Rainforest World Music Festival 2017 : From A Noob Media Rep Outlook
A Brief Early History
The last time I get involved in the Rainforest World Music Festival was 7 years ago. Back then, I was associated with a security organization that provides safety services to the festival goers. At first, I signed up as a volunteer during my 1st year of involvement. I then eventually got myself into coordinating the security team duty roster for 3 consecutive years. The task may seem to be simple and easy but it was stressful yet rewarding. Stressful as you’ll get cursed or yelled at on the face by festival goers for confiscating prohibited items to the festival venue. Not to mentioned getting sunburnt for standing 8 hours under the hot sun and soak wet under the pouring rain at the festival venue main entrance and patrolling among sweaty or wet crowd during raining days to do spot check on ‘illegal’ festival goers. Yes, there are some caught for being free rider. But by the end the day, it was a rewarding task as you’ll get good pay and get to chill and enjoy the music festival during your off duty shift.
I stop getting involved when I signed up as a student in year 2010. Ever since then, I just can’t find any slot or reason to skip my class just to attend the music festival as the festival dates would fall either during my midterm exam or on assignments due date.
However, I’ve hit the jackpot this year!
The 20th Rainforest World Music Festival dates were just perfect for yours truly as the 3 days festivals fall during a semester break. Soon after covering the 12th Borneo Jazz Festival, I applied for Media Accreditation under the wing of Sarawak Bloggers. Therefore this is my first coverage on Rainforest World Music Festival from the media team perspective.
Santubong Trip & The Room
When you signed up as part of the media, you’ll need to attend few pre-festival activities that has been arranged by the organizer, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB). On July 12th, I flew to Kuching via MAS and was welcomed by STB’s representative at the airport. As I was alone, STB has arranged my transportation to Santubong via Grab. If there’s a big group arriving, STB will provide buses for airport pick up to the festival official accommodation. This year, Grab was the official appointed transport provider; airport pick up and airport transfer services were provided free to the media team and the performers. Perks! Perks! Perks! 😉
Damai Beach Resort was the festival official accommodation and rooms are provided to official media representatives. By the way, the Miri based bloggers was given a room after we submitted our request to STB. I was the first one to check in to the room among the 3 of us. Our room (Seaview Deluxe-Exterior) were located at a hilltop and it came with a panoramic view facing the South China Sea, surrounded by the forest and Mount Santubong served as the view background. It was breath taking! Perks! Perks! Perks! 😉
As I arrived to the resort during noon time, I regretted it for not exploring the Cat City for food hunting. However, that negative feelings quickly faded away after knowing lunch was provided at the resort café. Perks! Perks! Perks! 😉
Thank you STB for making my tummy happy and while enjoying the lunch, Alyssa joined me soon after. She arrived Kuching few days earlier for her climbing adventures in Kuching. On the other hand, Pei joined us at the hotel nearly midnight as she flew out via last flight from Miri.
The Media Centre
In my term, this place is like a control room cum hang out place. This is the place where the official media representatives reports for duty and it is also where any briefing/updates are being held; press conferences, interview sessions, city tour arrangements, pick up/drop off transportation arrangements, name tag collections, media kit collections, photographer pass collections, wrist tag collections, meal coupons collections, changes on schedules, official photos storage, laptops with wifi services provided and most importantly, refreshments are made available here too. This year, Nescafe Gold gets to sponsor its Nescafe Gold-Dark Latte & Creamy Latte instant premium coffee to the media team. Perks! Perks! Perks! 😉
Pre-Rainforest World Music Festival Activities for Media
Rainforest World Music Festival Previews
To hype up the music festival, series of previews has been arranged and this year, Culture Club was the appointed official club. Lan E Tuyang kick start the preview here on July the 10th, followed by At Adau, Romengo and O Tahiti E respectively on July 11th and 12th.
Festival Briefing for Media
The media will be briefed on the do’s and the don’ts as some of the media group member might be new to the music festival and also to the festival venue. This briefing usually held a day prior to the commencement of the event.
For this year record, there were approximately 200 media representatives from both international and local printed and online media organization.
Greening Activity for Media & Festival Performers
In support of STB greening effort, they worked together with the Sarawak Forest Department by having mangrove tree planting ceremony held at Kuching Wetlands National Park. The tree planting is believe not only to benefit the national park in the long run but also to incorporate STB greening activities such as allocating strategic location for collecting wet and dry waste at the festival venue of which will be compost into biodegradable wastes. STB even recycle and upcycle by transforming old promotional material from last year festival into useful tote bag.
Knowing the importance of the ecosystem conservation, I played my role by planted a loop-root mangrove out of 200 Rhizophora mucronata species. Oh boy I felt so damn proud. I’ve done my part. One is better than nothing, right?
It took approximately 40 mins boat ride from the jetty to reach the national park. The sound of the outboard engine reminisced me of my childhood boat ride with my maternal grandfather. Herons were seen flying by the river bank, hopping from a tree to another, the smells of the ocean water mixed with the river water is something indescribable to me but it was a pleasant scene. Such serenity is an awe-spiring throughout the boat ride.
Oh ya, while waiting for our boat ride to the national park, we were literally greeted by two medium size crocodiles.
Get Together Dinner
The get together dinner was hosted by Sarawak Tourism Board and held at Grand Margherita Hotel for the festival performers, media group, volunteers and also the security team. We were shuttled all the way from Santubong to the city where the dinner was held. Everybody were having fun by enjoying the abundance of food, cheering all night long with free flow of beer and of course building rapport by making new friends or rekindle on any lost relationship/friendship.
Thank you STB. The food were great. The hospitality were awesome. Perks! Perks! Perks! 😉
Well folks, that’s about it on the pre-rainforest world music festival activities. Sound interesting, right?
The next blog post will not be all about bed of roses so just stay tuned for it. 🙂