Rainforest World Music Festival 's Virgin Sharing


It's name no longer unknown to most of us. When you ask any locals, most expats or tourists, most probably they will always give you an answer, "ร–h yes, I know that festival!"

It is none other than Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF)

Running for 2 decades, how many truly know what have always keep this festival alive? How many would know what's the intention of the founder and people who get this started? Probably this shall answer your questions.
"The vision for the festival was that it would be a showcase for international world music as well as for local music." - stated in their 20th Anniversary booklet.
An aim that makes a great impact to Sarawak, Borneo and nevertheless, the world. 


This year line up performers are terrific. Exceptionally good and absolutely no chance to experience their flaws and no rooms for complaint. I do not have a chance to even grumble about it. MARVELLOUS is the closest word that I would describe them yet it is insufficient to do them justice. I even had a hard time picking my top 3, still I am picking up after much consideration and rounds of elimination (as if it's beauty pageant).

3. ABAVUKI (South Africa)
This band have more percussion and brass instruments than any other band. An African Jazz with infectious of afro-beat groove make them stand out from the others. What makes them the highlight and attention of the night? definitely their vitality. 

Their vibe, their energy, their interaction with crowd is just magnificent. Language may be a communication barrier BUT music will never be. You can feel wild and free in their music. Culture of their own is their uniqueness and makes up a big part of their performance. I decided to put on my dancing shoes and get grooving with their beat.

2. O TAHITI E (Tahiti)
These dancing troops had formed for 3 decades since 1986. They are trademark and also the greatest ambassador of Tahiti to the outside world.   

Passionate group of performers who had been performing all over the world to show their love towards mother nature as well as influencing others to do the same. Being close to the nature and preserving being their motive, my guess that's probably the reason they were invited to this festival. They just fit into the theme of Rainforest. 

Impressive body movement. Immaculate performance and talented bunch. Not only their performers, do pay a little extra attention to their costumes which you may amused. 

I always have a thing towards Taiwan ever since I visited them years back. Call me bias but they are REAL GREAT. Instead of inviting a well known figure, they've got a group of people from Taiwan ethnic tribe, which is known as Paiwan tribe to perform on this well known stage. 

Camake Valaule, founder of this troupe and also a teacher to this kids is the one who continue to keep Paiwan tribe alive by doing all documenting that had been passed down through verbal by his ancestors to the younger generation hoping that it doesn't extinct.

I await their slot on stage. No disappointment. Amaze and astonishing ain't enough to express how I felt during their performance. Tears drop unintentionally when I heard them sing. I do not understand their language and yet every single word, every single tune, every single beat, pierce through my heart and gets me emotional.

I'm touched. "Music is such powerful instrument that connects people". I have to agree with that statement.


Thumbs up to Sarawak Tourism that put heads together, brainstorming every possible programme to fit everyone of different age and walk of life. I have a hard time picking which to attend and knowing I won't be able to fit myself to all makes me upset. However, big kudos to their initiative. 

Manage to drop by few workshops, mini session, and selected wellness programme. Of a few festival that I had been to, this is the first that get my day properly sorted. I wouldn't have to worry where to slack before the concert starts. I do not have to concern where to explore and what should I do to kill time. I got all my schedule pluck in and all I need to do is choose my preferences of the day (toughest task of all)


If you are RWMF's virgin like me, this section shall not be missed. Have fun with strangers and who knows you might bump into love of your life. Play like a professional even though you may not be one. That's the whole point out of it. You don't need to be expert to be part of the crowd. You just need to get your hands on, start moving with the beat and dance like no one watching. As simple as that.


Iban lady with her nearly done woven bag.

If you are curious about Sarawak culture, the official venue itself is the best place to explore that gives you a glimpse about Sarawak ethnic tribes. 

Pay extra attention to your surroundings as it is spread all over the village. I manage to catch a few and they are just fascinating.

Spotted our very own rare ethnic, the ringed woman which is the only 3 left in their population. Greatest finding of all that gave me butterflies in stomach. It is disheartening to see this tribe going extinct.

Last but not least, our very own, proud Sape Master, a Living Legend - Mr Mathew Ngau Jau who make sape well known world wide. He's still playing it's very own tribe traditional songs with sape and hoping that younger generations could preserve the tradition.


JAW DROPPING is the only word I could thought of. When rain started to fall, I thought the crowd might back out but NO. That thought of mine prove me absolutely wrong when they doesn't even move an inch away from the stage. The crowd is blending with the nature. Playing with mud have never been so much fun. Soaking wet and being freezing cold have never been much happier than this. It makes it all so normal because of RAINFOREST. What is Rainforest without rain? I seconded and that's much truth. 


That title sounds wrong but it is absolutely TRUE. As a first timer for RWMF, this stage is SPECTACULAR! I have never been to any festival that I have so much fun at. I have never seen any festivals that were so organized and get all their festive goers fully taken care of. Of course there's some minor drawbacks BUT which event doesn't have it?

It is sad to know that the locals, especially Kuching-nites who think that such festival is overrated with over pricing ticket. All this while, I thought they (we), Borneo-ians are proud to be called the organizers of such prestige event and yet conversation with a local proves me totally wrong.

I get to speak to one of them during my flight back to my destination and he told me that, "It's been too long and we think it's normal as it's organized annual. Ticket is over charge and we don't think it's worth the money."

My heart scattered went I heard that. I definitely disagree with him. When expats from all around the world flew in just for this, you should know how lucky and precious such opportunity is open for you to be able to attend such grand festival just behind your backyard. 

Even, me, myself regretted for not being here earlier and have taken this for granted because it's just an hour flight away from where I am. I thought I can always make it next but little did I know the fun is getting better each and every year. That's why RWMF's now have their regulars. People who keep coming back know it is worth every single penny they spent. 

If you have not been to Rainforest World Music Festival, I STRONGLY advise you to go. At least once! It is an eye-opener, a lifetime experience which you won't forget. I bet you will want for more because it is just as addictive as coffee enthusiast that can't live without caffeine . (the closest description I can think of)

Mark your calendar on 13th to 15th July 2018.

Shall see you next year!!  


sAM said…
Glad you enjoyed the drum circle! Did you find the love of your life ? :)
sAM 1Drum
-pEi- said…
@sAM thank your for dropping by.
He missed his flight and could not make it on time this year.
I hope to see him next year!! ;D
Cyril said…
Biasalah... local people want thing cheap. I actually prefer the price to be high like now. At least those people who go to just 'party' and get drunk, stay away.

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