After spending months working around the clock to find a way to deliver Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2020 safely and according to schedule, we finally came to a hard decision to postpone this year’s Festival until further notice. Just like many Festivals around the world, the rapid escalation of COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia and other countries has forced us to this decision. We understand that many of you have expressed eagerness and excitement for this year’s Festival, but the safety and health of our audiences, speakers, staffs, volunteers and those who are involved in the Festival is our 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,” commented UWRF Founder and Director, 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, are the nation’s most important cross-cultural gatherings, showcasing Indonesian culture and talent on a diverse global stage.
In order to sustain our community-building philosophy, we are seeking your help to ensure the survival of both Festivals and the Foundation. By supporting the Yayasan Patron Program and making a valuable contribution, you will be directly involved in delivering both Festivals in due time. Your contribution will go a long way to guarantee the future of Indonesia’s most meaningful cross-cultural platform of words, ideas and culture through its diverse programs.
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!”