Time to hit the streets once again

There has definitely been a surge in festivals and events celebrating the rise of subculture, but an OG in the local scene is fo’sho the annual Aliwal Urban Art Festival. Come Jan 18, head down to Kampong Glam, as it will once again be turned into a funky, street-centric showcase of visual art, alternative music, dance performances and skateboarding.

The theme for the coming year is “What if”, which questions and challenges everything one might know about subculture, and perhaps more. What if urban art takes over? What if street art goes beyond the streets? Tackle these tough questions and prove your knowledge of subculture at the festival’s What If Exhibition that touches on the basics of street, graffiti and mural art.

While a drone flying workshop and competition took centre stage in early 2019, go eco and attend a sustainable workshop titled Stitch in a Bag by Fin Crafted Goods x Keen, to customise your own tote bag by repurposing worn-out materials and turning them into unique, one-of-a-kind pieces for your everyday use. Or if you feel like getting down and dirty, hit up the Skate Mini Clinic and Free Tryouts to catch Vans riders in action on the mini ramps, demonstrating their skills and introducing newbies to the sport.

Also look forward to a dance performance by Flowt Collective, which will feature five unique local dances and explore the idea of staying afloat amidst society’s noise. What If... We Could Change the Past? is an inviting, exploration of what ifs through movements, street dance elements and more, that’ll also get the party started.

And returning year after year to champion a greater subculture cause is RSCLS, with a live graffiti painting and installation piece, as well as organised graffiti tours of Kampong Glam over the course of the one-day festival.

But also don’t forget to check out a Craft and Design Market that sells clothes, handcrafted products and more; interactive roving experiences, as well as the usual hopping closing party that integrates the various aspects of street culture through fun. It’s time to raise the roof.


Aliwal Urban Art Festival 2020 happens Jan 18, 2020 at Aliwal Street and Aliwal Arts Centre. More information available here