‘20 cents’ general point of view
Once again, Miri city resonated with the sound of music. In the 2nd Asia Music Festival, it featured an electric mix of live music from all over Asia on stage. It is indeed an honor to cover the event for the 2nd time under the wing of Sarawak Bloggers. All this made possible because of the organizer confident and support from Sarawak Tourism Board especially to the ‘MAN’ who’s taking care of the media group, Mr. Gustino and his team mate, Hishammudin and Catherina. Thank you, terima kasih, Xiexie, Merci and Arigato.
One of the festival objectives is to attract Asian expatriate community working at neighboring Brunei, local Bruneian themselves, neighbors’ from Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia as well those from Singapore, Indonesia and other region. Apart from that, it is also hope that the festival can boost up number of tourist in the month of October which is seen as the low peak season in the northern region of Sarawak. Obviously, this is a brilliant effort made by the state government. Kudos!
For the record, the music festival does not only offer a carnival atmosphere but also offer fringe event alongside it. Variety of Asian food, handicraft, festival memorabilia and the one that attracted lotsa attentions was the tattoo booth. This is where tattoo enthusiasts would get their ‘tattoo fix’ or some even get themselves a brand new tattoo. Some of the performers even get theirs done during the two days event.
This year, the organizer, Sarawak Tourism Board invited DrumCall (Sarawak), Pisco (Taiwan), Masia One (Singapore), Pancake 80 (Philippines), Salammusik (Malaysia), Misaluvi & Motion Family (Miri), SoulMate (India), Restrospect (Thailand), Mad August (Malaysia) and Ras Muhammad (Indonesia). Prior to watching the performer live performance, I did my own research by studying the group and their music genre hence high expectation was put on the line-up.
From a glance of the performer line-up, I kinda expected a better performances and bigger crowd turn out than last year. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to my level of expectation. Much smaller crowd turns out during the 1st day but it gradually has more turn out during the 2nd day (but still less crowd compared to last year crowd). I was expecting more hip hop and rapping numbers from Masia One but only to my disappointment, she presented more reggae beats instead. Then it escalate to Salammusik performances where again, get to hear reggae beats. Me no likey coz I had too much of it. I get bored easily when presented same/similar thing twice. However, the crowd loves it to the bits. To my surprise, seems that Mirian love reggae beats.
Same goes with the 2nd day performances. Too much of head banging (like I said, too much of it, I’ll get bored easily). By putting Restrospect and Mad August (both group plays rock genre) performance one after another with similar music genre, I don’t see it maintain the momentum going but kinda turn it off a little especially to ‘aunty and uncle’ group like me however it does work just fine for the youngster group whom some of them are in alcohol overdose mode, dancing and head banging all night in front of the stage. Somehow, it does change my view on thrash cum metal cum hard rock numbers performed by Restrospect upon listening to their live performances; it is such an eye opener and life changing for me.
Indeed, music is a universal language where it unite all walks of life regardless the languages used be it Chinese, Malay, Indonesia, English or Thai, everybody are enjoying it. It was a harmony and peaceful music festival. I hope it remains that way for as long as it takes.
Seeing and being in a live performances gives a totally blown away experience than watching live performances in tv.
This year also, DJ gig was featured for the 1st time. Once crowned as ‘Malaysia DJ Champion’ for 3 consecutive years, DJ RoundHead gets to spin his array of music’s during break between each band of both nights. I did a random survey among the crowd and asked their thoughts on the DJ gig. All of them liked the idea of the DJ gig as it does keep the party mood going till the end of the show. Good job there, Nicky.
The venue & food
The musical corridor is what it is known and this is where the main stage located. It is practically a huge floating platform with a swimming pool on it. The main stage, the food stalls and the fringe booth are located on it. With the greeneries of the golf course and forest looming in the horizon, it is indeed an enchanting venue for music cum carnival festival. Array of food cuisine from all over Asian countries are on sale, same goes with soft drinks and alcohol which obviously monopolized by the hotel itself (except for Carlsberg kiosk as it is one of the main sponsor).
It is understood that be it drink or food are at its ridiculously high price in any music festival but one thing that I dislike the most is the coupon system implemented by the hotel. Reason being is when you can’t spent the entire coupon (a booklet of coupon is at a value of RM10), you either just threw it away or spent it on something that you don’t need for the sake of spending the balance (maybe that’s the whole strategy, yes?). Perhaps the hotel should consider of using cash transaction in next year music festival (convenient to the public) and work on a customized cash flow mechanism for internal auditing, yes?
Out of curiosity though, why is it when purchasing alcohol from the bar, the coupon system doesn’t apply?
Behind the Scene: The Sarawak Bloggers team
Being the coordinator for the team, one of the challenges is to recruit good Miri based bloggers. My definition of good blogger is as in committed, responsible and flexible in their roles. I find it bit difficult to identify active and good Mirian bloggers and that made me approached the same team whom had covered Borneo Jazz Festival event on last May. This year, new member joined the team whom is fondly known as Miss Alvy. She’s the youngest team member by far.
Nobody owns a blog if they do not have any passion and enthusiasm in blogging hence when it comes to covering an event like this, it is treated as a serious matter. For Asia Music Festival, it took me nearly a month shortlisting potential blogger candidate albeit the self-paid expenses on phone bills and electricity bills on calling them up, email correspondences, meet up sessions, purchasing new gadget/accessories and not to mention transportation and food expenses incurred along the way. All of these made possible under the name of VOLUNTEERISM and PASSION.
Shame on those that think can simply engage blogger to cover their event without paying any dime. Blogger had bills to pay too, you know. By the way, the collaboration between Sarawak Bloggers and Sarawak Tourism Board is based on good will.
I am lucky to have such a sporting, supportive and understanding blogger team who shared the same belief and objective where volunteering to us means putting the experience not only helping someone or an organization, the chances to create network, it is also a platform to develop communication and public relation skills. No doubt, you have to sacrifice your time even came out exhausted to the bones but you do had a great time.
Mind you, we the bloggers do have our own due date posting our post on any covered event. As a matter of fact, these post of mine, kinda late post (due to work commitment-lame excuses I know) but due to responsibility and commitment hence the post that you’re reading now.
Having that said, if you are one of my loyal readers, you would notice this post is slightly different than my norm of event posting. That simply because you can experience the journey from the bloggers team and below is their sharing for your reading pleasures.
Sarawak Tourism Board really takes good care of the media group which consists of international and local music journalist, magazines, radio and tv station. Media centre is the place where the media group get together not only for their daily updates from the organizer, press conferences with the performers, archive of event photos taken by appointed official photographer, daily wrist tag collection not to mention stuffing us with food and drinks, it is also the place where one can update their blog, news, interview instantly with the provided computers and internet connection services. It couldn’t get any better than this. The media group is indeed well pampered.
It is the event organizer, Sarawak Tourism Board’s hope to set the event to become another iconic music festival for Sarawak after the success of Rainforest World Music Festival. For that, I like to quote Sarawak Tourism Board CEO, Dato’ Rashid Khan’s remarks during one of the press conference of which I twitted that goes; “Start prudently and over the years, it will build up”.
I couldn’t agree more to that, sir. I am very sure over the years to come, Asia Music Festival will indeed build up its name and to achieve that, it requires everybody contribution and support. That is you and me.