It is a month long revelry that perhaps no other place in the world can put up on such a low budget as the Balinese. Not only is their traditional culture alive and well, but they have a tremendous pride in it.
It begins in the villages, where the seka or cultural groups are selected and organized at the regency level, vie with each other to perform the Arts Festival and thus display in front of a large audience the uniqueness of their village of birth and resting place of their ancestors.
The Bali Arts Festival is the Denpasar cultural event of the year, perhaps it would no be too far fetched to suggest that it is the cultural event of Indonesia. The festival is thus a unique opportunity to see local village culture both "live" and at first hand. Tourists are warmly welcomed.
The festivities commenced with a grand parade on Sunday afternoon, opened with the striking of a tradition wooden bell or okokan by the President at the Puputan Field in Renon, Denpasar. This marked the start of a parade past the presidential grandstand that featured thousands of artists from across Bali who danced and performed music and dance down the streets of Bali’s capital, many using motorized floats. Also joining the parade were artists from across the Indonesian archipelago and visiting foreign performers who will participate in the month long festival.