Rainforest World Music Festival 2016

  • Rainforest World Music Festival stage 1
  • Rainforest World Music Festival workshop
  • Mathew Ngau Jau and his sape
  • Alena Murang and her sape
  • Cultural events at Rainforest World Music Festival

The 19th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival to be held at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai, Borneo, on 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 a performers from the Sarawak Cultural Village.

Mathew Ngau Jau and his sape

Mathew Ngau Jau and his sape

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 Rainforest World Music Festival prides 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.

Rainforest World Music Festival stage 1

Rainforest World Music Festival stage 1

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.

Cultural events at Rainforest World Music Festival

Cultural events at Rainforest World Music Festival

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 organizer will host a tree planting ceremony wherein members of the organizing 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.

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.

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. For more contact www.sarawaktourism.com or Barbara at barbara@sarawaktourism.com

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About the author

Thomas has a university background in the UK and in Latin America, with studies in Languages and Humanities, Culture, Literature and Economics. He started his Asian experience as a publisher in Krabi in 2005. Thomas has been editing local newspapers and magazines in England, Spain and Thailand for more then fifteen years. He is currently working on several projects in Thailand and abroad. Apart from Thailand, Thomas has lived in Italy, England, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain and Bali. He spends most of his time in Asia. During the years Thomas has developed a great understanding of several Asian cultures and people. He is also working freelance, writing short travel stories and articles for travel magazines. Follow Thomas on www.asianitinerary.com

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