The JB Arts Fest is here again!

The 12th edition of the Johor Baru Arts Festival [JBAF] kicked off from Sept 10 in a month-long event at the Mall at Medini in Nusajaya.

This celebration of the arts, culture and heritage offers a daily programme of shows by homegrown talents and internationally acclaimed stars, featuring interactive and educational activities like workshops, masterclasses and exhibitions to encourage everyone in the community to appreciate the fun and entertainment in an arts fest.

The festival highlights include performances by eminent singer-songwriter, Najwa Mahiaddin, renowned Nasyid group Raihan, indie-rock sensation Kyoto Protocol, kings of comedy Douglas Lim, Kuah Jenhan and Jason Leong of the Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedians and Johor-born SKA Punk pioneers, Plague of Happiness.

Star Wars fans can thrill to a rare and seamless fusion of sci-fi and tradition with a shadow play show entitled, Peperangan Bintang Wayang Kulit, while drumming enthusiasts cannot miss the best of JB’s drum warriors battling it out at the 24 Festive Drums Southern Challenge Trophy event.

International artistes at the 12th JBAF include Italian acapella group Mezzotono, Singapore Boy Hossan Leong, Singapore percussion group Nadi Singapura, Australian power trio Jamie Wilson Trio, spoken-word poet Kosal Khiev and his award-winning documentary Cambodian Son, and Rotterdam-based musician Michael Simon and Shanghai jazz singer Jasmin Chen collectively known as Destiny’s Will.

"The people of JB should be able to tell everyone that their city is no longer a “cultural desert” but is now an oasis of the arts that is ready to be featured on the world map,” said founder of the Johor Society for the Performing Arts (JSPA), Yap Siong Cheng, as he reflected on how much the JBAF has developed since it started 12 years ago.

Yap is pleased that the 12th JBAF is supported by the generosity of principal partners, the Johor State Government and Iskandar Regional Development Authority, as well as organizing partners, Majlis Perbandaran Johor Baru Tengah, Tourism Johor and Causeway Exchange.

“Johor Baru residents deserve the right to claim ownership of their city, to be part of history in the making and proudly declare that we are Bangsa Johor,” he added.

The JBAF is the anchor festival under Johor Baru: International Festival City (JB:IFC), a bold initiative by the JSPA to position JB as a leading festival city in the region in bringing the world to JB and JB to the world.

Earlier this year, the JB:IFC festivals that were successfully staged included the JB Jazz Fest in February, the JB Classical Music Festival in May and the JB Film Festival in June.

Later this year, the JB Indigenous Arts Fair and the JB Food Festival are planned for November.

For more info and to buy tickets for the JBAF events from now till Oct 10, call Tel: +6019-7139900 and +6019-7169900 or follow JBAF on

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 10 Sept 2015 

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