Right, travellers – what are you doing next weekend? Here at the Backpacker office, the consensus is that the only place to be is deep in the Borneo jungles. A place filled with exotic mystery and the thrill of adventure; it’s the land of ancient virgin rainforests that house the world’s richest and most diverse ecosystem, including hornbills, orangutans and the fabled white Rajahs. Between the 13th and 15th July, however, it is also home to one of the mothers of all global music festivals, voted one of the top 25 in the world.
A three-day meltdown of music, culture, diversity, creativity, talent, spellbinding performances, daytime music workshops, and of course, action-packed nightly shows.
Since its launch fifteen years ago, thousands of people from all over the world have descended upon this mind-bogglingly marvellous musical extravaganza, where, under the imposing grandeur of Mount Santubong at the edge of the South China Sea, they’re brought the crème de la crème of world musicians from all continents, as well as indigenous musicians from the interiors of Borneo that will quite simply blow your mind…
Expect instruments of bamboo, and gongs of all sizes; sitars, tablas, and dhol drums with Malaysian flavours. Lovely ladies on fiery fiddles, throat singers from Mongolia; French chansons and gypsy music; balafon and talking drums that mingle with ancient stringed instruments; traditional music from the Brazilian Amazonians; slave chants in Creole accompanied by the oh-so-exotic sounding kayanm, bob and rouler (music which evokes welling emotion, spiritual intensity and ecstatic rhythmic trance) – and of course, the music from Sarawak’s very own traditional Sape, the boat-shaped lute that’s become the symbol for the festival itself. In a nutshell, music from all over the globe that will have you in some kind of lucid (we hope!) rapture. But keep some energy for the Kanda Bongo Man and his Kwasa Kwasa dance, won’t you? As the famous saying goes…
“If Kanda Bongo Man doesn’t make you want to dance, call an ambulance. You’re dead.”
Make no mistake about any of this. It’s gonna be going off. Big time.
Kicking off at 2pm every day with informative workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming sessions and interactive mini-concerts, you’ll be moved through beats and rhythms that’ll culminate each night in a five-hour concert line-up on the main stage next to the lake, under the open sky. Lay on the grass, dance till you’re done… then after midnight there’ll be those all-requisite ‘after-party’ vibes over at the Tree Stage.
And, even if you think you might need a helicopter pick-up, stay until the end because the finale will very grand. Think all the performers onstage playing as one. Think trancing out in the jungle. Think celebrating and uniting with kindred spirits from all around the world. Unmissable.
– 3-day pass – RM 300.00 – advance bookings only from www.rwmf.com. 3-day ticket passes will NOT be available for sale on the door.
– 1-day pass (13/14/15 July) – RM 110.00 – advance bookings available from www.rwmf.com. Limited tickets will also be available on the door.