by Julia Winterflood
The countdown to the 13th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is almost over. We know you’ve been busy racing through works by Festival authors and filling your well-thumbed program with underlines and scrawled stars. To ensure you maximise every moment we’ve compiled a handy list of hot tips and hidden gems to help you make the most of your #UWRF16 experience.
Where is the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival?
Our Main Program runs across four venues, all within 200m of each other, on Jalan Raya Sanggingan (jalan is street in Bahasa Indonesia), five minutes from the centre of Ubud. These venues are Taman Baca, Joglo @ Taman Baca, Neka Museum and Indus Restaurant. Take a look at our detailed map, and then our Ubud Map, to put it all into context.
Our other programs are held in venues across Ubud, so be sure to check the Google co-ordinates in each event’s website listing, as well as the map.
What should I bring?
Bali is a tropical island and its weather can be moody. From sunny, steamy days, to sudden rainstorms and cool evenings, it’s best to be prepared. Along with a poncho and a light jacket or shawl, we also suggest a re-usable water bottle (tap water in Indonesia isn’t potable, but rather than buying bottled water it’s better to refill from a dispenser), mosquito repellent and sunscreen.
Plus, why not stop by the Box Office for a Festival tote bag, a Festival t-shirt, and a Festival notebook? They sell individually or you can pick up a #UWRF16 pack containing all three for IDR320,000.
Download the #UWRF16 App
Upgrade those squiggly arrows in your program book to a personalised daily rundown complete with reminder notifications! The free #UWRF16 Scheduling App is now available for Android phones via Google Play.
Scope out the free stuff
The first #UWRF16 Festival Guide featured highlights of the 70+ events with zero price tag. If you’ve got friends in town without the cash to splash on a ticket invite them along to an art exhibition, to Festival favourites Pecha Kucha and the Poetry Slam, or exciting new additions like the Makers Market and Sunset Sounds. For the full Free Events program click here.
Wake up early for Cultural Workshops
Ubud has long been lauded as Bali’s cultural capital – but rather than simply observing from the outside, why not dig a little deeper and discover the reasons behind the rituals? At The Language of Offerings learn about the pretty canang sari which garland homes, streets and temples all over Bali; be enlightened about the plethora of healing plants peppering Ubud’s landscape on the Herb Walk; or study the time-honoured techniques of Indonesia’s most renowned textile art at Batik Painting. For the full Cultural Workshops program click here.
Indulge your senses at The Kitchen
Everyone knows the best stories are shared in kitchens the world over. Head to the Kitchen Program for tasty tales, and savour the favourite flavours of authors and some of Ubud’s leading culinary wizards. At Sarong Dreaming sample Batak-style snapper ceviche whipped up by Tim Bartholomew from fine dining hot spot Hujan Locale; at Spice Journey explore the history of spices then learn how to choose the perfect combo with raw food authority Diana von Cranach; or taste what is surely a world first at Jack in the Hummus as chef Reynaldo de Luna creates hummus using jackfruit seeds. For the full The Kitchen program click here.
Celebrate new works at the Book Launches
Ubud is renowned for its lavish restaurants in lush locations – experience them with the extensive Book Launch program. Nibble on free canapés and raise a glass to celebrate the launch of Hema Devare’s beautiful Ganga to Mekong: A Cultural Voyage through Textiles; gaze in wonder and warm recognition at the vibrant images in photographer Michael Dean Morgan’s Looking for Bali; discover the brave and stirring poems of Sumatra-born, globally-bred spoken word artist Ayu Meutia Azevy at Tigress, and the witty, incisive words of rising star Norman Erikson Pasaribu at the Jakarta Arts Council: Poetry Launch. For the full Book Launch program click here.
Discover what goes down After Dark
As the sun sets, the UWRF lights up at a trio of venues – Bar Luna, Taman Baca and Betelnut. The Festival Club at Bar Luna hosts a thrilling array of evening entertainment, from a word-slam and reading event evoking the spirit of punk, to reflections from emerging writers on the Festival’s theme Tat Tvam Asi. If the Festival Club is the prime locale for rubbing shoulders with your favourite authors, Taman Baca is the place to be for music lovers, while film buffs should make a beeline for Betelnut. For the full Festival Club program click here, and for the Live Music & Arts program click here.
Visit the Festival Bookshop and signing table
Before you dash to your next session, make a stop at the Periplus Festival Bookshop in Indus’ upper entrance. Pick up books by authors you’ve just discovered and the latest works by those you love, then head straight to the nearby signing table to have them adorned with a personal message. If you’re wise you’ll arrive in Ubud with a half-full suitcase so there’s enough space for all your UWRF literary loot!