UBUD, Bali (BPN) – Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2020 to be postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like many Festivals around the world, the rapid escalation of COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia and other countries has forced this decision.
According to UWRF Founder and Director, Janet DeNeefe, the safety and health of audiences, speakers, staff, volunteers and those who are involved in the Festival is the festival’s number one priority.
“The decision was not an easy one to make. It doesn’t just impact our Foundation and the Festival team, but also means a loss of revenue due to a lack of ticket sales and valuable partnerships,” said Janet DeNeefe. “Most importantly, it will largely impact our local communities in both Ubud and Bali that look forward to the economic boost of these much-loved annual events. Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March, Bali has become one of the most affected regions in Indonesia due to its heavy reliance on tourism.”
The two core initiatives of the Foundation: Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) and Ubud Food Festival (UFF), over the years, have created significant economic benefits across all tourism sectors, from air travels, hotels, transports, restaurants and retails, to farmers in the rice fields.
UWRF as one of the largest literary festivals in Southeast Asia and UFF as Indonesia’s leading food festival, is the nation’s most important cross-cultural gatherings, showcasing Indonesian culture and talent on a diverse global stage.
The Festivals always give back to the community and assist in promoting Indonesia to the world.
From the Children &Youth program for local schools’ students, bringing the Festival to remote areas across the Archipelago with Satellite Events, supporting the future of Indonesia’s literature with Emerging Writers program, to delivering live music, film screenings and art performances accessible for everyone, serving food stalls of local businesses, and championing Indonesia’s best writers, artists, performers in a global stage.
“In 16 years, UWRF has even become the world’s most important cross-cultural, bridge-building initiative between Indonesian and non-Indonesian cultures,” DeNeefe continued. “Now, more than ever, we need your support. We have created ways for you to be a part of the Yayasan Patron Program, tailored to your preference. This way, you can help the Foundation, and these important events survive.”