2 July 2011, Sarawak – With the annual Rainforest World Music Festival happening from 8 to 10 July 2011, AsiaWebDirect has special room rates for music fans.
There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a music festival, Then again, there’s nothing quite like the Rainforest World Music Festival. Now well into its second decade, the 14th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival 2011 brings dazzling performances from across the globe as festival-goers flock to the magical land of Borneo for three magical days of daytime music workshops and action-packed nightly shows. The event which has put Sarawak on the world map will be held from July 8-10 at the Sarawak Cultural Village, which is located 35km outside Kuching and set against the magnificent backdrop of the legendary Mount Santubong.
And where better to listen to the resounding rhythms of the rainforest than in a living museum dedicated to the preservation of the indigenous cultures on the island of Borneo? Under the imposing shadow of Mount Santubong, and in the midst of a virgin rainforest at the edge of the South China Sea, the Rainforest World Music Festival is a unique festival that brings together on the same stage renowned world musicians from all continents and indigenous musicians from the interiors of the mythical island of Borneo.
The kinship and spirit among music makers and music lovers alike as they celebrate one another in the cradle of Mother Nature is unique to the green haven where thousand-year old trees reign. An annual communion whose spirit is as timeless as the intricate ecosystem that celebrates diversity of life, it has thrived on a winning formula. Three days beginning at 2pm everyday withthat allow festival-goers to interact with the musicians and experience the music and dance of the different cultures up close. The nights are five-hour concerts that take place on a main stage and smaller “Tree Stage” that carries on past midnight.
The festival then culminates in a huge finale on the final night, where all performers are invited to play onstage as one. Its formula of afternoon informative workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming sessions and mini concerts, followed by evening performances on the main stage has proven to be a hit with audiences, who come from near and far for a fun filled, wholesome festival experience with a country fair atmosphere amidst lush greenery.
Sarawak Cultural Village
A mere 45 minutes away from Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, and a stone’s throw away from the quiet beach resort area of the Santubong Peninsula, the beautiful 17-acre Sarawak Cultural Village presents inhabited replicas of the traditional dwellings found in the interior and coastal areas of Sarawak, thus preserving the architectural traditions of the many different ethnic groups that make up the population of Sarawak. With its central lake, abundant flora, landscaped walkways and replica buildings, it is perhaps one of the most breathtaking, picturesque festival settings in the world.
This culturally rich environment provides the backdrop for the Rainforest World Music Festival. The music workshops and daytime activities are held in the replica longhouses and other traditional houses, informally seated on mats while listening to rhythms from all over the world blend with those from the jungles of Borneo, to the delight of musicians and audiences alike. Nighttime concerts are held on a stage built by the lake, under the open sky and in an informal ambiance, sitting on the grass lawns and dancing to entrancing world beats.
It has been described as Asia’s best kept secret. Now the secret is out. Sarawak is a place for history, mystery, romance and exotic adventures, the land of the fabled white Rajahs, the hornbills and the orangutan. Its rainforest houses the world’s richest and most diverse ecosystem. The ancient virgin forest is also home to 27 ethnic groups with their own distinct language, culture and lifestyle. Their ancient cultures may differ but they have one thing in common, their warmth and hospitality.
Arrive in Sarawak and you step into adventure. You can stroll for a morning in the national park near your hotel, or you can trek through pristine jungle, or spend days exploring the world’s most extensive cave system. If history thrills you, visit caves that were inhabited 40,000 years ago, learn how Indian and Chinese merchants traded for Sarawak’s exotic products centuries before the first Europeans came here. Hear stories of princes and pirates, of headhunters and explorers.
But if that is more excitement than you need, relax on our beaches on the South China Sea, scuba dive off reefs where you will be alone with the sea, or just enjoy a round of golf on one of our excellent courses. Sarawak has something for everyone and all are welcome.
What to expect at the Rainforest World Music Festival
Capacity at the venue for the three nights of the festival is 24,000 and for 2011, a crowd of at least 21,000 is expected, with 14,000 visitors or 70% from outside the state of Sarawak. This augurs well for the local business community and will also contribute to a significant number of visitors’ arrivals into Sarawak as a whole. Also, in line with the global emphasis on greening and sustainable tourism for 2011, the Rainforest World Music Festival will be a greener festival, true to its name.
Rainforest World Music Festival has also been voted for the second consecutive year as one of the Top 25 Best International Festivals by renowned world music magazine, Songlines, elevating its status in the international music scene as a festival which has well and truly put Sarawak on the world tourism map and extending its appeal to shores further from neighbouring countries.
Music is not all about sound; it is an art-form, and with it comes culture, diversity, creativity, talent, and spellbinding performances. As one foreign journalist puts it, the festival is “one of the most extraordinary festivals I have attended in terms of the camaraderie amongst the performers, the lakeside setting under Mount Santubong and the warm welcome of the hosts.”
The exciting and eclectic line-up for this year’s Rainforest World Music Festival has now been finalized, with 22 bands making their debut appearance on the RWMF 2011 stage from across the globe from a host of genres making for a truly unique world music experience.
Amongst the myriad performers are Startijenn (France), the Pacific Curls (New Zealand), Mamak Khadem (Iran), The Blue Canyon Boys (USA), Lisa Haley & The Zydekats (USA), The Shin (Georgia), Iskwew (Canada), Frigg (Finland), Malick Pathe Sow (Senegal), Agungbeat (Sabah, Malaysia), Victor Valdez Trio (Mexico/Australia), Ilgi (Latvia), Leweton Women’s Water Music (Vanuatu), Kamerunga (Australia), Kissmet (India/UK), Paddy Keenan Trio (Ireland), DuOud (Tunisia/Algeria), Joaquin Diaz (Dominican Republic), Kamafei (Italy), Kenge Kenge (Kenya), Warsaw Village Band (Poland) and Sarawakian very own Masters of the Sape’.
Besides good music and great company, a cultural bazaar with over 60 stalls awaits, featuring a wide variety of local, fusion and international food and beverages as well as stalls selling festival memorabilia, performers CDs and collectibles at the venue. This year, a smorgasbord of delectable delights await visitors at the Food and Village Mart set against the talismanic Orang Ule and Iban longhouses which encircle the Sarawak Cultural Village for the whole duration of the festival. Each stall will be equipped with amenities such as table-seating, lighting, fans and electrical power.
The Food Mart features vendors selling a plethora of food and beverages from Western cuisine, Thai dishes and authentic Japanese food like sushi and sashimi to local cuisine highlights such as Sarawak Laksa, Kolo Mee, Manok Pansoh, Midin (wild fern) and chicken barbeque to name but a few.
The Village Mart, on the other hand is for those selling handicraft, trinkets from the jungle, textiles, jewellery and other products and services. Artists and craftsmen from around the world will also demonstrate arts like artificial henna tattoo, airbrush tattoo, local fabric arts and paintings where festival goers can participate in or have a tattoo done as fitting memorabilia of the festival.
The Rainforest World Music Festival is a not-to-be-missed occasion, guaranteeing a smashing time in the heart of the Borneo Jungle. This is where people, regardless of their ethnicity, cultural backgrounds and music interests come together to have the time of their lives. This jam-packed event which takes up three days of musical fun features activities like informative workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming sessions and mini concerts.
How to Get Tickets
- Web: ticketcharge.com.my
- Tel: TicketCharge Hotline: +60392228811
- TicketCharge outlets at Chambers Music, Telventure Sdn Bhd, Rock Cornet in Klang Valley or at Speedy Outlets throughout Malaysia.
- Through Sarawak Tourism Board’s Visitors Information Centres in Kuching (+6082410944), Sibu (+6084434980) and Miri (+6085434180).
For more information about Rainforest World Music Festival 2011, clickfor the official site.
Check out these hotel rooms.
Sarawak – Kuching
Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites Kuching (5-star)
Deal: Located within the historic and cultural centre of old Kuching, this award-winning hotel is a walk away from attractions such as the Sarawak Museum, the Kuching Waterfront, India Street and the Main Bazaar. Between 8-9 July, Deluxe Rooms go from RM363 (approx SG$148) a night, including breakfast. Available to book now for stays till 22 December.
Pullman Kuching (5-star)
Deal: Situated on top of the hill at Jalan Mathies, this hotel offers great views of the city and Sarawak River and is close to the city’s commercial centre. Superior Rooms go from RM350 (approx SG$143) a night, including breakfast and 1 hour free internet. Available to book now and stay till 22 December.
Four Points By Sheraton Kuching (4-star)
Deal: Located near shopping hubs and close to the airport, this hotel is 100% smoke free. The Suite Room Promo on Junior Suites goes from RM281 (approx SG$115) a night, including breakfast and internet. Available to book now and stay till 31 December.
Grand Margherita Hotel (3-star)
Deal: Located in the heart of the city by the river, this hotel commands great views of Sarawak River and colourful local villages. Superior Rooms with views of the city or river go from RM251 (approx SG$103) a night, including breakfast and internet. 2 children under 12 stay with parents for free if sharing existing bedding. Available to book now for stays till 22 December.
The LimeTree Hotel Kuching (3-star)
Deal: This hotel in the city centre is minutes away from Chinatown and has lovely views of the river. The Hot Deal on Executive Suites goes from just RM215 (approx SG$88) a night, including breakfast and airport transfer. Available to book now and stay till 30 September.
Sarawak – Santubong
Damai Puri Resort & Spa (5-star)
Deal: Situated at the foot of Mount Santubong, this resort features a secluded stretch of beach, free-form swimming pools and many recreational activities. Between 8-9 July, Deluxe Seaview Rooms with private balconies go from RM720 (approx SG$294) a night, including breakfast for 2. Available to book now for stays till 22 December.
All deals are priced per room, per night including taxes and were correct on the date that they were sent, however due to the nature of our site rates and availability can change dynamically as determined by the hotel and demand.
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