Rainforest World Music Festival to showcase over 100 musicians in Kuching

The iconic Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2023 is set to make a comeback at Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching from 23 to 25 June.

The annual festival organised by Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) will see musicians and fans of world music, congregating, sharing and experiencing different sounds from across the world.

The 26th RWMF line-up will feature a total of 199 musicians from 12 countries, across more than four continents, performing a diverse range of music genres, including Grammy Awards winner, Gipsy Kings featuring Tonino Baliardo from France of such hits as ‘Djobi Djoba’ and ‘Bamboleo’. will be Sarawak’s unforgettable ‘ambassador’, delivering sounds of Sarawak, for the ears and hearts of music lovers, worldwide.

This will captivate visitors with their pop-oriented music, distantly derived from traditional flamenco and rumba genres.

Other international performers include ‘Big Mountain’ from Jamaica/USA, ‘Safi Theatre’ from Tanzania, ‘Rastak’ from Iran, ‘Fasylive’ from Maldives, ‘Afriquoi’ from the United Kingdom, ‘Chatusram’ from India, ‘Rizal Hadi & Folk’ from Indonesia and ‘Ethno Thai Fusions Sound Band’ from Thailand as well as from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Speaking during the launch of the 26th RWMF, Sarawak’s Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts, Yang Berhornat Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah shared that while the international performers are undoubtedly the highlight of the event, they must also acknowledge the exceptional local performers and bands who have thrived as a result of RWMF over the years.

Image: Shutterstock

“They are a testament to the transformative power of music and culture in creating positive impacts on our communities,” said the minister.

The minister also called for support of local musical talents who will perform at RWMF2023, including Zee Avi, Suk Binie, APU, Nadir, Steve Thornton Band, Sada Borneo, Tuku Kame, Nading Rhapsody, Geng Wak Long, Buloh Berkocak, At Adau, Meruked and Orang Orang Drum.

Sharing the theme of this year’s festival, ‘REFLECTIONS’, the Minister invited the audience to reflect on the humble beginnings of RWMF, with merely 300 spectators for its first-ever concert back in 1998.

Furthermore, the event has now grown to be Sarawak’s ‘Star Festival’ and internationally renowned platform, recognised as one of the 25 best International Festivals, placing Sarawak in a position to be the Regional Hub for Music Tourism and Performing Arts.

Targeting more than 20,000 visitors for RWMF 2023, STB CEO Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor added that the RWMF’s international recognition had expanded from an acclaimed world music platform, to being acknowledged as Sarawak’s keystone festival that strongly advocates Responsible Tourism, in its quest to become one of the world’s most sustainable, eco-friendly festivals.

“Reflecting on the course of events 26 years ago, I am glad that STB had undertaken the task and am proud to witness and be part of the growth of RWMF – from its humble beginnings to being recognised as a music festival of international stature. We look forward to reflecting on the next 25 years as we move towards making the RWMF a platform for Sarawak to push on sustainability and ecotourism for the next generation of music lovers,” he added.

Proactive measures had been taken by Sarawak towards creating and implementing a sustainable, eco-friendly festival in previous editions of the festival.

Together with the State’s tourism players, for the RWMF, STB had previously embarked on activities that included banning single-use plastics, encouraging upcycling of used materials, exploring innovative solutions to waste management and even providing shuttle buses to ferry festival-goers to alleviate carbon emission, energy conservation and environmental education, encouraging participation in greening initiatives, all towards making Responsible Tourism the ‘norm’.

Image: STB

STB invites visitors from within and outside of Malaysia to RWMF for a holistic experience and emotion of the entire festival, which promises harmony, diversity, and culture, connected by music and dance.

Visitors will experience various emotions in their purest and most authentic form – unforgettable, wild, tribal, cultural, and authentic expressions that are unique to Sarawak.

Ticket sales will open on 15 April, offering tickets for one-day passes, two-day passes and three-day passes with prices starting from RM190 to RM650 and children’s one-day pass is sold at RM80.

For further information, visit the festival’s official website at rwmf.net.


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