the island and mainland. As there is so much to see and do during the festival, we know it can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re there for the first time. Fret not, we’ve made your life easier for you by compiling a list of the must-do and see during the George Town Festival, so you’ll get to ‘gram them all!


Learn about the history of George Town through Heritage Walk

George Town


Join the 5 km-heritage walk and gain deeper insights about the multicultural and colonial charm of George Town. This walk will take you to remarkable historical landmarks in the heritage enclave such as Kapitan Keling Mosque, Goddess of Mercy Temple, Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, Pinang Peranakan Mansion and more. Make sure to keep an eye out for pop up performances along the way! Great for first-time visitors of George Town too! Register here: George Town Heritage Walk.

Date: 7 July 2019

Time: 7.30am

Venue: Lebuh Pantai


See the Esplanade in vivid colors in When Night Falls 

Esplanade, Penang
Credit: George Town Festival

When Night Falls is a two-day event of an eclectic array of illuminated artworks from across the globe. See the Esplanade and its surrounding area transform into a magical playground of lights, rays and projection mapping. The show will feature lighted drummers Moz Drums, ballerinas on stilts Teatro Pavana, as well as projection mapping community group FILAMEN.

Date: 13 and 14 July 2019

Time: 7.0pm – 11.00pm

Venue: Padang Kota Lama (Esplanade)


Find art performances in every nook and corner through Art in The City

puppet showBased on the concept “art is everywhere and anywhere in the city”, clan houses, shophouses, back alleys, and five-foot ways in George Town will be buzzing with activities and art performances within walking distance from one another for two days, back-to-back. Some of the exciting programs include Garden Gig, Tiny Touts, Puppet Stage, Malaysia Inside Out, Dance @ 74, Mai Main Kaki Lima! and many more.

Date: 20 and 21 July 2019

Time: 5.00pm – 11.00pm

Venue: George Town World Heritage Site


Catch the festival’s grand finale 

Credit: Incredible Mallakhamb

Headlining the festival’s grand finale is The Extravaganza, an impressive line-up of dances by locally-renowned choreographer and dancer Aida Redza, while Angika Fine Arts’s performance will be based on a choreography with movements inspired by Indian dance. Incredible Mallakhamb is also set to perform a traditional Indian sport in which gymnasts perform acrobatics on a vertical wooden pole or rope. International and local aerial silk and rope performing artists will also hit the stage, delivering eclectic live performances for all to enjoy.


Date: 28 July 2019

Time: 5.00pm – 11.00pm

Venue: Lebuh Pantai


Groove with the music playing in Macallum and Berapi neighborhoods

WVC Malaysian Jazz Ensemble
Credit: WVC Malaysian Jazz Ensemble

Dive deep into the sights and sounds of the friendly Macallum Street Ghaut and Berapit neighborhoods through glove puppetry, workshop, dance, music and more! Renowned artists and performers such as Yudi Yap, WVC Malaysian Jazz Ensemble, Culture Shot, and Euphoria Penang Modern Dance Ensemble are set to helm this community engagement program.

Macam Macam Macallum

Date: 24 and 25 July 2019

Tim: 7pm – 10pm

Venue: Gat Lebuh Macallum


Macam Macam Berapit

Date: 7 July 2019

Time: 7pm – 10pm

Venue: Public Market Berapit


Watch a specially curated performance

HANDS Percussion
Credit: HANDS Percussion

Choose from at least one of the festival’s 14 specially curated ticketed shows covering dance, theatre, forum, talk, fashion, music, comedy, and film, and be blown away by these world class performances. Among the highly anticipated ticketed shows are BIRD, a dance collaboration between visual theatre company WHS from Finland and Pichet Klunchun Dance Company from Thailand, Armour and Skin 2019, a collaboration by HANDS Percussion and Gamelan Yuganada, as well as Great New World – From Free Port to World Heritage Site, a symposium in collaboration with Penang Art District. 

For more information regarding the ticketed shows including time and admission tickets, visit the George Town Festival website.

After you’re done with feasting your eyes at George Town Festival, hit the best restaurants in Penang for a gastronomical experience, or visit other attractions in Penang. What else are you waiting for? Plan your Penang trip with Traveloka now!


Ready for your art and culture escape to Penang? Book your flight or hotel on Traveloka today!


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