Monday, July 8, 2013

Rainforest World Music Festival 2013 (RWMF) Day 1 : A Different Year, A Different Experience

Thanks to Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Sarawak Bloggers, I was given another chance to attend the world famous Rainforest World Music Festival again this year. And I am pretty excited about going again after having such a blast from last year's RWMF. As oppose to last year where I went to the festival with the intention to cover as much as possible, this year I decided to toned it down a little and enjoy the festival like any other festival goer. Basically this will be from the point of view of a festival goer, not as a media coverage. lol

After receiving the email which states that I would have the chance to go to RWMF again this year, I decided to be prepared this year and book a place to stay there instead of going back to my house every night which can be inconvenient and tiring.*ahem!*seconddaymassivemidnighttrafficjam!*ahem* Learning my lessons from last year, I booked a room at One Hotel Santubong online through which I find to be reliable and offers better deals than most of the online discount hotel reservations website. I managed to book a deluxe room at OHS for only RM180++ per night. And this is a good deal considering it is during the RWMF event and also considering that Damai Beach Resort charged RM700+ per night. Crazy.

So let's get on to my experience on Day 1.

On 27th of June, arrived at the Media Centre at Damai Beach Resort,  fished  collected my Media pass at the table,registered and received a goodie bags. :) And also, shocked by the amount of media passes on the table. O.O, there's got to be at least 500+ passes on the table. And the goodie bag contains our STB shirt which I loved and 2 letters.

My name senget. :( Oh well. Still a pretty pass.

After that, we hang around at DBR for awhile waiting for the opening ceremony dinner which starts at around 7.30pm. Anything involving free food, count me in. :)

Our table with Sarawak Bloggers team DSLR on it. Pro I know, and I only use shoot and point camera, so sad. 

The dinner was good, I mainly just eat the Spaghetti Bolognese and it was tasty. There were also local cuisine served and layer cakes and platter of fruits. There were also brief performance from some of the performers, sort of a trailer for the big events on the coming days. Among the group that performed I like Pine Leaf Boys and Palsandae performance the most. After the dinner we head home and prepared for Day 1 of RWMF2013!

As my partner in crime Garner had to settle something at his work, we started our trip to Santubong at around 1pm and reached there at about 2pm. 

The view from inside Garner's car. lol

Checked in smoothly and found out our room were located at block 5 in OHS and also realised that it's pretty far so we have to lugged our luggage to the block and then found out that our room is located on the 3rd floor. So yeah, pretty good little mid afternoon exercise there. But I'm happy with the room, it was clean and spacious. Although there is one old leather belt hanging in the closet that's pretty creepy I got to say, pretend didn't see it la. As people say, ignorance is bliss. 

I was actually quite worried after reading all the reviews in Tripadvisors which is pretty gruesome I gotta say.  But after seeing the room, I was happy with it. Of course there's gonna be pros and cons with the room but for the price I paid, it's alright.


- Big, spacious room with two pretty comfy beds
-(Surprisingly) A working television
-A big bathroom consisting of a shower and baths
-Cheap rate compared to the other hotels nearby 
-Inclusive breakfast


-Air con that takes a while to cool the room (but living on the 3rd floor, just open the window to the balcony and the wind is cool enough)
-Old surrounding and furniture
-Beach that's located like (feels like) a kilometer away depending on which block you stayed in.
-And also creepy to stay alone in ( this is my personal opinion of course, I'm a coward. lol)
-Surrounding is quite dark at night.

The room we stayed in. 

The balcony. I like to sit out here and just chill and

The view. Nothing to see I know. But it's alright for me. Of course a beach view will be awesome.

View from other side.

After settling down in the room, we went to DBR to collect our wristband, food coupons and a complimentary Heineken goodie bag.

Heineken goodies bag. :) 

In the bag, there's 3 vouchers for complimentary 2 glasses of Heineken a day for the 3 days of RWMF. Pretty neat but sadly I don't drink so I gave it all away to random people for fun. I figure might as well let other people have a glass of cold beer rather than not use the voucher at all. After all I just want the awesome looking bag! hahaha

And then we went to get out lunch first at Bayridge restaurant which is the official place to eat for medias and the performers. It's located in Damai Central. It is an improvement compared to last year where we had our lunch and dinner at a Media Tent which is set up in Sarawak Cultural Village. This place is air conditioned and a better place to just relax and hangout. The food on the other hand, I gotta say I preferred what they served last year as there's variety to it. But the food served in this restaurant was pretty tasty as well.

After filling our belly, it's already almost 4PM, so we decided to head to the last workshop of the day which is Fingers and Thumbs at the Theatre. This workshop consisted of plucked instruments of different shapes and sizes. The workshop that I'm actually interested on Day 1 is the 'Songs My Mother Taught Me' which is held on 2pm. Loved any workshop that involved singing. Missed it. :(  Anybody has footage of it? 

The entrance of Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV)

We head on to Theatre and get the front row seat. Kiasu I know. :)

Some of the performers.

This workshop is lead by Albert Chin which is the guy in the middle holding the Pipa.

Michael Papush from Spiritual Seasons playing the Banjo

His performance, banjo is a very cool instrument. Best movie scene involving banjo has got to be in the movie Deliverance. Random I know. lol

Seanan Brennan from KILA playing Mandolin, Mandola.

From left to right : Michael Papush, Nicolas Gongxeka, Seanan Brennan, Albert Chin, Eugene Kuek, Matthew and Jeffrey Ngau. 

Albert Chin from Shangyin Chinese Chamber Ensemble playing the Pipa.

Mathew Ngau from Lan E Tuyang playing the Sape. (I pretty positive he is the guy on the RWMF

A video of him and his son playing the sape together.

Overall, an interesting workshop. Then we decided to meet up with the rest of the bloggers at Bayridge to eat and hangout for awhile before the concert starts.

Double rainbow. Something random. :)

We still have some time left to kill before we head on to the concert as we wanted to catch the Chet Nuneta performance which starts at 8.35PM. We then decided to head on to Heinekabana to chill for awhile.

Photo taken from Garner. In front of Heinekabana. I like the place, a nice place to just chill and hangout before heading back to the concert.

Beer. Liquid gold? lol

After that we head on to the Tree Stage to watch Chet Nuneta's performance and it was awesome indeed! They give one hell of a good performance and that girl can sing. Wow, one of the best group this year. And the percussion guy in this group is just too interesting to watch. 

Chet Nuneta from France

Another better picture, courtesy of STB.

However, there is one thing that makes me can't enjoy the performance fully and that is one of the photographer keep on standing on top of a table in the photographer's pit and keep on blocking everyone's view at one point or another. He was only doing his job of course, but at the same time it's still annoying. No offense, just an honest opinion from people who's not in the photographer's pit and people who waited in front of the line. I expect nothing to block my view after I waited 30 minutes in front to catch the performance. :)

Here's the performance. And the 'mysterious'shadow that keeps popping up.

After that, we decided to just go to the Food Mart and just eat and watch the concert from there.

Chicken Shawarma. RM 6 OR 7. Forgot. 

It was good but the bread was too crumbly. I like the garlic sauce and the chicken. Delicious. The food in there was quite expensive, for example a can of beer cost RM10 and a bottle of water is RM3. Might be reasonable for foreigners but not for the locals. 

And to conlude, a picture of the crowd on Day 1. 

Crowd. Picture courtesy of STB.

Had an eventful first day of RWMF2013 eventhough I didn't cover much due to time constraint and the want to just chill all the time and enjoy the concert from other place. HAHA.  Stay tune for Day 2 and 3. 


  1. A rather emotionally discreet but honest post I must say. I was on the other hand expecting more grumbling from you hahahaha. Glad to know things turns out sweet. Nice write up.

  2. awwww.. I can't help but smile or chuckle everytime I read your posts. Very fresh, light, funny and honest.


  3. Hi Lindy, Just for your info, the photographer you complain about was the guy (Leslie) who worked his backside off all weekend as the event's official photographer; he photographed all day and evening, then edited, then provided journalists with full sets of images the next morning. He very kindly ran around on the Monday to get images from the last day to me (and this after saving the day that morning, on an empty stomach,running journalists to the airport when there was a transportation problem); he then came to meet me again on the Tuesday when there were problems with the first DVDs he had given me. I was taking photos and doing video in the photographers' pit, and had time to be aware whether or not I was blocking people's view. Leslie was under such pressure that I'd say all he could think about was his camera and the shots he was taking. All the best, Annette

  4. In fact, I think the Sarawak Tourist Board photo you use of Chet Nuneta is most likely one of Leslie's :-) Best, Annette


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