A festival in the middle of the Rainforest, I say YES!

Destination: Rainforest World Music Festival

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Legendary. One of my best memories ever!

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Kuching – Malaysia (Map: World Atlas)

In a nutshell, it’s like a well-oiled machine with just the right amount of craziness, sprinkled with positive vibes.

For two days it was a glorious euphoria, teeming with festival-goers frolicking care-free in the sunshine and occasional rain, everyone at one with nature.

This is not a festival for voyeurs or fence sitters; you are just as much a part of the fabric as the acts playing on the stages. The interaction is magic because it brings together people from every nook and corner of the world.

Women in their traditional costumes.
Women in their traditional costumes.

It’s a fusion of diverse ethnicities and cultural backgrounds that is beautifully reflected in the magical performances by musicians from all continents, playing all types of music – from the traditional, to world fusion and the contemporary.

RWMF 2014.

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The festival is held every year in Sarawak, one of the two Malaysian states. Kuching is the premier location for the wildlife of Borneo.

A tree house in the outskirts of the festival
A tree house in the outskirts of the festival

Living in KL, I am a 2hr flight away from the land. As soon as you land, the green tropical set is overwhelming. It feels like a peaceful countrysidish landscape. An horizontal city. Only the coconut trees disrupts the urban contour. I slowly immersed myself in a cultural bubble, the 2hrs flight from kL felt like thousounds of km away.

Sarawak has a population of almost 2.5 million, made up of some 40 different ethnic groups. The non-Muslim (mainly Christians and animists believer) indigenous groups are collectively called Dayaks.

31% of the population are Iban aka Sea Dayaks

Ethnic and tribal music from across the globe will be featured at the nightly stage shows with musical workshops and jamming sessions being held in the afternoon. No time for rest. Our schedule was full of exciting discoveries.

Indigenous music instrument.
Indigenous music instrument.

The festival fueled a lot of talk between us. First-timers, we were thrilled to join such an amazing opportunity to spice up our expat life in KL. We were like kids in front of a Pinata, unified and ready to blow the mind.

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D-Day

Overflown with good tunes, and well, rain too.

The first distinctive sign: happy faces everywhere like we were all suddenly victim of facial paralysis.  Total participants 2015: 30,000!!!

Overall, the festival is very much family oriented, kids playing around, although eclectic since I could not conclude in a specific ages average. We were a large crowd drawn in by the unexpected dance burst, the organization team clearly did working hard to get things moving, but making it look effortless.

The plus

The entire festival put a high emphasis on the constant interaction with participants, the audience participation makes it fun.

The diversity of workshop available to us was absolutely awesome. I prefer to give you a bite with some of the pictures I have taken on the 2014 edition:

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Photo 2014 – 2015 editions credit: RWFM.

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