GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia - The third edition of the Penang World Music Festival drew thousands of music lovers to Quarry Park at the Penang Botanic Gardens on the first night.
Performers from Uzbekistan, South Africa and West Africa entertained the crowd with their traditional percussion, dances and singing.
Penang Tourism Development and Culture Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang, who opened the festival, said it was aimed at promoting George Town as a model city for culture, art and entertainment in Malaysia.
"Penang is extremely supportive of activities which involve preservation of cultures and heritage. We hope the festival can become a platform for world musicians to showcase their talents and cultures from their homeland," he said in his opening speech yesterday.
Among the performers last night were the OXUS from Uzbekistan, Nading Rhapsody from Sarawak, Carlos DjeDje and the Protectors from South Africa, two-time Grammy nominee and Guinean musician N' Faly Kouyate from West Africa, Mohram from Malaysia and Culture Shot from Penang.
Before the opening ceremony of the festival, four workshops were held from 2pm to allow the audience to interact with several musicians and get to know more about their performances.
The art and music workshops will also be held today at 2pm. The two-day festival features 12 bands from across the globe as well as local artistes performing a variety of music, including folk, Balkan, Gypsy, Reggae, Tribal and Ethno Jazz.
Ticket counters will also be open today at the entrance of the venue at Quarry Park from noon, and the concert will be from 6.15pm to about 11.30pm. A one-day pass for children is priced at RM40 (S$15.40), while students pay RM60 and adults RM80.