MORE than just a Festival, KEMBALI 2020: A Rebuild Bali Festival (KEMBALI20) is aimed at boosting Indonesia’s creative industries of literature, art, and gastronomy to give a voice to Bali’s young entrepreneurs and to embrace extraordinary international talent. From 29 October-8 November, experience Bali like never before with over 120 authors, artists, journalists, farmers, chefs, and activists.

According to KEMBALI20 Founder and Director, Janet DeNeefe said due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati – an independent, not-for-profit foundation in Ubud, Bali – postponed two renowned international events, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) and Ubud Food Festival (UFF). The Foundation then took the best of the two Festivals and reimagined it into a new, interactive, digital celebration of literature, arts, culinary, and culture.

“After revealing the full lineup and over 60 digital programs, KEMBALI20 is now launching a series of free events, which includes Teater Kuliner cooking challenges, Music & Arts performances, and Film screenings. The free events are accessible on the Festival’s official website and YouTube channel,” she said.

Janet DeNeefe explained that Kembali means return and declares that the Festival is back, and we are bringing Bali back to you, in a way that has never before been experienced. We’re not showing you the tourist destinations or popular spots to take pictures, but we want you to see the island in its truest form. The community, the land, the authenticities that are often unseen by the public, we are sharing the best of Bali.

“For Music & Arts, KEMBALI20 presents the annual Poetry Slam, one of UWRF’s most sizzling events, in a digital format. In an exciting celebrity-versus-chefs cook-up, the Festival’s Teater Kuliner will present Susi Pudjiastuti and Indonesian rockstar Kaka Slank has also accepted the virtual cooking challenge from leading Indonesian Chef Aga Alvian,” she noted

She also added that the film screenings give audiences the opportunity to interact directly with filmmakers, producers and authors. During the Festival, enjoy five inspiring Stories from the Field, a chance for global audience to see more to Bali than just beaches and rice paddies.

“The audience is invited to explore an eco-house in Bengkala village, the Pedawa Village in North Bali known for its palm sugar and local mythology, efforts to involve the local community in vanilla farming, the top of Bali’s coffee trade and the sacred nature of traditional Balinese cuisine,” she stated.

Janet DeNeefe concluded we are proud to present the Stories from the Field series as it displays an honest and beautiful portrayal of Balinese culture and people. From our very first year, all of our initiatives are dedicated to our community and we hope to do the same this year. KEMBALI20 aims to help fulfill the creative needs of Indonesia, while still showcasing its cultural diversity to the world. []