By Bbazaar Malaysia on July 11, 2018


If you’re in Sarawak between July 13 to July 15, you’re in luck! The entire weekend is dedicated to one of the most popular cultural and musical events in Malaysia, the Rainforest World Music Festival 2018.

Attracting thousands of tourists and music lovers from all around the world for the past two decades, the family-friendly event also features performers from other cultures and countries, and the lineup and activities change every year.

For those looking to experience new things related to culture and music, check out the interesting activities that will be held at the festival.


Check out the official video for this year’s festival.

Look forward to these 10 awesome cultural things at the music festival’s 2018 chapter:

1. Watch live musical performances

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival website

With a changing lineup every year, there’s always someone new to watch on stage. For this year’s event, some of the performers include:

● 24 Drums (pictured)
● Danai Kuwai (performing Orang Ulu music)
● Grace Nono (performing traditional Philippines music)
● Dona Onete (performing Brazilian music)
● Bhungar Khan Company (performing Manganiyar music)
● Kevin Locke (an Indigenous Northern Plains flute player)
● GayoGayo (performing the Saman dance)
● At Adau (performing indigenous Sarawak melodies)
● Warato’o (a bamboo orchestra performance from the Solomon Islands)


You can find the complete list of performers on the festival’s official website.

2. Attend interactive workshops and music demonstrations

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival website

Are you more hands-on? Then the festival’s interactive workshops and music demos would benefit you more. Check out the interesting activities during the mini sessions:

● Test your agility at the bamboo pole dance of Sarawak
● Learn about Mandala installation
● Learn the Saman dance with the GayoGayo dancers
● Have fun learning the traditional hoop dance of the Lakota
● Learn the Samba dance
● Learn traditional Malay dance called the Joget

Check out the complete list of mini sessions on the official website.

3. See lively parades in action

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival

Need a quick pick-me-up? Be on the lookout for live parades during the festival. Listen to the loud and upbeat sounds of 1Drum, a group of musicians from Malaysia and India.

Also, don’t miss the Chingay parade which originated in China. The tossing and balancing of giant flags is a sight to behold.

4. Learn traditional martial arts, improve your health and fitness, or simply pamper yourself

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival website

For a quick break to rejuvenate yourself, join any of the Wellness & Lifestyle activities at the festival:

● Yoga sessions
● Spine And Joint Screening sessions
● A talk on Emotional Freedom Technique
● Shadow Boxing class
● Reduce Your Stress class
● Rei-Ki sessions
● Belly Dancing class
● Self-Defence For Women class
● Silat (traditional martial arts class)
● Capoeira class
● Wushu class

5. Learn how to play Sape

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival website

Learn how to play the boat lute of Borneo called the Sape (also known as Sampeh, Sapek, and Sampek). The festival offers introductory lessons with a renowned Sape master.

6. Listen to the wonderful stories of Sampeh

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival website

In addition to learning how to play the Bornean boat flute, you can also listen to the wonderful history and stories of the instrument, hear the beautiful music, and watch indigenous dances to understand more about the flute.

7. Savour local delicacies at the Food & Village Mart

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival website

A festival is nothing without a food mart. Savour local delicacies at the Food & Village Mart, where you can find 23 vendors serving traditional, fusion, and international food. Have a go at local dishes such as umai, laksa Sarawak, or pansuh chicken. If you’re not an adventurous foodie, there are also foods like burgers and satays.

Get a tattoo or dreadlock hairstyle at the mart. You can also take your kids here to play at the inflatable playground or go kayaking.

8. Let your kids participate in artistic activities

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival website

The family-friendly event also offers children’s sessions for children age 5 and above. Some of the activities to look forward to include:

● Kid’s Yoga session
● Pacific Islands’ Body Painting session
● Make Your Own Musical Instrument session
● Drumming session
● Storytelling session
● Make your own autograph book session
● Dance class

Check the complete list of children’s activities on the website.

9. Watch cultural snippets and film screenings

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival website

For movie buffs, you might be interested in the cultural snippets and film screenings. Some of the interesting titles to watch are:

● The Little Princes of Rajahstan
● Sufi Soul – The Mystic Music of Islam
● The Children of the Nile
● I Got Superstitions
● Beads Galore

10. Shop for artisanal products and local handicrafts

Image source: Rainforest World Music Festival website

Get unique souvenirs that you can’t find elsewhere at the Crafts Bazaar. Some of the items you can find here include beaded accessories, colourful woven bags, batik-printed knick-knacks, artisanal pots, and more.

You can also learn how to paint batik-style or weave small bags and check out the various exhibitions at the bazaar.

Helpful tips before you go

Interested in going to the Rainforest World Music Festival? Remember these tips first:

Save more by getting the pre-sale tickets – Pre-sale tickets are way cheaper than the tickets purchased on the day of the festival. For example, a pre-sale Adult 1-Day Pass costs RM123.80, compared to RM146 (normal price). If you’re bringing your kids along, get the Family Package. Get the pre-sale tickets before July 12 here.
Use the right credit card for your trip – Earn reward points, get cashback, and more when you make transactions for your trip. Check out our credit card tips or get the right credit card for yourself.

If you’re looking for a travel credit card, we’ve got some good news for you! Apply now for a Citi or a Standard Chartered credit card on and get a Smart Health Bracelet worth RM250, plus RM50 Tesco e-Voucher! Hurry up, offer ends on July 31, 2018!

Written by Dayana Sobri on behalf of BBazaar Malaysia.


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