Iskarnival Eko 2019 highlights eco-consciousness of creative communities in Johor

In its 8th year now, Iskarnival Eko is Iskandar Puteri’s platform for local initiatives and talents to showcase and share ideas


ISKARNIVAL returned to celebrate the second year of Iskandar Puteri as a city — bigger, brighter and greener — on Nov 30 and Dec 1 at Puteri Harbour, Johor.

To honour planet Earth and to commemorate Iskandar Puteri’s aspiration of becoming a green city, master developer UEM Sunrise Bhd lined-up a feast of live performances, outdoor activities, workshops, visual arts, bazaars and street circus acts.

In its eighth year now, Iskarnival Eko is Iskandar Puteri’s platform for local initiatives and talents to showcase and share ideas on working, playing and living green — curated to initiate social change and reduce environmental impact.

This free public festival was aimed to draw audiences to strengthen appreciation for the natural resources in an urban context. From new trends in the Malaysian culture to visions of a better future, the festival’s programme highlighted the works of local artists and artisans as they got together to promote Iskandar Puteri with their spirit and fervour in making a difference to a fast deteriorating environmental ecosystem.

UEM Sunrise MD/CEO Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said: “Iskarnival Eko reflects the vibrancy and highlights the creative communities in Johor, as well as beyond, providing a platform for them to showcase their talent and products to an eco-conscious township.

“As a responsible property developer; we design living, working and recreational environment to be conducive and also improving social conditions, while taking initiatives to conserve natural resources and protect the environment.”

“More than 70,000 people attended this year’s Iskarnival celebrations. Furthermore, more than 6,000 people attended the RTM Big Gig Concert compared to only 2,000 people who attended last year’s concert. We hope to influence the communities and the public to become eco-conscious and more alert of our environment,” Anwar Syahrin added.

In line with the eco theme, Indonesian visual artist and sculptor Andi Ramdani repurposed a large scale interactive bamboo installation that was inspired by the Malay Archipelago called Kubah from another festival in Kuala Lumpur.

Several sculptures made out of recycled car parts — featuring endangered animal species such as the tapir, hornbill and seahorses to highlight the fragile environment — were also placed along the harbour front.

This year’s highlights included an additional venue at Puteri Harbour — the Sandy Beach — that featured Slide the City, a giant and thrilling inflatable slide. The water used for the event was recycled through a large filtering system that allowed people to enjoy the ride throughout the event without using excessive amounts of water.

There was also an Electronic Dance Music concert featuring both local and international DJs such as rising South Korean female DJ Jina. Accompanying her for the show were Indonesia’s DJ Derina Derin and Malaysia‘s DJ Amber Na and DJ Lissa Qash.

The highlight of Iskarnival Eko 2019 was the RTM Big Gig Concert featuring Akim & The Majistret, Ella, Ramli Sarip, Zainal Abidin, Man Kidal, Hillary Ang, Jeffrydin, K-Clique and Gerhana Ska Cinta.

This year’s cultural and street performances included Rainforest World Music Festival performance from Sarawak At Adau, Dikir Barat, Drum Funk, Nyoba Kan & Souls Impact Percussion, Rithaudin Dance, International Street Circus and Viva Circus.

Visitors thronged the Eko Bazaar, Eko Film Screenings and Eko Conscious Market, which encouraged the reuse of items and entrepreneurship by selling arts and craft, vintage, accessories and collectibles that were mostly locally sourced by Johorean entrepreneurs.

Iskarnival Eko ended with a bang as visitors were treated to a magical display of Musical Fireworks on both nights.