Countdown to world music festival – in a Malaysian rainforest!

 The Kuching (Malaysia) Rainforest World Music Festival (#RWMF) is all set to take centre stage (June 28-30) at the Sarawak Cultural Village said Datuk Amar Abang Zohari Tun Abang Haji Openg – Minister of Housing & Minister of Tourism, last week.

Yet again this year the Festival was voted as the top 25 best International Festivals by the renowned world music magazine, Songlines, in UK. This award and recognition has elevated its status in the international music scene as a festival and has put Sarawak, Malaysia on the world tourism map.

This year will be another exciting year and the organizer has promised the best line-up yet!

On stage will be 21 bands (13 international and 8 Malaysian) playing a diverse range of world music genres. The festival will continue its unique formula of having the afternoon informative musical workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming session and mini concerts held in the ethnic houses within the village. This session precedes the evening performances on two main stages outdoor with the jungle ambience.

The festival will also showcase more of Sarawak’s local talent in line with feedback received from festival-goers in previous festivals.  Among the traditional music from Sarawak will be the rare art of the nose flute along with Malaysian folk music interwoven with Chinese traditional instruments.

The exciting and eclectic line-up for this year’s RWMF has now been finalised and  the organisers have confirmed performers from Indonesia (Rafly Wa Saja), Iran (Mohsen Sharifian & The Lian Band), Australia (Nunukul Yuggera), Denmark (Habadekuk), South Africa (Dizu Plaatzies & The Ibuyambo Ensemble), Ukraine (Spiritual Seasons), USA (Pine Leaf Boys), France (Chet Nuneta), Columbia (Rey Vallenato Beto Jamaica), Croatia (Kries), Ireland (Kila), Austria (Alp Bora) and Korea (Palsandae). They will be joined by Sarawak and Malaysian bands like Madeeh (Bidayuh traditional root), Juk Wan Emang (nose flute of Kayan), Native Chanting (oral blessings from the various indigenous tribes of Borneo), Maya Green (Sape), Rhythm in Bronze (Gong and Gamelan), Lan E Tuyang (Sape and Orang Ulu dance), Sarawak Drums (percussion instruments of Sarawak) and Shangyin Chinese Chamber Music Ensemble (Chinese traditional interwoven with Sarawak flavour).

This promises to be a not-to-be-missed occasion and organisers hope to attract a crowd of 23,000 for the 3 nights – about 80% are expected to be from outside Sarawak, and that includes me!

Daily tickets, or a 3-day pass are available on line at

For more details:

For more about the area see the Sarawak Tourism Board web pages

RWMF bus DSC_0115-2x

Minister of Tourism Sarawak, Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Openg (3rd from left) and STB CEO, Dato’ Rashid Khan (2nd from right) looking at the bus advertisement on Kuching city public-link bus after the press conference.

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