Malaysians will usually shun away from the idea of spending their hours getting all hot and bothered in humid weather – beach aside, of course. So a surefire way to know if a festival is doing swell is through the hoards of Malaysians that come out of their air-conditioned homes and shopping malls to go to that particular festival. Take for instance Urbanscapes 2010, the biggest annual arts festival that brings together music, arts, lifestyle, and film under one event to bring us the best of Malaysia’s creative local scene. They had exhibitions, gigs, one interesting Projek Angkat rumah, food, and even shopping for a whole day of fun.
Sure, we know Urbanscapes isn’t exactly Glastonbury, but everyone dressed to the nines in their festival gear. You could see boots, daisy dukes, beach hats, maxi dresses – you name it we saw it. In fact, we were even baffled when we spotted a few girls in heels walking through the slightly muddy grounds – in leather jackets, mind you. Perplexing stuff indeed…
One of the most interesting things that happened at Urbanscapes was the Projek Angkat Rumah, which literally is what it states, as bunch of people carrying an actual kampung house! With the support of Five Arts Centre, award winning filmmaker Liew Seng Tat came up with this novel project to bring back that gotong-royong spirit that has long been forgotten. Villagers used to come together to help carry and move a house to a new location. Projek Angkat Rumah volunteers carryied a specially made yellow house along Jalan Ipoh to its final spot in KLPAC. Upon reaching its dedicated spot in Urbanscapes grounds this cute yellow house became this stage open for anyone who felt like performing. It was really nice to see a lot of different types of people hanging out around the house and singing along to songs and you know what? It really was beautiful and rare sight watching and feeling this sense of community spirit that day.
Kudos to Bud Culture who had their very own booth that was parked at the shopping area. Bud Culture even brought their own even sound system and by jove, those durrty beats could be heard from a mile away! Walking to another area (we had a lot of ground to cover) there was the Electric Tea Party installation outside the KLPAC building. This installation uses cups and bowls filled with water, and metal orbs all connected to wires where it’s conductive power of the human body creates sort of a “water based dance music controller”.
The highlight to any festival is of course is the gigs – unless it’s an IT festival but then again that would be called a convention, no? Anyhoo, at the Junk area there was a boatload of talented local performers throughout the day from collaborations between Tenderfist and Flica, and other performers like Najwa, Yuna, Dizzy & The, Azmyl Yunor, Kyoto Protocal, Khottal – you name it, the list went on. Although there were reports that Urbanscapes 2010 wasn’t as great as the previous year, all in all it was still a pretty great way to spend a Saturday and that gave us no complaints from our camp.
Urbanscapes 2010 was held at KLPAC grounds on 26 June 2010. For more pix check out our gallery!