Having freshly returned from Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2016 in Ubud, Bali I would love to share with you guys some tips should you consider joining this amazing event next year.
For you who never heard of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival before, here’s what the festival about from their website:
The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is Southeast Asia’s leading festival of words and ideas. The Festival celebrates extraordinary stories, amplifies brave voices, and tackles global issues through the lens of literature and the arts.
The Festival brings together a diverse mix of Indonesian and international writers, speakers, thinkers, artists, advocates, commentators and activists, to create a space for cross-cultural dialogue and connection.
12 Tips to Make The Most Out of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
StalkedMonitor Their Website
Seriously, signed up for their newsletter for updates and changes in schedule. The UWRF website is your holy grail. By
stalking monitoring their website you will get updates on their Program once it is released. Their newsletter also update you instantly on any schedule changes and so on like when one of their panels cancelled the event so you will have the option to pick another one.
- Early Bird Gets The
Do try to get your tickets to UWRF as early as you can to make sure you won’t miss anything. They offered different types of tickets from 4 days passes to 1 day pass which is really awesome. If you are a student, hey you can get a discount!
- Pick The Workshops Wisely
They have so many great workshops available to choose from it is can be quite overwhelming! I went and picked 4 workshops. Crazy? Hey, I came there to learn as much as I can but really, in all seriousness pick your workshops wisely as it means you will miss out on their great Main Programs. Also, pay attention to the location of the workshops as they will be varied. I failed to prepare this and had a little panic attack planning out how to get to the workshop places. In the end, they provided ojek (motorbike taxi) for those who needs a ride to and from specific workshop venues and for that, I thank the committee and their awesome volunteers!
- Book Your Accommodation Early
Since it will be in Ubud, obviously the best choice is to stay in the nearby hotels/motels/bed & breakfast. The UWRF website has a list of accommodation partners that they recommend. Book early in advance as chances are the rooms will be filled up quite quickly. I was staying at Lanna’s Lair – one of the partners of UWRF 2016. Thank you Lanna’s Lair! If you don’t drive – like me – I highly recommend finding a place within the area to minimize your commute.
- Install UWRF App!
Seriously, although they provide you free Program Book loaded with great valuable information, having their app on your phone saves the day! When you are running around trying to get to your workshop their app can really rescue you. I have added the workshops I attended on their app and it gives me reminder every day. Really neat! Well done UWRF for this innovation.
- Bring Your Notebook or Laptop
Hey, it is a Writers Festival after all right? So, whip your notebook or laptop and write. Be it in one of their main program events or your chosen workshops having a notebook or laptop will allows you to jot down those eureka moments or pointers you wish to take home with you. I have notebook full of harried handwriting from all of the amazing workshops I attended.
- Bring Your Own Water Bottle
Bali is hot, yo! Seriously and going from one places to another will involve a lot of walking so stay hydrated by bringing your own water bottle. You could refill your bottle by buying water or other drinks from the stalls they provided but it is always best to reduce the use of plastic.
- Bring Your Own Snacks
Trying to save money? Then bring your own snacks to munch in between the programs. They do offer stalls of delicious goodies from healthy meals to the local flavor of mie ayam (chicken noodle) but if you are tight on the budget then I’d suggest to bring your own snacks to keep you going.
- Wear Comfortable Clothing
Like I said Bali is hot and although Ubud’s temperature is a little cooler at night it is best to wear comfortable clothes. Bring a light shawl if you plan to stay in the venues until late like I did (they have really cool events after dark!) especially if it rain, then it can get a little cooler. Oh, and bring a brolly (umbrella) as you never know when it might rain!
- Mosquito Repellent is Your BFF
If you have sensitive skin like me, then mosquito repellent will be your new best friend at UWRF! Being outdoor, you will be exposed to mosquitoes and they are quite feisty.
- Bring a Big Suitcase With You
Seriously, you will be meeting lots and lots of great writers and you can easily find their books for sale during the events. Grab a book or two and you can get their signatures! How cool is that? So factoring that in plus the Ubudhood shopping spree, be prepare to come home with a suitcase full of goodies.
- Bring Your Name Card and Great Attitude!
Last but not least, UWRF is a great platform to connect with many great inspiring people. Everyone was just amazingly friendly and fun to be around with. I got to meet new friends from all over the world. Quick way to connect? Using the traditional old name card of course, I know I am old school. I got to talked with Ibu Shandra Woworuntu and when I mentioned I am the founder of Single Moms Indonesia she quickly asked for my card to connect in the future. Imagine if I didn’t bring them?! Passed opportunity, right?
Have fun in Ubud, people. I would highly recommend this event for those of you who are writers or literature lover. I will definitely return next year!
Have you been to Ubud Writers & Readers Festival? How do you like it? Do share with me, I would love to hear your stories or better yet if we crossed path there, give me a shout out! Would love to reconnect with you.