“I will be out of office and I am travelling to Borneo to witness the Rainforest World Music Festival”, I wrote and sent the email before I took the flight to Kuching, Sarawak. Everyone’s always taken aback when you tell them you are going to Borneo. It’s a super special place and everyone needs to experience it.
The Rainforest World Music Festival is a beautiful three-day event, set at the Sarawak Cultural Village near Kuching. I was fortunate to be a part of this crazy festival. Three days of wonderful music, beautiful people, and experiencing a culture all of us are new to in the mystical island of Borneo. So here are some reasons why you absolutely must add this to your Bucket List.
1Hidden talent from the world
The performers at the Rainforest world music festival are international and varied. They are carefully chosen to complement each other. There’s everything from traditional Sarawak music to contemporary world music. All tied together in one honest global event. RWMF not only has local and international performers who are coming together to share their music, but it also brings people of different cultures together. Amidst the noise of pop music and globalization, RWMF is a gem which celebrates music close to all the culture and heritage!
I was fascinated by how the audience at the fest was not your typical music junkies and festival junkies but people from different backgrounds and culture. So I along with a friend interviewed a bunch of people who had flown in for the rainforest music festival. Check out the series on Instagram: #HumansOfRWMF. From a bunch of doctors from Belgium to girls who have been born and brought up in Borneo and are visiting the festival by camping right there, we spoke to them all.
3More than just music
Rainforest world music festival was more than great music. It was also about art, movie screening, wellness and so much more. There were some of the best tattoo artists, people selling beads made out of sago worms, there was mandala installation, there was a big bounce house with a small pool, there were yoga, Zumba, self-defence and belly dancing classes. There were drum circles at the event which was so engaging and fun! The food stalls had food from different parts of the world and it was such an amazing experience to relish it while listening to the music from that location.
It’s Music, happy people and nature. More than an event, The Rainforest World Music Festival is a learning platform for kids about people, their culture, and heritage – we can’t think of a better way for families to spend quality time together. We met two girls as a part of the series #HumansOfRWMF and they have been visiting the festival with their family for years in a row!
RWMF celebrates culture. A lot of the performances takes place at the traditional longhouses of the Iban and Bidayuh – The local tribes in Sarawak. Since it’s a world music festival, the celebrations are not limited only to the culture of Sarawak but the rest of the world. People from all over the world come carrying little elements of their tradition. You’d get to hear a musical instrument you’ve never heard in your life.
You’d not find another festival like the RWMF. Because of the culmination of all the factors above, it becomes the most offbeat and special festival. This festival is unique because you won’t find performers hidden in the backstage or at their green rooms but they roam around the village one among us. It’s the most genuine festival ever.
7Set in the most beautiful place
The Rainforest music festival is set in the Damai Peninsular inside Borneo Jungle. Filled with a beautiful coastline and trees all around, this is a true rainforest.
Sounds amazing? It’s even more spectacular than it sounds.
Sarawak is also home to the magical Bako National Park and the closest airport city, Kuching, is extraordinary. Click here to know why!
Go for the people, go for the music, go to experience the culture and the food. Go to see the gorgeous rainforest coming together with people who belong there. At one point during the festival I realized, I belonged there too.
I know I am going back to Sarawak for this beautiful festival. So for all bookings, event dates and lineup, visit their official website.
How to Reach RWMF
This is located in Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai beach, 40 mins from the main City, Kuching. RWMF offers a 3-day unlimited shuttle pass, or you can also buy point to point one-way tickets. The taxi app Grab is also efficient. You can alternatively stay at Damai Beach Resort which is two minutes from the festival location. They also have campgrounds for those who’d love to pitch a tent and stay at this beachside location.
I flew to Kuching with Malindo Air from Bangalore and would recommend this airline; Comfortable timings, seats and great food.