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The Official Website of
Sarawak Tourism Board

Posted on : 14 Aug 2019  Source of News: Sarawak Tourism Board

KUCHING – Sarawak’s headliner tourism attraction, the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) has proven that it is more than just a music festival if this year’s sell-out crowd is anything to go by. A capacity crowd of 23,650 from all parts of the world attended the three-day festival.

This year’s edition of the RWMF was artfully arranged with a seamless and flawless sequence of the nightly concerts. The 2019 line up featured 30 bands and over 200 performers. From the Chilean island of Rapa Nui in the South Eastern Pacific Ocean saw Ballet Folcloric De Chile Bafochi in the earlier evening slots each day of the festival on the Jungle Stage and showcased spectacular costumes and sensual dance moves. From the South West Pacific Ocean, Wai from New Zealand gave mesmerizing performances at the Theatre Stage and at the mini sessions throughout the three-day festival.

Five Sarawakian bands, more than any of the years before were featured this year.  At Adau brought their legions of fans who danced along with their vibrant performance fusing ancient melodies and rhythms of different tribes. Kemada featured traditional Iban music, games, culture while Suku Menoa brought to the Festival Iban music, rituals and chants. Staak Bisomu provided a glimpse of the Bidayuh cultural heritage and Suk Binie’s performance was an energetic mix of traditional melodies from various ethnic communities of Sarawak. Darmas, from Malaysia comprised of six young musicians who got the crowd dancing to the rhythms of traditional Malay classics.

While the evening concerts draw in the most crowd year in and out, this year saw an increase in audiences at the afternoon interactive and education workshops as well as jamming sessions and mini concerts. There were more than 30 mini sessions held at the Iban longhouse, Bidayuh Terraces and Dewan Lagenda. These brought together diverse musicians from different bands where spontaneous jam sessions took place.

The Emerging Band Stage this year featured nine local bands over the course of the 3-day festival and equally well attended by local fans.

Side activities held during the day in collaboration with RWMF partners who include Friends of Sarawak Museum, Rainforest World Crafts Bazaar and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre.

What About Kuching (WAK) @ RWMF make their debut this year as artists, artisans, poets, sports trainers, and filmmakers from the Kuching community liven up the atmosphere at Damai Central located right next to the Sarawak Cultural Village. Certainly the Sunset Stage was a big draw with a multitude of local bands entertaining the festival goers.

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) intensified their greening initiatives this year. The biggest impact was discouraging the use of plastic bottled water. Festival goers brought along their own empty bottles which they could fill from water dispensing stations supplied by Cuckoo.  For its waste management strategy, STB worked with Trienekens and partnered with Spativate in coming up with eye-catching designs on waste bins. Biji-Biji was on hand to make sure waste was collected for composting. STB also continued the tradition of tree planting and this time, the site was at Pantai Puteri, Santubong Village.

Back at the festival site, there was alot of hidden treasures promised by the app were generally a nice respite from the typical festival bustle. Twenty two years ago, the RWMF began as a very small gathering of 300 people. Fast forward 2019, the festival has gained worldwide recognition and won multiple awards. For the three days at least it was a little too easy to forget that there’s a world outside the festival site. Next year’s edition of the RWMF will be held from July 10 to 12, 2020.