Singapore, 17 July 2015. Unforgettable world memories begin with world music, and there’s no better place to wake up to such memorable experiences than at Sarawak’s inimitable Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF).
The 18th edition of the festival on the weekend of 7th to 9th of August 2015 will be set among lush forest greenery, crowned by the lofty Mount Santubong. The venue for the festival is Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai, an hour’s drive or so from the heart of Sarawak, Kuching.
Around 24 bands will showcase ethnic and tribal music from across the globe over three days, at daytime musical workshops and nightly stage shows. Ticket holders for nighttime shows may attend the day workshop for no extra charge, and may relish in the festival spirit on the grounds, with local food sampling, Borneo art and handicraft, temporary skin and hair tattoo, and more against the setting of native Orang Ulu and Iban longhouses.
Rainforest World Music Festival grew from humble origins 18 years ago, the brainchild of tourism officials who wanted to celebrate ethnicity set to musical beats and rhythm. What drew 200 odd participants within Sarawak nearly two decades ago today draws around 20,000 visitors from all ends of the earth.
What’s unique about the Rainforest World Music Festival? As a regular festival goer, especially to this one, in my opinion it’s the unusual combination of world class act and charming hospitality that is unmistakably Sarawakian, with its array of tribal origins and cultures.
While some look forward to hearing strange sounds from afar in well-choreographed dance moves in the night, I, on the other hand, brave the heat for the afternoon workshops. There, starting at 2 pm at various points in the Cultural Village, I watch expert instrumentalists from various countries perform on stage together based on a common theme, drawing participation from the crowd at times.
Past RWMF workshops were themed on percussion, strings, wind, bagpipes, female vocals, dance music, if memory serves well. I get a kick out of spontaneous jamming that often result when world musicians get carried away, divided by language but united by sound.
If you’re into quaint instruments, you got to be there. If you’re into ethnic music, you got to be there. If your kid is into making a joyful noise, your kid’s got to be there!
It is a time and place where music comes alive without even being taught.
For its unique appeal, Rainforest World Music Festival has been listed in Songlines’ top 25 international music festivals for the sixth consecutive year.
New memories await for those who tarry not to be part of this one-of-its-kind music festival.
The Rainforest World Music Festival is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia and Ministry of Tourism Sarawak. It is endorsed by Tourism Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines and Rip Curl Malaysia as partners. Official website: http://rwmf.net/