Monday, September 23, 2013

Music Festivals in Sarawak


There are numerous Music Festivals in Sarawak for music lovers or even anyone who is into various genres of music. The largest state in the east of Malaysia plays host to a number of international and world renown music festivals and shows throughout the year and this article is highlighting these events that attracts thousands of visitors here.

Note that Sarawak is located in the east of Malaysia on the island of Borneo which is shared by Sabah, Brunei and Indonesia Kalimantan. Access to Sarawak is via flights from Kuala Lumpur and many other major cities around the region while from neighboring countries, you can drive into the state. Below is a list of major music festivals in Sarawak in no order and supported by images of the events.

Rainforest World Music Festival

The mother-of-all music festivals in Sarawak, the Rainforest World Music Festival which has been around for 16 years, and is recognized as one of the 25 music festivals in the world to visit. Having attending this festival only in 2013, I realized the huge potential of this festival which showcases ethnic musicians from around the world in one event.

Spread over a three day event, hoards of people from the world over make their way here to enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere in the Sarawak Cultural Village, which has been home to the RWMF for the last 16 years.If you have never attended this unique festival, I very much recommend going for the next one which is the Rainforest World Music Festival 2014. Provided you must love world music and the outdoors.

As many reports have been out there about the festival losing its charm, I stand to differ as I was a first timer there in 2013 and the momentum of the festival opened my eyes. Personally, I had a fabulous time there listening to the many interesting genres of music from around the world. The event is also held yearly in the month of July and at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong. Below are random pictures from the RWMF 2013.

Borneo International Jazz Festival

Running for the 7th year, the Borneo International Jazz Festival or BIJF is a must-visit if you are a jazz lover. This festival was once called the Miri Jazz Festival too. The home ground for this is at the ParkCity Everly Hotel in Miri which has a spectacular event area facing the sea. Also an outdoor event, world class jazz musicians make their way here for a two day outdoor jazz festival cum carnival which is excellent for families, couples and of course, jazz lovers.

Subjective as it may sound, there are also sub-jazz genres performed during the BIJF as I witnessed this year in 2013. For the general jazz lovers, you will be in for a treat as the line up is well balanced with different groups who perform interesting variations of jazz. Food and beverages are easily available here while it only takes about five minutes drive to the city center from here. The Borneo Jazz Festival is usually held in the month of March every year.

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