Monday, June 12, 2006

Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak

The Rainforest World Music Festival has just won the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) gold award 2006 in the Heritage and Culture category. PATA, the leading US-based travel industry, will be officially presenting 31 gold awards at the 55th annual conference in Pattaya, Thailand from 23rd – 27th April this year. And the festival comes to Kuching, Sarawak again from July 7th – 9th this year. Reputed for its very eclectic mix of bands each year, the festival will bring another seventeen bands to its two stages. The bands come from as many different corners of the globe and just as many different roots, folk and fusion sounds – all of them having a strong personalized ethnic identity that the festival hunts for each year. This year, there will be bands from South America, Korea, France, Mali, Austria, Canada, Turkey, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar , as well as Malaysian bands from Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak, who has been the host and creator of the festival since 1998. The festival stands as one of the success stories of Sarawak. It has attracted audience from near and far, the old and young - every year, the numbers have been growing. It is endorsed by the Sarawak Tourism Board and supported by the Ministry of Tourism. Malaysia Airlines has also shown massive support for all the years of the festival by being Official Airlines as almost a hundred musicians are flown in each year. fROOTS, the global world music magazine that is based in the UK, is also, for the second year running, supporting the festival as Media Sponsor. The 3-day festival that goes from a Friday to a Sunday, has two components – workshops or mini-shows during the afternoons and evening shows under the stars in a lush rainforest atmosphere. Music expected at the festival will range from the very spiritual, very traditional roots, to the more world beat bands. The wealth of traditional and exotic instruments being portrayed will also be one of the attractions of the festival. All the daytime and nighttime activities will take place at the Sarawak Cultural Village in the Damai Peninsular, about 45 minutes drive out of Kuching. One day tickets are available at RM60 each. Children aged between 3 – 12 can get a one day ticket for RM30. Tickets will be available at all Visitor Information Centres in Kuching, Miri and Sibu. Check the RWMF website for more information for packages, hotel bookings, the bands, and more. This will be a complete atmospheric and musical experience. It will also be a culinary one as a wide variety of food and drinks will also be available at the festival grounds. Look out for RWMF merchandise as well as CDs that the bands will bring in. The countdown has begun for yet another colourful and hopefully, memorable, Rainforest World Music Festival.

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