KUCHING: The 18th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival will be celebrated at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai near here this weekend.
The much-awaited world-class music celebration will feature entrancing world music, songs and stage performances, presenting world music celebrities which will resonate the foothill of the rainforest of Mount Santubong.
Ethnic and tribal music from across the globe will be featured at the nightly stage shows with musical workshops and jamming sessions being held in the afternoon creating a harmony to bring unison of interest for world music professional and enthusiast.
The festival has attracted music lovers from across the globe for their annual pilgrimage to Sarawak to enjoy the weekend of ethnic and traditional music in the midst of a lush tropical rainforest.
Acknowledging the festival due to its unique appeal, it is again voted among the 2015 top 25 international music festivals for six consecutive year by “Songlines”, a renowned world music magazine based in the United Kingdom.
This international Malaysian home-grown event, organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), is considered to be one of its kind in the region with its uniqueness that brings together on the same stage renowned international musicians and indigenous musicians from the interiors of the mythical island of Borneo.
The festival found its unique home at the “Sarawak’s living Museum”, below the imposing shadow of mystical Mount Santubong in the midst of a virgin rainforest and stretching its edge to the South China Sea.
The strong kinship and brotherhood among music makers, enthusiast and lovers alike in celebration together with Mother Nature and in the midst of the intricate ecosystem that celebrates the diversity of life.
This year, the festival will kick off at 2pm with concurrent musical workshops featuring various ethnic and near-extinct musical instruments, followed by the two tree stages being set alive by 7pm where festival goers interact with the musicians to experience the music and dance presentation till past midnight.
Apart from the music, there will also be a delectable delights at the Food and Village Mart which include arts and craft outlets set against the setting of the Borneon’s native Orang Ulu and Iban longhouses.
Festival tickets and updates are now available online or from the ticketing agents listed at www.rwmf.net.
The event is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia and Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and endorsed by Tourism Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines and Rip Curl Malaysia as partners.
Established in 1998 with an audience of only 300 people, it is now a major annual event in the state’s music calendar, eagerly anticipated by a crowd of over 20,000 people who flock from overseas, interstate as well as locals.
It is a family-friendly event with an accent on participation especially at the afternoon workshops. It has a record of environmental awareness as evidenced by its tree planting campaigns, its attention to recycling and the use of shuttle buses to reduce carbon emission.
For STB, the festival’s objective is to be the most visible, most international cultural event in Sarawak’s calendar of tourism activities.
The name, the venue and the theme of the festival are very much in line with STB’s promotional messages of positioning Sarawak as a culture rich destination with caring attitude towards its major natural attraction – the rainforest.
The theme rainforest will encompass music, arts, crafts and food. Rainforest species and processes provide an invaluable source of ideas in music, arts, crafts and food. For those who live within or near them, they are source of a deep sense of belonging, cultural heri-tage, religious and spiritual significance.
Last year, the festival drew more than 22,000 music lovers to Santubong.