Spent the best part of my day today in Sentul, attending Urbanscapes 2009.
This is my first time at Urbanscapes, and also my first time at KLPAC. I was impressed both with the event and the center. The event was meant to start at midday, running until midnight. I drove into the parking area at around 12.30. I thought I was early. The first part of the carpark has already been closed because it was full or cars. My space was not that far away thankfully, only a 5 minutes away from the entrance. I managed to get a shaded space as well.
RM35 might sound steep, but in the scheme of things, it was reasonable. Since it was pretty hot, I decided to give the stalls and flea markets a miss first and headed straight into the building to check out on my fellow KLickrs. I was surprised that it was still empty. Apparently the group was not happy with the first series of slides and they were in the process of producing another CD. Unfortunately there was a glitch. Thankfully the organiser was on hand with his iMac and things were soon sorted out. The theme for the slideshow was '24 hour KL'. We interpreted as people's activities round the clock, and set out on tasks to capture people's doing their daily activities, as diverse as mechanics, barber, to a tattooist. The quality was pretty good. I was also impressed by kukubesi.com. Fotoradikal also put on a strong showing there, but I'll stick by the KLickrs. They are way cooler.
I then checked the short films. Some of them were hot and sassy. I was soon bored staying indoors. I headed out to watch the live performances. The first one I came across was by Theatre for Young People (T4YP). They did a rendition of "Whose Line is it Anyway", where the audience get to put their suggestions for sketches in a box for them to act out. Some of the jokes were damn right funny, but some of them were not unfortunately.
My next stop was 'The Sunset Disco'. It was an open stage for life act, and I was treated by a great set by Shahridir and Nizam P. The duo, Shahridir on guitar and vocals, and Nizam on drums and percussion, plays all their own blues-influenced material. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Back at the Street Performances stage, I listen to another act whose sketch was again from audience contribution. This one was called 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Advice'. The audience gave a scenario then ask for an advice. The troupe then gives a good, a bad, and an ugly advice in turn. One of the question which I thought was funny was asked by a Chinese gent. He asked, "I have a guy friend for a number of years. He has been a great friend. I just found out that he is Indian. What should I do?"
The Good: "Don't worry. Race is not important, unless you are in Malaysia". The bad: "How dare you? You are f*%king racist man!". The ugly (from an Indian lady): "Aiyo! I also head Indian. This is Sentul right? A lot of Indians here, let's go and burn down the place." Good stuff, if you like those kind of things.
I also caught a few more live acts, Psytrus to mention one. I really wanted to wait on to watch Pop Shuvit and Yuna. Unfortunately I have a wife and kids, and it was getting dark. I'm worried that it might rain. A quick walk in the flea market, then I was off.
All in all, after being a veteran of a few festivals in the UK, I thought that the event was very well organised. The venue did become crowded come the afternoon with the peak visitors, but there were food aplenty. A great variety as well. People were very courteous. I'll definitely come again next year. It might be a problem for the organiser though. As the event becomes more popular, they might struggle to contain everyone in KLPAC.
There are more pictures from Urbanscapes on my flickr feed.