First and foremost, I would like to thank Sarawak Tourism Board and Sarawak Bloggers Society for this golden opportunity to be part of the media community to cover a world event. Rainforest World Music Festival is one of the region's best musical festivals. As mentioned in my previous post, it has been voted by a renowned world music magazine, Songlines, for four consecutive years as the top 25 International Festivals. RWMF has also been awarded the BrandLaureate Country Branding Awards (2012-2013) by The BrandLaureate & The Asia Pacific Brand Foundation for its efforts in bringing the country to the international stage. This "Grammy Awards" for branding is the No.1 branding awards in the Asia Pacific region.
The media brief was held at Casuarina Hall of Damai Beach Resort. The briefing and press conference started at 5pm after media registration at the Media Centre. During the media brief, the CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board, Dato' Rashid Khan talked more on the brand itself and how the world event will benefit us all. RWMF was such an iconic event not merely because of the awards it received, but also the type of music it promoted. Organising the event was possible as it has proper financial management and supported by partners or sponsors. The major revenue was generated from the ticket sales.
Dato' Rashid added that their bigger agenda was the local people. RWMF was the catalyst of the fringe events which mostly took place at Damai Central. A stroll to the venue before the media brief showed stalls were set up to sell local products and services. Engaging local communities in this huge event was important as it can help to boost their businesses and to become more competitive. This is true especially with the local artists and music. Competition will encourage them to produce quality music that is comparable to foreign ones. Besides that, RWMF also helped to create awareness especially towards the environment. In the morning, there was tree-planting ceremony being held at MASJA Lakeside, Petra Jaya. 'Golden Shower' was chosen for the greening project. RWMF has lived up to its brand not only as a music festival, but it also played a role in the rainforest conservation and preservation. Apart from that, the festival often instilled the spirit of volunteerism by allowing students and others to experience internship or doing anything that would contribute to the success of the world event. Even bloggers like us volunteered ourselves by taking leaves to cover RWMF. Yes, people always thought we were paid. No, we did not and we just did it for the passion in blogging. I personally did it for the love of music and photoblogging. I would not ask for more than being given a media pass so that I could see for myself what went on behind the scene. It was indeed a privilege.
The press conference continued with Madam Angelia Bateman gave us an insight to the festival's performers line-up. We were told there were overwhelming applications from bands around the globe and only 25 were selected. Not long after the media brief, we were invited to join the Opening Ceremony of RWMF 2013 cum welcome dinner at the poolside. All performers and partners were presented with a special token of appreciation. The opening ceremony was officiated with the plucking of Sape. Then, guests were treated with local cuisines while enjoying performance by the Pine Leaf Boys and Korean Performing Arts, Palsandae. I was glad we stayed for the dinner to socialise with other medias and foreign programmers who also attended the inaugural Borneo World Music Expo. This was a good opportunity for us to learn something new from each other.
Tree Planting at MASJA
Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board
Scene at the Media Centre
Some refreshment after the media brief
Sarawak Bloggers team relaxing at the lobby
Performers presented with a token of appreciation
RWMF 2013 officially launched by playing the Sape