Unexpectedly, I went to the 14th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival. As I wanted to diversify the bloggers going to this awesome festival, I decided not to go this year. However, due to some very positive and unexpected circumstances, I went for two days. One was the preview, and the other was on the second day of the concert.
The Preview Concert
To be precise, the preview concert always made me very geared up to be at the RWMF. It’s the sort of thing which makes you want to scream “Enough already, lets get the show started!!“.
Heineken was kind enough to provide everyone with free beer, while those from the media, as well as performers and VIPs started to dance to the awesome music played by both Masters of Sape and Victor Valdez.
There was also a huge crowd outside the preview concert area, and I felt it was a pity that such an awesome concert could not be shared with everyone. However, the whole area was abuzz in festivities as everyone, including our dear Dato’ Rashid Khan danced or at least tapped their feet to the beat.
The 2nd Day of the RWMF
Due to work commitments, I had to skip the 1st day of the RWMF. I was at SMK Paku, Bau playing scrabble, but that’s an entirely whole different blog post.
I arrived early at One Santubong Resort to attend the press conference for the second day of the RWMF. Met with a couple of familiar faces, had wonderful sharings and gained new exciting friends too. Sam of The New Strait Times interviewed me after the press conference, and I had a wonderful chat with Jennifer Lau of RTM. Also managed to chat with Agongbeat’s lead singer Dayang, and several others from different media. (Really couldn’t remember).
The press conference some how swayed to be a little ‘Bersih’ linked when journalist asked about what was happening over the ocean. Well, I tought the question made the session a little serious, and so up came my hand and a silly question which went “Since it’s the Rainforest World Music Festival, how many of you want it to rain?“. My question made everyone burst into laughter, but they then seriously noted that they would prefer a dry festival due to the instrument preparation. Questions after that became less formal and more interesting as Mathew Ngau of Masters of Sape told everyone that the folks belief is that girls will enjoy longer breast if they played the sape. I know, it’s a blow to the plastic surgery industry =p
After getting my RWMF security pass, I left the media center to head to the Sarawak Cultural Village. The festivities could be felt as droves of tourist and visitors were seen moving in the venue. I decided to head on to Dewan Lagenda to enjoy the ‘Flying Fingers’ workshop. The hall was packed, and it didn’t take long before everyone started tapping their feet to the music.
Next up, was the Leweton Women’s Water Music at the SCV Lakeside. It was something I’ve never seen, and so, I went to check it out. These ladies were awesome! They splashed to the beat, and captivated almost everyone watching. It was indeed a very unique thing to see. Come on, splashing water everyone can do.. but making music out of it? Awesome!!
Had a quick drink at Heinekabana courtesy of Heineken, before moving on to the theater to cool off. Another intention of mine was to check out the ‘Well framed’ workshop featuring Chris Murphy (Paddy Keenan Trio), Mamak Khadem (Mamak Khadem), Maciej Szajkowski (Warsaw Village Band), Antonio Melegari (Kamafei), Debbie Cynthia Houle (Iskwew), and Sandy Scofield (Iskwew). This workshop was better then the 1st I attended as Christ Murphy lead everyone to a memorable and elusive jam. In fact, the crowd was so pleased, they shouted for more!! Well, theperformers complied, and the theater was jamming with beautiful music again.
The best workshop I attended for the day however has got to the the ‘The Rhythm Method’ which was at Dewan Lagenda. The hall, already jammed packed was full of life when the likes of Raul Villa (Joaquin Diaz), Max Singh (Kissmet), Octave Agbekpenou (Malick Pathe Sow), Piotr Glinski (Warsaw Village Band), Gloria G. Koro (Agungbeat), Shim Kah Yee (Agungbeat), Kong Niann Tsyr (Agungbeat) and Soo Pui Ching (Agungbeat) started their jam. Music to drums never dissapoints they say, and this certainly didn’t! The hall was shaking with dancing feet, and when Max Singh pulled a couple of the audience to the stage, the dance and music intensified. Ahh… I really can’t express how it was, as ‘awesome’ would still be an insult towards how amazing the whole workshop was.
With my battery running low due to constant tweet updates, I headed to Heinekabana with Norman, Nathan, Annie, Tasya and Asif to enjoy some beer and relax. Sitting by the lake side enjoying a good draft of Heineken felt so fulfilling with a huge urge to stay for the night concert. However, with no juice on my phone, and my feet and body feeling a little tired, I decided to call it a day and head on back.
Decided to skip Sunday too as I wasn’t feeling well, but hey… NEXT YEAR, I’ll be back because there ain’t no thing like the RAINFOREST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL!!
Last but not least, I’d love to thank the Sarawak Tourism Board for having such an amazing event, and of course Heineken for sponsoring us simply the best beer ever!