The title says everything. I was indeed at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2009, code name Rain-fest for short. It is an annual event organized by the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), and it is completely, if not hugely bragged about by many past goers. This year, I had the advantage to go, and my verdict: FANTASTIC!! (although, I have a few reservations)
Mike, Amiey and I car-pooled, while Fahriee had some errands and decided to drive solo. “Being soOoo early“, as Mike described it, we managed to get ourselves 1st class parking also… Fahriee was unfortunate, having to park his car somewhere further up. But well, we all gathered at the SCV Restaurant for the BLOGGERS@RWMF’09. The first gathering of its kind ever held.
The gathering was attended by Alus, Carol, Faizal, and Melbie of Sabah, Eileen came in from Miri, and Fahriee, Mike, Keeman, Amiey and I were representatives from Kuching. Looi Chin was our independent observer. I know, it wasn’t such a huge gathering, but well… it’s a start.and I felt it was great. After all, the smaller, the closer we got to know each other.
Since I was the organizer of the meet, I pulled in Keeman to prepare the games, and Amiey was in-charge of gifts. Those whom got the gifts, hehehe.. you know what you got.. hahaha… Nice kan?? Basically, as I did mention the other day, we all introduced ourselves, and then, came the quizes. I hope they are no complaints coz the whole thing was rather simple, in-formal and well… short noticed. Mr Moslem whom is in-charged of the SCV Restaurant was kind enough to allow us to use his restaurant for the gathering, so a huge thanks goes to him. My personal opinion was the bloggers@RWMF’09 was a success despite the short comings. I did have fun, and I got to know new friends. SO, anyone for bloggers@RWMF’10??
Owh, Alus suggested t-shirts.. well, I designed the shirt but not sure who will be interested coz the RWMF is over. Also shy to show my design =P Anyway, thanks guys for coming!
THE RAIN-FEST 2009
I think, I was blessed this year. Honest. It’s either that, or STB must have the best bomoh‘s (Sherman) in town coz the rain stayed away during the biggest day of the Rain-fest, which would be that Saturday, 11th July.
Being total virgins of the Rain-fest, Amiey and I quickly appointed Mike to be our personal tour guide. After all, he was very, very familiar with the tourism industry, so he must know a thing or two on giving a tour =D Well, we were right, coz Mike acted as an excellent tour guide, telling us about the 8 green cans he would need that night, and what goes on during the rain-fest. We even enjoyed the Rainforest World Crafts Bazaar which highlights crafts from South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Poland, Iran and Afghanistan.
When that was done, we went on to the SCV Restaurant for the Bloggers@RWMF’09, and later headed on to one of the workshops (Mike wanted to go to the Iban Longhouse, so we ikut ‘tour guide’ la). This is the part where we were suppose to learn a thing or two about the performers, and also get to know new things on music, but the place was too darn packed, and I could hardly figure out what the performers were trying to say. It’s one thing to put up with the accent (and sometimes limited English) the performers had, but I guess the major culprit would be the sound system which was not loud enough, despite the huge crowd.
Anyway, I tried my best to catch whatever I could on the workshop, and later we made our way out of the long house to go and see Norman at Lim Kok Wing’s tattoo booth. We were all thinking, “H1N1 scares people, so when the 2nd workshop starts, we’d have a place…“.. but NAahhh!!! WRONG!! 2nd workshop was a hit! The long house was full, and we had no place to sit and so.. after a short deliberation, we all suggested that we should get a tattoo. Well, although it was an airbrush tattoo… it still is a tattoo, right?? =P We really.. REALLY.. extremely wanted to attend the 3rd workshop!! BUT, get tattoo first, workshop later =P
It was almost 4pm, and Fahriee was the only one left to be tattooed. After Amiey, it should be him… but then.. some fat ‘friend‘ of Fahriee simply sat on the chair, and asked the tattoo guy to do her’s first. I’m sure Mike was going “What the…“, but I guess he calmed down when he saw some Korean girl’s a meter away.. hahhaa… Since Fahriee’s ‘friend’ cut line, so we missed the 3rd workshop. Disappointed, Yes.. there’s always next year.
The next hour was filled with us moving up and down the village, aimlessly. When we got tired of that, we decided that it was camp time. Mike and Fahriee booked a perfect spot for us to watch the concert, but we ended under-utilizing it. Thankfully, Keeman and Looi Chin found it to their liking and stayed there for a good portion of the Rain-fest concert.
Despite the muddy field, it was a memorable day. Christian and Ame joined us for the camp, and we found all six of us grooving to the foreign music on stage. The atmosphere was fantastic, and despite some drunk men (and women), the situation was under control. My favorite band wound be the last one, which is known by the name Dazkarieh. I don’t know whatever they were singing about, but their music is just fantastic! If there is a band I’d really appreciate that night, it was them, music wise. Other performers were also great, but The last few were more memorable.
Despite the whole event being nothing short of fantastic, I think STB could improve on certain things. One must be the mud at the main stage. It was dangerous jumping and dancing as it was very very slippery. Putting pebbles would remove the natural field, but I think STB could ask SCV to make proper underground drainage so that the mud could dry up faster. Second would be bathrooms. At some point, water was not available in the washrooms. Long queues were observed to washrooms made up for women. I say, increase the number of washrooms, and ensure continuous water supply. Third, provide a better place for the workshops. I felt the performers conducting the workshop should be stationed at the end of the workshop so that visitors could sit down and watch them face to face, instead of looking at them from the side, and only a handful looking at them from the front. The sound syetem should also be improved to avoid people going “Uhh??“.
Anyway, I think the whole event was close to perfect, and I think my RM90 was worth every cent. I thank STB for providing special passes for the event, and SCV restaurant for allowing us to use their restaurant as a meeting point. Other than that, it was a fantactic and memorable day, and I bet.. I’ll be there again next year!
To Mike.. try again next year… Arigato…. hehehe