News & Happenings

Rainforest World Music Festival 2018 figures tell you the fest is anything but dying

KUCHING – The 21st edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival 2018 comes to a successful ending, surpassing its attendance goal at 21,668 travelers over the course of the three-day festival.

The original attendance goal set was 20,000, with 8,000 festival-goers a night.

Saturday night was a resounding success, with approximately 9,000 attendees filling every space at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2018 venue.

“It is always encouraging to have reached our target and in fact surpass it, in this case it is an even greater joy when you see satisfied audience as they explore our culture and make the most of one of Sarawak’s most iconic events,” said Angelina Bateman, the Sarawak Tourism Board’s Director of Events for the Rainforest World Music Festival.

One of the possible contributing factors for the rise in attendance this year was the expansion of the festival to include events like pop-up performance, mini sessions, wellness and lifestyle activities were held at Damai Central, as well as the increase in activities and performances this year.

The expansion led to the setting up of the Big Tent Stage at Damai Central, giving curious attendees a taste of what the full Festival had to offer within Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV).

It provided opportunities for young rising Sarawakian artistes to take Sarawak’s traditional instruments and bring it into the lime light.

This Rainforest World Music Festival 2018 also featured more in depth activities centered around the Sape or the Bornean Boat Lute, including multiple Sape classes open to the public and a ‘Sampeh Stories’ segment on the history of the sacred instrument, led by the Warisan Sape Telang Usan.

Cultural snippets and film screenings were also featured, where festival goers could learn about the intricacies and history behind local indigenous religions and customs or watch award-winning films intent on preserving the culture or people around the world.

New line up of supporting events that were popular among festival goers include pop-up performances holding surprise routines at the walkways of the festival, as well as new games like a bouncy castle and kayaking in the pond in addition to the traditional games around the grounds.

This year’s festival included a stellar line up of local and international talent are set to take stage at the Festival, including local bands such as Sada Borneo and At Adau, as well as SwarAsia Malaysia representing Malaysia.

Internationally, the Festival featured the artistes Grace Nono from the Philippines, Oyme from the Republic of Mordovia in Russia, Elisouma from Comoros Islands, Dona Onete from Brazil, Slobodan Trkulja and Balkanopolis from Serbia, Bhungar Khan Company and Raghu Dixit Project from India, Niteworks from Isle of Skye and Kevin Locke from the United States.

Also featured are Combo Ginebra from Chile, Alberto Marin from Spain, Gayogayo from Indonesia, Shanren from China, Djeli Moussa Conde from Guinea, Naedrum from Korea, Warato’o from Solomon Islands, Yallah Bye from Tunisia and Volosi from Poland.

Looking forward to next year’s festival, the 22nd edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival will take place on July 12 to 14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village..

If you do not know much about the festival, read my completed guide on the Rainforest World Music Festival. –

Cyril Dason

Cyril Dason was born and currently lives in Kuching. He loves jungle trekking, clean rivers and chilling out with friends.

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