Monday, February 13, 2006

Tourists expected to throng Miri for International Jazz Festival

By George Francis

MIRI - Miri International Jazz Festival, an upcoming tourism-driven music festival in this region is expected to draw a lot of visitors from neighbouring Sabah, Labuan and Brunei Darussalam to Miri City besides local Sarawakians jazz and music lovers.

Miri also has a substantial number of expatriates and some foreign tourist arrivals, including over 20 press-media and film corps from the region and overseas.

"It is a fun-filled and entertaining experience and at the same time showcasing Miri as a city of cosmopolitanism and relaxing lifestyle," said Gracie Geike, CEO of the Sarawak Tourism Board at the introduction of sponsorship for the inaugural festival - spread over a two-day period - May 12 and 13 this year.

The sponsors, include Heineken, ASTRO, Malaysia Airlines, ParkCity Everly Hotel, Unison System, Asia Eurowines, Water Gensis and Miri Guardian. Gracie said from the 1,000 ticket sale, 60 per cent are for sale outside Miri, adding, there were enthusiasm from among people in the Borneo northern region to come for the festival and enjoy themselves with families in Miri.

Tickets to the festival are priced at RM50 per person for a one-day pass and RM80 per person for a two-day pass.

"We want to give festival goers an enjoyable wholesome experience, as part of Miri City Day celebration." She expected STB team would be on a promotion tour to Bandar Seri Begawan, Seria and Kuala Belait in April.

The promotion include ads and features in international magazines like Malaysia Airline's Going Places, V-Mag, Action Asia, Virtual Malaysia and Asian Divers, Light and Easy Radio (35 spots) and four Astro channels - Astro Ria, Travel and Living, Discovery and CNN.

"The festival is very tourism-driven to present Miri, not just for culture, longhouses, caves or rainforests but music via jazz, and the people can enjoy food and scenery of Miri with their loved ones." Gracie also revealed that Malaysian Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad, who will launch Visit Malaysia Year 2007 in Berlin during the International Tourismo Bourse (ITB) next month, will also announce the Miri International Jazz Festival being included in the calendar event for May 11-12, 2007.

The 2006 festival will have a line-up of musicians from Europe, Australasia and Asia performing jazz funky Latin, oriental jazz, Carribean roots, blues, contemporary fusion, boogie woogie and more.

Four acts will perform each night in the intimacy of the Pavilion of PartyCity Everly Hotel with specially selected merchandising and food and beverage stalls, set against the backdrop of a tropical seaside setting.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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