Gambar sekitar acara Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2022 tahun lalu. Foto; Noni Jamali (TVS).

What spurred the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) to stomp its rhythm?

ByCheryl Syahmina Toh

KUCHING, June 7: The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) has been one of the state’s largest global event, having festival-goers marking their calendars annually.

Looking back 26 years, since its inaugural in 1997, that celebrates the diversity of world music.

Dubbed as Malaysia’s biggest music festival, it showcases a variety of programmes such as music workshops, cultural displays, craft displays, food stalls, and concert.

The person responsible for the idea to establish RWMF began when a Canadian musicologist named Randy Raine-Reusch visited Robert Basiuk, who was then Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB).

Randy was researching ethnic music and was particularly interested in the Sape, played mainly by the Kayan and Kenyah people of Sarawak.

According to sources, during their meetings, they discussed a possibility of Sarawak having an annual music festival along the lines other festivals in the world.

To test the idea, a group of local musicians were formed to take Sarawak music to the world stage at the World Music Expo (WOMEX) festival in Marseilles, France.

With the success of bringing local music to the world stage, the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) funded the award-winning festival till today.

Among big names who will fill RWMF’s stage from June 23 to June 25 are Zee Avi, Suk Binie, APU, Nadir, Steve Thornton Band, Sada Borneo, Tuku Kame, Nading Rhapsody, Geng Wak Long, Buloh Berkocak, At Adau, Meruked and Orang Orang Drum.

Other international performers also include  ‘Rastak’ (Iran), ‘Fasylive’ (Maldives), ‘Afriquoi’ (United Kingdom), ‘Chatusram’ (India), ‘Rizal Hadi & Folk’(Indonesia), ‘Thai Fusions Sound Band’ (Thailand) and many more hail from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Tickets to RWMF are now made available at its official platform on Klook.

For more information on show performance ticketing information, the public can visit RWMF’s official website at


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