Rainforest World Music Festival 2018 (RWMF)

This year marked the 21st edition of the iconic Rainforest World Music Festival. We wrote about it last year and you can read it here. This festival which is fondly known as RWMF is held every year in Sarawak, a state of Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The venue in which this festival took place is called Sarawak Cultural Village, a beautiful place with the legendary Mount Santubong as its backdrop. As for us, Rainforest World Music Festival 2018 or the #RWMF2018 is the 11th that we attended.

Last year, RWMF celebrated its 20th anniversary and it was the best one we’ve ever been to. Some improvements and additions have made it better than ever. The crowd was massive! The performances were awesome! The foods were delectable! But! This year’s RWMF was even more better. It was the best we’ve been to so far and if you want, you can only disagree with us if you’ve been to this festival more than 11 times (that must include the last 5 years’), that you’ve seen the better one apart from this year’s.

Warning: A lot of photos!

RWMF 2018

RWMF 2018 was held for 3 days from 13 to 15th July 2018 with a tagline of “The Awakening Of The Rainforest”. This year, the performers came all the way from countries like Serbia, Solomon Island, Russia, India and many more. Apart from international bands, local band like At Adau were back to perform at this year’s RWMF. Together with other performers like Sada Borneo, 24 Drums and Danai Kuwai, they represented Sarawak for RWMF 2018. The line ups and the performances were better this year. It should be that way, it should keep getting better.

Like what we wrote about last year’s RWMF, there are many things to enjoy at the festival. Apart from the music, there were other things to enjoy while waiting for the main concert to start in the evening. Like usual, there are things like craft bazaar, huge variety of foods, tattoo, art showcase, reflexology massage, booth where you can buy the official merchandise and many more. These are mostly available during the day with some places like the food areas are open until late.

One thing that we were so excited about is the Asia Food Kitchen or AFK, was once again back at RWMF and this year, it was bigger and better! For those of you who didn’t know yet about AFK, it was an event where the organizer brought in chefs from member countries of BIMP EAGA and EATOF to showcase and sell their delicacies. This year they brought in chefs from Brunei, Phillipines and Indonesia. They also have foods from Japan, Vietnam and of course those delicious local foods from Sarawak itself. They also served the best beer in the whole festival! We’ll cover that part in the next post because it deserved its own story. To know more about AFK, for now, you can read our post that we wrote about it last year at this link: https://pansuh.com/eatof-park-asia-food-kitchen-rwmf-2017/

Apart front those things above, during the day we get to enjoy performances at the theater, workshops, mini performance at the entrance area and drum circle at the concert site. Plus two of the big sponsoring partners for this year’s RWMF were AirAsia and Grab. They opened their booth with AirAsia is selling their merchandise. Some of our friends were rewarded with free tickets to RWMF by AirAsia. Grab was also having promotion for festival goers who use Grab Pay to buy foods and other items inside the festival venue.

In the evening, the main concert starts and thousands of the festival goers will flocked the concert site to watch all the awesome performances. Like we said, the crowd this year is bigger and super massive. The concert site was full and packed with people even on the Friday evening, the first day of the festival. During the second day on Saturday, the crowd was crazy big! We’ve ran out of word to describe it. For the third day on Sunday, it doesn’t even disappoint at all, the crowd was still massive. According to the article by The Borneo Post here, the whole festival was attended by 21,668 people! And during the second day on Saturday alone, 9000 people were there at the festival. Come to think of it, that numbers give us some goosebumps. We’ve witnessed two of the best editions of the Rainforest World Music Festival back to back and as Sarawakians, we are so damn proud of it!

Watch the highlight video of some of the performances during RWMF 2018 below. It might entice you to come to this festival if you have not been to it once. Although next year’s performances will be different but you can peek on what this festival is all about through the video below.

Every year we went to RWMF there were always some surprises and new things we enjoyed. This year, they’ve made some additions and improvements. There was even a stage performances at the area outside the venue. They have also improved the main concert site to make it more convenient for the festival goers.

But one weird thing happened this year. It was very different from all the previous years we’ve been to this festival. It was not raining for the whole three days! Normally, I will started to rain on Saturday. This year the weather was hot and clear all the way. This is not a bad thing, it might be hot and humid but we like it. We got to enjoy the whole festival to the fullest. We do missed playing, dancing and jumping in the rain though but without the rain, it was kind of making this year a bit special in one way or another.

Given the success of this year’s RWMF, we can’t help it but to wonder how it will be next year. It seems that this year’s installment have set the bar a few levels higher. We hope that it will be better next year and this festival will keep on improving. They have already fixed the date for the 22nd edition of this festival. It will be on 12 to 14th July 2019. You can already prepare your trip for next year’s RWMF and if so, you can check out our tips and advice here at this link: https://pansuh.com/rainforest-world-music-festival-2018-rwmf-tips-advice-beginners/. It might be useful especially of those who will be going to this festival for the first time.

No matter what, Rainforest World Music Festival is the pride for all Sarawakians and have placed Sarawak on the map of the world in music festival. We’ll anticipate next year’s RWMF and for now, the story continued to be told by all the photos below.

See you next year at Rainforest World Music Festival 2019!

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