KUCHING: The Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) looks set to become an annual affair following its successful launch this year.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said RFF was introduced to complement the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF), which was now in its 20th year.
“The idea was mooted last year when we wanted to have a change in the way we organise the Rainforest festival.
“Usually, you have the music but we wanted to organise a lot of events within the fringe of the festival,” he told reporters after being briefed on the ongoing RFF at the Old Courthouse here on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister said he met George Town Festival director Joe Sidek about two years ago and subsequently asked him to organise a festival in Sarawak based on nature and the rainforest.
“We want to link music with what’s in the rainforest, where you can hear birds and insects.
“Joe accepted my challenge and now you see this year, the Rainforest festival is quite different from last year,” Abang Johari said.
He said the RFF would continue next year with some improvements.
“We will find ways and means to upgrade the fringe festival next year,” he said, adding that he would increase the state Tourism Ministry’s budget next year to promote Sarawak.
Meanwhile, the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) was all set for the RWMF, taking place this weekend at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong.
STB acting chief executive officer Mary Wan Mering said ticket sales increased by 12% this year compared to last year.
International performers had started arriving and sound checks for local performers began earlier this week.