Inside Bali’s Most Celebrated Cultural Festivals with Janet DeNeefe

The owner of Ubud Food Festival and Ubud Writers and Readers Festival reveals what it takes to run an general informative festival on a island of gods. 

It is a kind of story expats might be informed with: foreigners revisit Indonesia for a vacation, tumble in adore with a nation and endorse to call it home. But for Australian expat Janet DeNeefe, she did some-more than spin Ubud into home honeyed home for a past 30 years. After nearing in 1984, she has helped make Ubud, one of Bali’s many outlandish locales, a renouned for general informative festivals.

This month, a Ubud Food Festival earnings for a third time, while a Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) celebrates a 14th anniversary in October.

I sat down with DeNeefe during her famous grill Casa Luna in Ubud, where she common a sparkling routine behind scheming for a festival in Bali’s informative capital.

How do we routinely ready for UWRF each year? 

Well, initial we have to come adult with a thesis and afterwards we name a writers that kind of fit in with theme. We also demeanour during those who are doing engaging things, those that we have not listened of about before. It is like being a detective, we only hunt for stream work that we feel is unequivocally suitable for us. And afterwards it is mouth-watering a writers and anticipating that they can come along.

The problem infrequently can be that they endorse primarily and afterwards after during a final minute, infrequently they cancel. It is a bit, quite final year, was a bit of a calamity for a programme given suddenly, only a integrate of days before we need to find a deputy for a speakers or moderators who are essential to a session.

Last year we had a thesis of Tat Tvam Asi (I Am You and You and I), what accurately was a thought behind it? 

It was a greeting to dual years ago and a fact that we all share a same amiability and identity. And we theory it was also a greeting to what was function around a world, with 65 million people being forced from their homes. There are roughly some-more boundaries, some-more borders, some-more groups opposite a world. It’s time that we as a common demeanour during a fact that we are all one.

How accurately has a emanate of censorship in a past influenced a approach a festival is run? 

Well indeed it has not influenced that much. we was disturbed that it would impact a altogether programme though eventually it hasn’t. We are still formulating programmes that we wish to create.

How do we feel about those who consider that UWRF focuses some-more on a tourism aspect as against to literature?

I consider a people who contend that have never been to a festival. It is about bringing people together and when we have a writer’s festival, we don’t call it tourism. It is a forum for discussion, so only given it is hold in a traveller destination, we kind of get labeled we suppose. Of march people are roving here to see a event, though hey we transport anywhere to see any eventuality and that doesn’t meant it is directly called tourism.

A lot of people are increasingly meddlesome in entrance here and being a partial of a internal humanities scene, generally a younger generation. As a creator and owner of UWRF and UFF, what do we consider are a keys to organizing a successful festival? 

To classify a event, we have to have learned and veteran staff. In terms of selecting a programmes and coordinating, all these people contingency be experienced. And we consider that it is improved that they are immature given it is a high-energy job, we unequivocally need a lot of stamina. And we theory we only have to be wakeful of a community.

In sequence to classify a tip festival, we contingency have a set of tip people operative behind it.

What do we consider people design when they come to a festival?

I consider a lot of a assembly have been to a festival before so they already know. But a newbies, a ones who have never been here before, we consider they design an Aussie-style writers’ festival. And when they come here, they are kind of blown divided by a fact that it’s so opposite and so exciting. There’s so most to hear and see, a plcae is fantastic, so we consider it becomes a enchanting knowledge for them.

What do we meant by Aussie-style writers’ festival?

In Australia we have a lot of writers’ festival and we were mentored by a Byron Bay Writers’ Festival, so we kind of primarily looked a bit like them. That was before we grew into a possess skin.

You have your possess restaurants and also created several cookbooks. Can we share a small bit about what we do in a food industry? 

I have had restaurants here given 1987, so we am unequivocally ardent about Indonesian and Balinese food. we have published dual books, both of them started with recipes. The initial one started with recipes and afterwards we wove in a stories around food, either it is something we ate during ceremonies or something that my kids love. So it started with recipes and afterwards we built stories around them. And a second one was recipes with stories to do with those dishes so that was kind of easy.

What do we consider is so special about Indonesian food? 

I’s only so sparkling and interesting. There are so many layers of flavours. we consider given we are in this piquancy island, there’s arrange of flavours we get from a opposite gingers, lemongrass and all those pleasant mixture to use. 

This twin has been precipitated and edited. For some-more information on UFF and UWRF, greatfully revisit a following websites:




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