The Rainforest World Music Festival is a huge music event in South East Asia with over 22,000 people converging at the Ssrawak Cultural Village to enjoy good music and good food.
Held on the second week of July on a yearly basis (except if it coincides with Hari Raya), the festival draws huge crowds of revelers yearly and has won numerous awards.
I’ve been to the RWMF a couple of times, and often see new comers missing out on the great things because they are ill prepared for the fest.
Due to that, here’s my top five things you should consider doing if you are going to the RWMF.
5BRING ENOUGH MONEY/CASH
There’s no ATMs or banks at the venue of the RWMF, so bring spare cash as vendors do not accept credit cards. Put your cash in a bag which is strapped on your waist or hung on your neck to ensure it doesn’t get lost. There’s plenty to buy and do during the RWMF, and food prices are slightly higher within the compounds of the venue. How much to you need to bring? Well, RM200-300 should be good for you to enjoy a few cans of beer, get a temporary tattoo and eat until you are full during the event. For those of you wanting a piece of Sarawak, beautiful handmade crafts are also available for purchase. The organizers have introduced cashless payment systems using electronic bracelets since 2015, but you still need to bring cash to exchange at the gate for the straps.
4USE THE SHUTTLE BUS
Locals tend to drive up to the venue although the access road (up to 2KM) is blocked and closed down during the whole festival. That said, it is highly recommended you take one of the many shuttle busses from major hotels in the city to get to the festival. The busses are comfortable, clean and reliable, and the fare is also affordable. Taking the bust also means that you to get some rest while you are on the way, ensuring you have enough energy to enjoy the festival, or recharge yourself after a fun day at the RWMF.
3PLAN WHICH WORKSHOPS YOU WANT TO ATTEND
Most newcomers do not look into the workshop schedule because they think it is not important as the highlight of the event seems to be the night concerts. Well, the workshops are actually the gem of the whole RWMF because they allow you to interact with the festival performers, and learn about the culture and music they represent. At the end of each workshop, there’s usually an impromptu performances which are really magical and fun! A few of the workshops I’ve attended even sent goosebumps to my spine as it was so impressive. So, look at the workshop schedule and choose which you’d prefer to attend. Since the workshops gappen simultaneously at different venues, choose a venue with the most workshops you’d like to enjoy because space is limited at every venue. It is highly recommend that you go early to the workshops to get the best spots. FYI, workshops related to drums and strings related instruments tend to be very popular and lively.
While it is a known fact you’d probably bump into a lot of hot girls and men at the festival, possibly your future husband or wife, comfort is always the alway to go when going to the RWMF. Wear something that makes you comfortable if you intend to stay until the end of the day. The weather is unpredictable and you can be dreched at the end of day. Some confused locals tend to wear beach wear at the festival, and I am not sire if it is comfortable, but do know that any sort of nudity is not allowed during the whole festival. My experience tells me that using shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt is the best comfort package for the festival.
1FOR THE TECH SAVVY, BRING A PLASTIC BAG
Social media plays a huge role nowadays and you will want to document your moments. Since the weather is unpredictable, always pack a plastic bag to keem ’em valuable items dry. For mobile phones, one of them waterproof casings you can hang around your neck would do great! Also, remember to pack your largest power bank because there’s no charging station in the rainforest!