39 groups to take part in Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival

Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (third from right) and organisers of the Rainforest World Music Festival to be held in July.

KUCHING: Thirty-nine groups from more than 20 countries will take part in the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF), a top draw for foreign visitors, here from July 12 to 14.

The showcase of international folk and indigenous music and songs, which began in 1998 with an audience of only about 300 people, is expected to draw a crowd in excess of 20,000 this year.

According to the organisers, the festival will feature eight new countries or cultures, from Nagaland in northeast india, Bhutan, Canary Islands, Mauritius, West Kalimantan (Dayaks), Jamaica, Estonia as well as the Ainu culture from Japan.

State Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told reporters today the Rainforest World Music Festival has put Sarawak on the world map for indigenous and folk music and songs.

With the influx of visitors, he said, the festival and its related events will also be a boost for what Sarawak has to offer in terms of cultural heritage, nature and food.

Last year, more than 20,000 people, including 40% foreign visitors, attended the festival.