Visitors flock to Rainforest World Music Festival despite rain

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17/06/2022 10:25 PM

KUCHING, June 17 (Bernama) -- Continuous rain since noon today was not enough to deter visitors who flocked to Sarawak’s Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2022 in Santubong near here tonight.

This year’s festival, carrying the theme ‘25th Legendary Rainforest Celebration’ is the first time the music extravaganza has been held since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.

Checks by Bernama found that visitors came from all across the country, but those from abroad were lacking this time around. The crowd was certainly looking forward to the musical performances lined up for the opening night, including Hasif Hamsyari, a local travel magazine writer, who was there to listen to Alena Murang and At Adau.

“This is one of the festivals that I really look forward to especially after years of not able to attend any festival like this. I heard a lot about this festival from my friends,” the writer said while fellow visitor, Gemelos Vlajeros, 24, from Spain was delighted to be at the festival in person this year.

He said that he was killing two birds with one stone with his trip to Sarawak, as he not only wanted to attend the festival, but also wanted to experience the beautiful flora and fauna in the state first-hand.

“This is my first time in Malaysia and of course, in Sarawak. I have watched the trailer for RWMF and was looking forward to experiencing the traditional performance here.

“My twin and I arrived here on June 14 (Tuesday). Borneo is one of the places we want to visit in the world because of the wildlife and since I do not know much about the festival, that is why I am here,” Vlajeros said.

At a recent RWMF media conference, Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performance Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that some 12,000 visitors were expected to attend the festival, as several countries were still imposing travel bans.

He said those who are unable to attend the festival in person could tune in virtually with tickets priced at RM25, from which RM10 will be donated to the ecoGreenPlanet programme, a greening initiative by the Sarawak Tourism Board that intends to plan 4,500 mangrove trees.

The RWMF 2022 will feature performances by artists from various countries, including China, Australia, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Canada, Estonia, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, the United States and Vietnam.