Hybrid RWMF to bring people back together
Posted on : 14 Apr 2022  Source of News: New Sarawak Tribune

KUCHING: The most awaited international event, the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) will be conducted in a hybrid format on June 17-19 at the Sarawak Cultural Village in conjunction with its 25th anniversary carrying the theme “25th Legendary Rainforest Celebration.”

Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said with the positive response to last year’s free Rainforest Virtual experience, a hybrid concept is the best way to extend RWMF’s visibility on a global stage.

“For the record, RWMF Virtual Experience 2021 had 402, 865 viewers from 79 countries.

“This year we hope we will be able to reach out to a greater number of audiences from more countries compared to last year,” he said in his speech during the launching of RWMF 25th Legendary Rainforest Celebration at Borneo Cultures Museum, yesterday.

Karim said that as this year marks the silver jubilee of RWMF, the convergence of conventional and digital concepts of music festivals is an indication of the seamless transition into the digital age people live in today.

“With the objective of ‘bringing people back together,’ this year’s festival is one of the first international hybrid musical events in Malaysia after the reopening of our borders,” he added.

At the launching, Karim also announced Malaysia Airlines as the official airline and hope that the collaboration, which is a continuation of the Malaysia Aviation Group’s (MAG) partnership with Sarawak Tourism Board, would give more opportunities for music fans to come to Sarawak and be part of the momentous celebration.

Karim also mentioned that audiences can look forward to seeing an array of performances by Sarawak local talents such as Alena Murang, Kemada, Sang Rawi, At Adau, Tuku Kame, Suk Binie’, Nading Rhapsody and Mathew Ngau.

“These local talents started their international musical journey from the RWMF stage and we can see how much they have grown into the world-class performers they are today.

“This year, there will also be international performers from Canada, India, USA, Finland, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, China, Bhutan and South Korea, among others,” he said.

Besides physical performances, attendees and viewers will also enjoy “virtual jam sessions”, in the form of collaborative pre-recorded video performances between local and international talents which will be shown both on the stage and screen via online streaming.

Karim assured that the physical concert will adhere to the guidelines of the National Security Council (MKN) and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to ensure the safety of the physical concert-goers.

Speaking at the same event, STB Chief Executive Officer Sharzede Salleh Askor said that they are striving to make RWMF better than the previous years.

“Last year’s Virtual Experience gave us invaluable feedback on how we could work towards combining the best of both worlds – physical and digital- to create RWMF’s first hybrid edition.

“We hope that creating this unique precedent for the 25th edition of the festival will become a keystone for the next 25 years of the festival, bridging the past with the future and sustaining and reinventing our musical heritage and its traditions for many years to come,” she said.

Meanwhile, MASwings Chief Operating Officer, Captain Nasarudin A Bakar said they are honoured to be appointed as the official carrier for the highly anticipated international events.

“This collaboration marks great progress in the MAG-STB partnership and will see both brands ramping up our marketing efforts in promoting Malaysia since the border’s reopening and Sarawak as a safe, destination of choice for 2022. We believe this collaboration is vital to re-build the tourism industry, stimulate domestic and international travelling, and help support industry players’ value chains such as travel agents, product owners, local artisans, and business partners.

At the same time, we continue to build travellers’ confidence by maintaining high levels of safety and hygiene standards on board our flights to make it a memorable travel experience for all,” Nasarudin said.

Also present at the launching were Chairman of STB Dennis Ngau, Permanent Secretary, Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak cum Deputy Chairman of STB Hii Chang Kee and Malaysia Airlines Global Head of Marketing Waikuan Wong.