You still have today to enjoy the offerings at A+SEAN at the George Town Festival, a two day event on the Padang in front ot the Town Hall, along the Esplanade, that’s kicking off this year’s festival. We joined in for Day 1 on Saturday 30th July and made good use of our time checking out the stalls, food trucks and shows. The event starts at 4pm, running til late and the headline act this evening has to be the delightful Sheila Majid, Malaysia’s jazz queen.
As you enter the venue, make sure you check into the registration booths – we went to the one on the city side of the Town Hall – and get your wristband, if you’ve already purchased your ticket. If you need one, it will cost you MYR35, good value for what’s on offer. Entry is through the gates and along the path before you reach an arch which appears to be made of similar materials and style as the Strandbeest, which you cannot miss as you enter.
The various activities are categorised as ‘All Day’ (4pm until the end), Performances (in various locations around the field) and Concert (on the main stage). Grab yourself a pallet, large cushion or one of the yellow chairs and settle in. You can move them around as you change events. Collect your programme with your wristband so you can find everything easily.
All Day events
The Art Market has lots of stalls – some from other ASEAN countries, Thailand, Singapore Indonesia – they’re giving out samples of kueh lapis, the traditional layer cake and a jamu drink made of Assam and turmeric which is surprisingly refreshing and tasty. You can pick up lovely handicraft items from the stalls.
The food trucks are located in front of Town Hall and have a variety of food, ranging from pizza to satay and Japanese &Taiwanese delicacies. Prices are reasonable – MYR10 will buy you a box or around 10 slices of soft Japanese cheesecake, or 10 sticks of Kajang satay with sauce & ketupat.
The Strandbeest stands proud in the centre of the field and its handlers come our every half hour between 5 and 7.30pm to show you how it works and take it for a little walk across it’s enclosure. Definitely one to get your spot ready to sit and enjoy.
Stop by the Classic bicycles, traditional and self-built, with the riders in costumes of the era – look out for an old style mata mata and the postie. They do set off for a ride around the town about 7, so see them before they leave.
If you want a good laugh, why not line up at the Same Same booth with at least one friend and have your photos taken and merged – the results can be hilarious.
Great family entertainment, everyone was able to enjoy the performance by the Snuffpuppets, who shared with us the story of how the durian and mangosteen earned their titles of King and Queen of fruits. Have you ever wondered what a durian/mangosteen prince or princess would look like? This performance answers the question in a humorous way.
One of the highlights, which appealed to a wide spectrum of visitors, was the Potehi hand puppets performance of the ‘Journey to the West’, with a live band of Chinese traditional instruments. The set and costumes were as you’d see in a traditional Hokkien opera, with narration, naturally, in traditional Hokkien dialect. For those who don’t speak this dialect, the synopsis was displayed below the stage in English.
Heading the lineup was local girl Bihzhu, who performed a number of her own songs to a receptive audience and if you are wondering who’ll be on stage tonight – those appearing will be lead off by Dasha Logan, followed up by Joe Flizzow and Sonaone, Malaysia’s jaz queen, Sheila Majid and wrapping up with Raisa.
There are lots of GTF staff around to help and you might like to keep an eye out for the organiser – Joe Sidek is easy to spot, look for the chap wearing a sarong and songkok.