What Not to Miss at GTF2015

It’s that time of the year again where a-month long arts festival will colour up George Town’s streets and for the first time ever, Butterworth, as well. Now in its sixth year, George Town Festival has lined up another cool and eventful 2015 programme filled with extraordinary arts events throughout the month of August. With so many shows to choose from, where do you start? So, here goes, a list of GTF2015 top picks to get you clued-in and geared up to enjoy the festival. 

Top Picks of Free GTF2015 Events
1 – 30 Aug: A good sample of Singaporean and Malaysian arts style can be found within the ‘Causeway Exchange’ programe which is becoming a staple for GTF and a diplomatic way to cement relations between the two countries. You can expect art installations, spoken words, comedy, short films and more from various artists of both countries.
Venue: Various venues in George Town. For details here.

1 – 31 Aug: The photography exhibition ‘The Crescent Moon’ tells of memories and observations by Penangites through photos by Mas Mohd. Farid Rahman and captions by Adrienne Jansen.
Venue: Dewan Makam Nordin at Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town

14 – 31 Aug: The ‘Obscura Festival’ of Photography celebrates the form of art shaped by photographers and artists from all over the world. Most of all, Obscura is rooted in education through its free programmes open to all interested in photography. For their programme in GTF2015, expect talks, workshops and exhibitions. While these may be free, their masterclasses with experienced art photographers may be ticketed, so, check for details.
Venue: Yet to be confirmed. Further updates here.

15 – 16 Aug: George Town Festival will ferry its annual celebrations to Penang’s mainland for the inaugural ‘Butterworth Fringe Festival (BFF)’, featuring pop-up bookstores, movie screenings, creative crafts, exhibitions, presentations, live performances and much more.
Further updates here.
Venue: Butterworth

30 Aug: GTF2015 will close with ‘ATM @ Beach Street (All Things Malaysian)’ that celebrates the country’s traditional and contemporary arts, cultures, food and trades. On this day, Penang’s Beach Street will have vendors, performers and hawkers taking to the streets to share their unique culture with locals and tourists alike, resulting in a festival.
Further updates here.
Venue: Lebuh Pantai, George Town

Ticketed Events to Lookout For:
GTF2015’s ‘Culinary Roots and Communities’ programme is a good one-stop station to get to know Penang’s multi-layered culinary heritage. The many traders from countries such as China and India brought along their specific flavours that have evolved and adapted to suit what ingredients available locally. Three main events within this programme include:
1 Aug, 6pm: Spice Trail to the Pearl of the Orient
Highlights Indian vegetarian cuisine at Annalakshmi Temple of Fine Arts on Babbington Avenue, George Town
Price: RM75

15 Aug, 7.30pm: The Hainan Legacy
Highlights the innovative Hainanese dishes that fuses colonial and Chinese styles at Persatuan Wanning on Jalan Hutton, George Town
Price: RM100

29 Aug, 7pm: North-South Peranakan Cook-Off
Highlights the unique combination of Chinese and Malay flavours in dishes prepared by a chef from Penang and Singapore at Burmah Road, George Town
Price: RM200
Seats are limited for these dinners. Register for tickets here.

1 – 2 Aug: Ah, opening week, always the most fun. GTF2015 will open with ‘100% Penang’. It will feature Berlin-based theatre troupe Rimini Protokoll and they will bring Penang’s city demographics to life in a uniquely interactive performance featuring 100 local inhabitants, chosen according to their age, gender, household type, geography and ethnicity to represent one per cent of the population.
Tickets: from RM52 (early bird); RM32.50 (kids and senior citizens)
Get your tickets here.
Venue: Dewan Sri Pinang

28 – 30 Aug: There’s no denying the strong link of the great late P.Ramlee and Penang. It’s unsurprising that ‘P.Ramlee The Musical’ featuring Tiara Jacquelina and Tony Eusoff, two of Malaysia’s actors, will be making its Penang debut during GTF2015. While highlighting the late actor, songwriter, musician and film director’s extraordinary life, the theatrical performance will also be a nostalgic journey for fans of his songs. P. Ramlee managed to transcend language and race during his time through his films and songs.
Tickets: from RM75
Get your tickets here.
Venue: Dewan Sri Pinang

Please note: GTF2015 programme is still being updated when this article went live online. For the latest update on the festival’s programme, log onto and more details on tickets please contact +604 261 6308

Image credits: George Town Festival