Acrobats, a Charlie Chaplin-inspired street show, comedy stunt theatre, jugglers, BMX freestylers, contemporary dance and street art. And the list isn’t half finished yet. There is no denying that the Old Jetty Road (or Jalan Jeti Lama) in Butterworth, Penang, is set to be the nation’s busiest and noisiest street when the Butterworth Fringe Festival (BFF) opens this weekend.
The free-admission festival, which is an offshoot of the George Town Festival (GTF), runs on Aug 12 and 13. The two-day BFF is a joint effort by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council, GTF, Think City Sdn Bhd and the state government.
“This is BFF’s third year, and we are aiming for an event to wake up the neighbourhood,” says Joe Sidek, GTF festival director.
“The programming is just one half of BFF’s appeal. The town itself is special, you can feel the soulful energy from this place,” he adds.
BFF is expecting an attendance of more than 20,000 festivalgoers.
The town’s unique attractions such as the Butterworth Art Walk, or dining along Jalan Raja Uda, will also be places to experience the fest.
Street acts from Australia (360 Allstars, A Simple Space, JP Koala), an Argentine Charlie Chaplin, homegrown contemporary dancers, and a traditional Malay theatre Mek Mulung (that is unique to Kedah) look set to make it another unforgettable BFF.
The Angin Dan Air dance show is set to be a BFF highlight. Inspired by a local tale of a Butterworth fisherman, this performance by Zamzuriah Zahari and Liu Yong Sean, with the Euphoria Dancers, will be presented outdoors.
The Roots Street Art, organised by Penang-based Lokalhouz, also returns as part of BFF with a 20-hour marathon wall art competition, while a collective of more than 10 independent publishing houses (such as Buku Fixi, Lejen Press and Roman Buku) will host a literary market. Among other activities to be held over the weekend include gigs, a comic book launch by local artist Azmi Hussin, a doll painting workshop and a photography exhibition of Seberang Prai.
The two-day BFF event runs from 5pm to 11pm on Aug 12 and 13. More info: www.butterworthfringe.com.