Postponement of YSDAF 2020

Since 2014, those living in Klang Valley always looked forward to the biennial free-for-all Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival (YSDAF), presented by Yayasan Sime Darby and The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac).

However, for the safety and well-being of all our artistes, arts workers and festival goers, YSDAF’s committee has decided to postpone its festival finale, originally scheduled for August 2020, to a later date in 2021.

As this year’s festival theme is Shout It Out: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow with a heavy emphasis on Malaysia and all things Malaysian, it is time to put our country first in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the uncertainties, YSDAF rolled out some of its pre-festival activities last month, namely its Visual Arts Competition for children and teenagers as well as its Pitch Start open call for arts makers.

Now, YSDAF’s Visual Arts Competition will continue in hope of providing a creative outlet for the many young people confined indoors, some without access to digital technology. Themed Malaysiaku, the festival would like to see what you love most about this country of ours in any visual medium – be it food, places or people (think frontliners or your local heroes). Malaysian residents aged 7 to 17 are encouraged to submit their artwork by 1 June 2020 via or mail hardcopies to:

The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac)
Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan
(off Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah – formerly Jalan Ipoh)
Kuala Lumpur, 51100, Malaysia

As for Pitch Start, those who have submitted before the closing date on 30 April 2020 will still be considered for the 2021 festival finale. In addition, another round of open call for submissions will take place in 2021. The grant of up to RM20,000 is specifically for a curated mixed medium experience that best exemplifies the festival theme, Shout It Out: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, a celebration of all things Malaysian.

Besides the two open calls, rehearsals for one of its festival finale highlights, a Radiohead tribute entitled True Love Waits, have been under way since January 2020. The team, helmed by director Ian Chow, will work towards premiering a work-in-progress by the end 2020 with a full staging slated for 2021.

The arts in Malaysia as well as around the world has been crippled by Covid-19 and with no definite end frame, the effects will be long-lasting and devastating. In this difficult time, please consider lending a hand to support artistes, arts workers, arts groups and venues such as YSDAF’s official venue and presenter, klpac.

klpac is currently running a #SaveYourSeat campaign, an adopt-a-seat programme, to raise funds to cover its losses. Do adopt a seat via ProTicket or make a donation via the klpac website.

For the latest updates on YSDAF, visit the website or follow YSDAF on Facebook.