Rainforest World Music Festival 2017 : At A Glance on The Experiences

The Program Schedules Dilemma
Truth to be told, this year program schedules are pretty packed. Packed with action to be exact! The girls and I had hard time to choose and decide which session to go to as all of it are interesting. One minute we decided to go together, few minutes later we decided to split and venture the experience alone then few minutes later we disagreed on going separately. We were indecisive much!

the Sarawak Bloggers team with Dansley – pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

Eventually, we follow our instincts. We began our exploration on the scheduled program at 11am (throughout the 3 days music festival) soon after press conference session with the music festival performers ends. The moment we stepped into the festival venue, we either stay in a group to attend any of the session that we all shared the same interest or we would go on our own way then meet up somewhere where we can chill.


Loved it how the program schedules are being meticulously designed and smartly compressed from an A3 size of paper into a handy pamphlet. Good job, Sarawak Tourism Board.

By the way, let me introduce to you the talented person behind the 20th Rainforest World Music Festival artwork. Very timid person yet when approached he’s a friendly person. Dansley is his name but fondly known as NgangNgangNgang. 😉

Wellness Program
The wellness program session introduced for the first time in conjunction of its 20th anniversary. It kick start the day at 11am until 6.30pm throughout the 3 days of music fest. The wellness activities were held at designated venues in the cultural village and the festival goer can join and locate the respective wellness activity in the handy pamphlet. The wellness program includes Hatha Yoga, Budokon Yoga, Taichi, Homa Therapy, Silat, Vipassana Meditation, Zumba, Body Combat and Capoeira Demo (just to name a few).

pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

The Performances
To be honest, the music festival performances were super awesome. In conjunction of its 20th anniversary, there were more performer line up and the show started as early as 2pm. These early performances were held at the Theatre Stage (an air-conditioned hall) with an hour break in between before the following group performed. In a day, there will be 3 performances held at the Theater Stage.

As the sun start to set, the much awaited night performances starts at 7.30pm. The night performances are held at the Jungle Stage and the Tree Stage with a total of 5 group performances throughout the night.

pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
Ilu Leto – pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
The Crowd – pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
The Finale – pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

Workshop/ Mini Sessions
This is my top favorite session of all. Reason being is you’ll get an inter-active session with the performers at the same time, you’ll get to learn the music history, the musical instruments and best of all is either you’ll get to dance or played the musical instruments with the festival performers.

pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

In a day, there will be 9 mini sessions/workshops held at Dewan Lagenda, Iban Longhouse and Bidayuh Longhouse with an hour of break in between. These workshop run at the same time as the performances held at the Theater Stage (told you it was packed, didn’t I?). So, we sometimes would rushed to the next session soon after a session ends. It was fun, really!

Drum Circles
After one gets to enjoyed the performances held at the Theater Stage or attended one of the organized workshops, you can just loosen up and go crazy during the drum circles. No drumming experience is required and you’ll just follow the instructions from the drum circles leader on the beats. No one would cares if your drum beatings goes off beat. Everybody just wanna have fun, seriously!

pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
disability is not an issue – pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

Cultural Snippets by Sarawak Museum
To me, Cultural Snippets is my 2nd top favorite session. Anything about Sarawak cultures and heritage, I somehow drawn to it. Findings and research on Sarawak diverse heritages were presented; from the history of Kayan tattoos and classic song, Bidayuh Bamboo Zither, The Sarawak Malay Singing Drums, The Megaliths of Bario, the story behind pua kumbu design for the trophy heads and many more. The snippets starts from 11am until 1pm with half an hour slot duration and held at the Chinese Farm House.

Vernon Kedit – pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
attentive audience – pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

I wish I can attend all of the slots but due to the crazy packed program schedules, I then decided to attend one of the slot on the last day and it was worth it! Will walk you through it under ‘My Favorite Findings’ post (coming soon).

Pustaka Bookaroo Children Workshops
The Rainforest World Music Festival is also a family friendly festival. Like the saying goes ‘there’s everything for everyone’. Festival goers with family especially with children can get their children involved with the series of activities organized here. The activities start at 1pm until 3pm and held at the Malay House.

pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
pic credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

TelCo Reception
Sacofa is the state leading telecommunication infrastructure provider. During the 3 days festival, the media team were given free internet services by Sacofa. At first, I thought it would come handy as the media team, we do highly depend on the internet services to tweet, to blog and to upload images on-the-go kind of thing but it was rather disappointing. There were blind spots in the cultural village hence intermittent internet coverage. I rather offer such services only when the blind spots are been identified and built few telecommunication tower within the vicinity of the cultural village to ensure high speed connectivity in par with their corporate mission. With that done, they can even consider of offering the services to the festival goer with reasonable rates. I bet it would be a hit as the telco transmission in the cultural village are already instable, probably due to the majestic Mount Santubong blocking the transmission smoothly. Just saying.

So, there you go, a little bit of this and that on my 20th Rainforest World Music Festival. The girls and I had so much fun; discovering each other better and also we pondered on the future direction of the Rainforest World Music Festival from a festival goer perspective. There’s a lot more to offer and there’s a lot more to sacrifice as well.

On the other hand, I saved the best for last. So, stay tuned for my last blog post on the 20th Rainforest World Music Festival entitled ‘My Favorite Findings’.

Happy Monday everyone. 😉

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