Rainforest World Music Festival 2008 Entering a New Decade

Adel Salameh
Adel Salameh
After the rousing 10th anniversary celebration last year, Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is now ready to enter into a new decade with a promise of a better festival and more added-value experience for the audience.

The festival, which won the Pacific Asia Travel Associations Gold Award in 2006, will be held from July 11 to 13 at the Sarawak Cultural Village with the picturesque Mount Santubong as backdrop, a 45-minute drive from the State’s capital, Kuching.

With 15 groups including from overseas performing this year, festival goers can expect a myriad genre of world beat ranging from Celtic fusion, Soca, folk, Baul fusion and traditional. The performers are also from all corners the world like UK; Gambia/Guinea; Philippines; Palestine; Greece; Portugal; Congo; Japan; Columbia; Brazil/USA; India and Angola/Italy/Portugal. The foreign bands were selected from the more than 450 applications submitted to RMWF organizing committee.Entertaining during the threes days of the festival will come from Ross Daly Quartet from Greece, Kasai Masai (Congo/UK), Hiroshi Motofuji (Japan), Oikyataan (India), Cholo Valderrama (Colombia), New Rope String Band (UK), Yakande (Gambia/Guinea), Pinikpikan (Philippines), Adel Salameh (Palestine), Beltaine (Poland), Sheldon Blackman and The Love Circle (Trinidad & Tobago) and Fadomorse (Portugal).

There will also be performances from local Malaysian bands. Sarawak will be represented by Kan’id, Orchestra Anak Jati Bisaya, and Sarawak Cultural Village. The festival format remained as in previous years- musical workshop in the afternoon and followed by concert at night.

Ticket is priced at RM90 per day and RM250 for a three-day pass for adult and RM45 per day and RM100 for a three-day pass each for children between three and 12 years old, are available online at www.ticketcharge.com.my. The online ticket sales had began on December 12 last year and respond has been very encouraging with the three-day passes going out very fast.

And, the first 500 guests who buy two three-day passes will entitle to a free copy of the soft cover RWMF anniversary book. Entitled “Music Without Borders- The Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak”, this 508-page book depicted the chronology of the festival since its inception in 1998. Retailed at RM125 per copy, the book also contained more than 500 photographs.

To infuse more excitement to the festival, two fringe events have been included to add more air of festivity to the event which has been enjoying steady growth in popularity. They are Rainforest World Craft Bazaar 2008 (RWCB) and Folk Art Forum (FAF).

The RWCB is organized by the Sarawak Craft Council in collaboration with STB. The bazaar will be held from July 9 to 15 and expected to be participated by master craftsmen from various countries including from Sarawak, showcasing their unique crafts wares.

Craft making workshop will also be held at the RWCB, besides the exhibition and sales of the crafts. Inquiry on the RWCB can be made to crafthub@gmail.com and muheidi@pc.jaring.my.

The art forum is more on showcasing works of renowned local and international artists. Organized by Galleria, the theme for the art forum is Our Culture, Our People.

To be held from July 9 to 11 at the Orang Ulu House at the Sarawak Cultural Village, the art forum is targeting at students and art enthusiasts. The FAF programme includes workshop, exhibition and forum.

Organized by the Sarawak Tourism Board, the festival is one of Malaysia’s best tourism icon and has been listed under the events to be promoted by Tourism Malaysia worldwide. It has also been acknowledged as one of the top ten music festivals in the world by World Music Expo (WOMEX).

The festival is also supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia and Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism, Sarawak.

Details and update on RWMF 2008 are available on the festival website at www.rainforestmusic-borneo.com.