HYATT Centric Kota Kinabalu Celebrates Diverse Sabahan Talents With Inaugural Ewan Lane Festival

A two-day festival heralding street art, extreme sports and music with the urban community

Kenji Chai with art crews along Jalan Haji Saman.

Kota Kinabalu, 22 December 2022 – Following its recent opening in October, Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu – the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Malaysia and Southeast Asia hosted an inaugural Ewan Lane Festival on 17 and 18 December 2022. Aimed at promoting Kota Kinabalu’s urban culture and to foster connections with local community, the festival featured street artists, painters, skateboarders, B-Boys and musicians as well as 14 influential and diverse Sabahan artists who performed alongside these emerging young talents.

Ewan Lane, which is located next to Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu and known for its colourful street art, was transformed into a carnival-like atmosphere with skateboard ramps, food trucks and market stalls, attracting a huge crowd over the weekend. Activities included street art jam sessions and skateboarding demonstration and competition.

“As a new hotel with a young and vibrant personality, we wanted to bring the local community together in a fun-filled atmosphere combining three much loved activities by the youths here – arts, music, and extreme sports. We are thrilled by the turnout and the positive feedback and are grateful for everyone’s support to make our first Ewan Lane Festival a success. We hope to make Ewan Lane Festival an annual event moving forward promoting urban culture to bring people together,” said Ruben Schrijver, the General Manager of Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu.

Officially launched on 17 December, the Ewan Lane Festival was attended by key lifestyle influencers from Malaysia and Brunei, local media and featured skateboarders, musicians and street art enthusiasts, in a celebration of hip hop music and culture, extreme sports, dance, design and art. Some of the famed local musicians who performed live at the festival included Benzooloo – a Sabahan rapper, MKNK – a music producer and songwriter, Hip Hop group – Isobahtos, popular DJ Elouise Shane and urban street dancers from Flexible Crew, among many others.

The main highlight of the festival is the open skate demonstration and session with the “Best Tricks” competition to promote the extreme sport which made its debut at the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2021. The winning trophy of the “Best Trick air/fly” & “Best Trick Grind” skateboard competition went to Mr Presley Aaron.

“Extreme sports have regained enormous popularity in Sabah, especially since its debut in the recent Olympic event. Local skateboarding community in Sabah aims to nurture talents to become future high performance athletes representing Malaysia for the Olympic Games. Hence, we’d like to applaud Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu for this great initiative. The Ewan Lane Festival is not only a perfect platform for our local skateboarders to showcase their talents but also a fun and exciting way to educate people about this sport”, said Azreen Amat of Jungle Skate Class which showcased some impressive young skateboarders or riders during the festival.

Skate demonstration by Presley Aaron.

Another key highlight was the street art jam which saw an impressive art installation of 10 60cm (height) x 60cm (width) cubes painted by members of the public together with street art enthusiasts and influencers on-site during the festival. Visitors also got to enjoy an array of local snacks like curried cauliflower, spiced lamb rendang with jasmine rice, salt & chilli squid and more, served from the hotel’s ON22 restaurant and as well as other delicious snacks served from a line-up of food trucks amidst colourful market stalls selling local artisanal products.

Ruben Schrijver continued, “Hyatt Centric is a strong supporter of the local street arts scene and we are delighted to offer guided street art tours curated by a resident of Kota Kinabalu, Jared Abdul Rahman, to enable our guests to explore works of street art from raw, organic graffiti to curated, commissioned murals. We look forward to introducing more fresh, authentic and enriching experiences to young, curious and active wanderers visiting and living in Kota Kinabalu.”

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Isobahtos band performing live on stage.