Many have heard of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF), but there’s many who also question ‘What to do at the RWMF’?
Well, if you are still sort of wondering what you can do at the RWMF, here’s some tips and also explanations on what you can do when you head to the RWMF.
USE THE SHUTTLE BUS
Oddly, this takes the number one of my “what to do at the RWMF” list. You see, locals tend to drive up to the venue (which you could also do if you rented a car in Kuching), but 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 buses from major hotels in the city to get to the festival. The buses are comfortable, clean and reliable, and the fare is also affordable. Taking the bus 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. Of course you can ignore this one ‘to-do’ item if you stayed at hotels nearby the venue of the RWMF.
PLAN WHICH WORKSHOPS YOU WANT TO ATTEND
My second What To Do at the RWMF list involves planning. 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 happen 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.
GO TO THE WORKSHOPS
Of course once you have planned your workshop list, the next thing on your What To Do At The RWMF list is to actually attend the workshops. The workshops of the RWMF are the real gem of the festival. Many regulars to the festival in fact skip the night concert entirely, but make a lot of effort to attend the workshops. Unlike most workshops held during festivals, the workshops during the RWMF are not only casual, but also highly engaging with festival goers dancing, singing and even performing during these workshops.
BUY SOUVENIRS AND CRAFTS
Aside from serving traditional music, the RWMF also serves as a platform to highlight local crafts, which are mostly hand-made, and brought in specially to be displayed at the festival. That said, the RWMF is a perfect place to buy these unique crafts which are usually housed under the Crafts Bazaar.
TRY LOCAL FOOD
The RWMF plays host to a good number of local Sarawakian cuisine during the whole three days. Be brave and taste them all because some are exclusively found in Kuching and Sarawak.
LEARN THE LOCAL SARAWAK CULTURE
The RWMF isn’t just about music you know. It is about getting to know Sarawak a little better, hence the reason why the Sarawak Cultural Village was chosen as the main venue. Since all the indigenous tribe houses are open during the RWMF, get to know how the Sarawak people roll in the good old days by visiting all the traditional houses while you are at the festival.
LET LOOSE AT THE CONCERT
The RWMF is not only known as the biggest festival in town, but also the biggest party ever held in Sarawak. Here, locals and foreigners mingle like old friends, and it is not strange to see everyone just enjoying themselves like they have known each other for ages. That said, you need to let loose during the RWMF, and the night concerts is always the best place to do so!