Rainforest festival to feature local talents
The 19th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) to be held at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai from August 5 to 7 will feature eight Malaysian groups sharing their locally home-grown talents on stage with 26 international artistes.
Five artistes and groups from Sarawak will be featured, including sape maestros, Alena Murang and Mathew Ngau Jau, Gendang Melayu Sri Buana, Thunder Beats of Nanyang Wushu Drums, as well as performers from the Sarawak Cultural Village.
Two bands from Peninsular Malaysia, 1Drum.org and the Unique Arts Academy and the Band Girls of Sabah State Cultural Board will also take the stage.
“We are proud to provide a stage for our own talented performers to shine, showing that we too have leaders and groundbreakers in World Music as a genre.” says Angelina Patricia Bateman, Director of Corporate Communications and Project Director of the festival.
The RWMF prides itself on being voted among the top 25 international music festivals by “Songlines”, a renowned world music magazine based in the United Kingdom for sixth consecutive year.
The festival is also the first and largest event of its kind in Malaysia, with many from throughout Borneo and the whole world sharing their culturally-rich music, including bands such as Shanren from China, Auli from Latvia, Torgeir Vassvik from Norway, Chouk Bwa Libete from Haiti, Cimarron from Colombia, Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band from Ghana and many more.
Aside from the nightly performances, there will be informative and interactive afternoon workshops throughout the three-day festival, revolving around the theme of ethno-musical significance.
There will also be fringe events namely the Rainforest World Craft Bazaar and the Food and Village Mart, where one can purchase the local arts, crafts and cuisine of Borneo, as well as the Borneo Tattoo Expo at Damai Central, where one can see the traditional tribal tattoos of the indigenous tribes of Sarawak.
Another event being held this year is the Pustaka Bookaroo, which combines music, stories and crafts from around the world in workshops for children aged between seven and 12.
Every year, the event organiser will host a tree planting ceremony wherein members of the organising committee, media, sponsors, artistes and volunteers will plant dozens of saplings in nearby nature reserve in order to ensure the environmental sustainability of the event as well as to increase environmental awareness among the public.
In conjunction with this effort, all vendors within the festival are required to use reusable or recyclable cutlery and plates during sales.
Sarawak Cultural Village, the venue of the festival, is popularly known as the ‘living’ museum which takes up a sprawling 17 acres of land at the foot of Mount Santubong, roughly 35km north of Kuching.
Festival tickets and updates are now available online or from the ticketing agents listed at www.rwmf.net, with pre-sale prices available until August 4.
The event is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and endorsed by Tourism Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines Berhad as the presenting sponsor.