Ubud festivals going virtual in October to help ‘rebuild Bali’

A scene from one of the sessions at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival last year. Photo: UWRF
A scene from one of the sessions at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival last year. Photo: UWRF

Organizers behind two of Bali’s most popular annual events yesterday announced an upcoming online festival celebrating Indonesia’s creative industry and culinary to help rebuild the island’s economy and communities. 

The virtual event, titled KEMBALI20: A Rebuild Bali Festival, will take place from Oct. 29 to Nov. 8 and is set to “bring together the most successful elements of UWRF and UFF,” referring to the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and Ubud Food Festival.


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Yayasan Muda Swari Saraswati, the foundation behind both festivals, has had to postpone the annual events this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, the foundation highlighted how it was first created in response to the 2002 Bali bombings in order to boost the economy and assist the community.

“… We believe that once again, it is our duty to help Bali heal and that culture is at the heart of rebuilding societies. The show must go on and we are committed to creating an event like no other in a year,” founder and director Janet DeNeefe said. 

The festival has yet to announce a lineup and right now, details appear to be limited to how Kembali will bring in a mix of literature, food, as well as art and culture.

The programs ⁠— which will take place digitally ⁠— will vary from discussions, workshops, book launches, poetry readings, to children’s programs and film screenings. In addition, all of the events will be accessible globally through its donation-based sessions, while a few programs will be open to a limited audience in Bali. 

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