There's something for everyone at these fun and informative events in Bali. Ubud does a couple of particularly great festivals but this list includes other events elsewhere in Bali too.
28-29 July 2023 Ubud Jazz Festival UBUD
This small but well-run events covers local and international musicians offering 2 days of concerts over three stages, plus workshops and talks.
2-12 August Galungan and Kuningan BALI-WIDE
Galungan signifies the triumph of ‘dharma’ over ‘adharma’ (good over evil), and Kuningan is the day ancient spirits return. Distinctive ‘penjor’ - tall bamboo poles - are placed in front of homes and the Balinese sacrificial contributions, prayer and dance to welcome and honour the gods and spirits. Look out for the pretty and colourful penjor everywhere in Ubud during this time, and see colourful parades through villages.
Mid August Bali Kite Festival SANUR
At the onset of the windy season, the sky of Bali is filled with multi coloured kites of all sizes. A competitive sport in Bali, kite flying heralds the rice harvest (they are flown to keep the birds away, or ask the gods for their blessing during the harvest, depending on who is telling you).
You can see the best kites around Sanur each weekend during August.
20-21 September 2023 Ultra Beach Bali JIMBARAN
For the ravers and lovers of electronica, Ultra Bali is a 2-day festival in Jimbaran on the beach with international DJs and other musicians playing on a fantastic beachside stage.
18-22 October 2023 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival UBUD
One of the worlds best literary events, and probably Asia's largest, this is an annual pilgrimage for lovers of literature.
Artists, authors, thinkers and performers are brought together for an amazing 4-day festival.
10-11 March 2024 Ogoh Ogoh Parades and Nyepi BALI-WIDE
Nyepi is the day of silence, and everyone, including tourists, are expected to stay indoors and maintain silence. The purpose is for reflection on the previous year, introspection and tranquility. The idea is that the demons pass over on this day and, hearing no commotion, fly away without bringing any problems in the new year. The day before Nyepi is New Year's Eve and its a riot! Enormous and grotesque puppets representing 'ogoh-ogoh' (demons) are paraded through the streets of every village from around 6pm that evening, to be burnt before New Years Day. You will catch the parade in most places in Bali. Three days before Nyepi is Melasti, which is a ritual to cleanse and purify. Pilgrims in white and yellow carry temple heirlooms and offerings along many beaches in Bali from the early morning.
Early May 2024 Bali Spirit Festival Ubud (dates for 2024 tbc) UBUD
Love all things spiritual? This one is for you. Eat, pray and love your way through three days of Yoga, Ecstatic Dance, Vegan Cooking Classes, breath work, 'healing', clairvoyancy, metaphysics and mediation. The festival is heavy on western style spirituality but does have a tiny dash of actual Balinese spiritual education.
Early May 2024 Bali Blues Festival (dates for 2024 tbc) SANUR
Blues, and rock performed by international artists on the beach in Sanur.
Mid May 2024 Indigenous Film Festival Ubud (dates for 2024 tbc) UBUD
A 3-day event showcasing Indonesian film makers and others who are dedicated to supporting, protecting and empowering indigenous culture through film.
Early June 2024 Balinale - Bali Film Festival (dates for 2024 tbc) KUTA
Becoming reconised internationally for its diverse programming, the festival covers feature films, documentaries and short films, shown at the cinema in the Park23 Creative Hub.
Late June 2024 Ubud Food Festival (dates for 2024 tbc) UBUD
This was half underwater in 2023 with unseasonal rain, but the venues were dry and the food was tasty!
Masterclasses by international chefs, cocktail competitions, restaurant takeovers, talks on sustainability and providence, and a food market lover's heaven.
15 June - 13 July 2024 Bali Arts Festival DENPASAR
Music Art and Culture celebrates Balinese talent and offers activities such as painting, handcraft, cooking classes, dance performances and concerts.
Mid July 2024 (TBC) Sanur Village Festival ('SanFest') SANUR
A lovely little village cultural festival with dance and music and food.