YSDAF 2023 Is Back

The Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival (YSDAF), Malaysia’s largest free-for-all arts festival, is set to make a triumphant return after a five-year hiatus. Presented by Yayasan Sime Darby and The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac), YSDAF 2023, themed “Shout it Out: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow,” kickstarted in February and will end with the festival finale on August 19th and 20th, 2023.

Since its inauguration in 2014, the biennial festival has become a prominent fixture in the local arts calendar, drawing 50,000 festival-goers and generating 2600 employment opportunities for artists and arts workers. The forthcoming edition is particularly noteworthy as it signifies the festival’s comeback after a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020.

YSDAF 2023 is more than just an artistic celebration; it endeavours to bring to light issues that are vital to Malaysians, such as community, health, education, and the environment. Building on past efforts towards diversity and inclusivity, YSDAF aspires to make the festival more inclusive and welcoming to all.

As Malaysia’s only festival whose crew has received Disability Equality Training (DET) and Disability Related Services Training (DRST), YSDAF is committed to promoting its “arts for all” ethos by extending its reach to diverse communities and issues.

YSDAF 2023 will feature an all-Malaysian contingent, from fresh young talents to experienced personalities, working together to heal the Malaysian arts industry from the talent-drain crisis it faces. With almost 350 showcases and activities planned in 19 pocket locations around klpac, the festival involves approximately 1000 artists and crew and is expected to attract at least 18,000 festival-goers.

The festival will kick off six months of activities starting with an open call for project ideas via Pitch Start. This platform allows artistes and art groups to submit their creative and original ideas, in any language or genre, for a chance to win a grant up to RM20,000 and to premiere the work at the festival finale. Read more here.

YSDAF 2023 promises a wonderful celebration for everyone in the Malaysian family, featuring a wide variety of what the local arts scene can offer, from traditional to contemporary, dance to theatre, mainstream to experimental. The festival also includes hands-on workshops, demonstrations, installations, screenings, and more, spread over 48 hours.

So mark your calendars and get ready to shout it out at YSDAF 2023, a feel-good celebration of the arts that is free for all. More information can be found at www.ysdartsfestival.com.my.