Evolution of Urbanscapes from 2002 to 2014
How many of you remember the Malaysian based regional music magazine, JUNK? Or the Klang Valley targeted magazine KLUE? Or know the fashion site Tongue in Chic? If any of the names sends flutters of sparks to your neurons, then you'll probably be aware of the small indie shows its publisher, Freeform Publications Sdn. Bhd. used to also host under it's 'Junk By Demand' series, which eventually paved the way for the ultimate local hipster festival (as some would call it), Urbanscapes! We're pretty sure Urbanscapes is 90% responsible for flourishing the hipster side of our community with the fedoras and flowerbands clad music-lovin-nature-huggin folks that come out to play in full force every year since 2002.
Promoting art, food and music at a certified ‘instragrammable’ venue each year, the festival is even welcomed by the Malaysia's Tourism Board as it promotes the local creative scene alongside selected international ones, giving the festival a very localised base, but also an international standard of festival feel and experience in promoting all sorts of creative arts.
The festival or rather at that point, an 'only-in-the-know' festival, started small in 2002 with a modest number of local acts at Bukit Bintang's Grappa Soho. Making its return in 2004, only then could one see the beginnings of an actual arts festival taking place at KL Sentral, before it finally found its niche and ambience space at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre from 2008 to 2010, as it refined its potential at the Padang Astaka, Petaling Jaya in 2011 and 2012 as 'the city's all day creative arts festival' before relocating again this year to the Horse Ranch, Resorts World Genting.
How did it all start? Making a move from its first spot at the now defunct Grappa Soho, Bukit Bintang, the festival made its move to a more centralised location two years after its debut to provide ease of access for all of Klang Valley's urbanites at the open area of KL Sentral. Held early in the year on 31st January 2004, the festival had a more defined feel compared to its smaller scale events of previous years and incorporated more film screenings, music (most memorable; local band OAG) and a Marketplace with food, henna tattoo-ing and more. However the location was rather limited in terms of space and organisation, which might've prompted the organisers to regroup and brainstorm (for several years) to relocate to someplace different for bigger and better things...
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And bigger and better is what Urbanscapes got in 2008! Based on our years of attending Urbanscapes, we would say that this is where all the ala-Woodstock hippie festival vibes really came forth. With a location as beautiful as the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC), surrounded by trees and grass greener than green kryptonite, who could blame anyone in basking in the best of what nature and the local arts scene has to offer? Held on the 28th of July 2008, admission tickets to the one-day festival ranged from RM25 to RM35 depending on how early you got your tickets. Keeping it local again, performers for the year saw OAG returning with Auburn, Estranged, Estrella, Love Me Butch, One Buck Short, The Times and more.
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Settling in at the KLPAC in its second year, Urbanscapes returned on the 27th June 2009. The list of local performers for the year also grew more extensive and the fest brought in acts like, Pop Shuvit, Damn Dirty Apes, Prema Yin, Yuna, Gerhana Ska Cinta, Couple and more. Also this was the year where the global H1NI virus struck, and of course, the festival didn't escape a bit of a scare too.2010
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