Rainforest World Music Festival … The Rhythm of Borneo.

Rainforest World Music Festival which is an annual three days event, celebrating the diversity of world music is held at the Sarawak Culture Village, 35km north of Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

This Sarawak music festival is a unique event where the world renowned musicians from all continents and the indigenous musicians from the interior of Borneo, coming together to exchange musical knowledge and performed together on the same stage.


The event which was founded by a Canadian world music instrumentalist, Randy Raine-Reusch, Robert Baisuk (Sarawak Tourism Board Marketing head then), President of Society Atelier, Edric Ong and Edgar Ong in 2005. The initial planning, financing and laying the future ground work was undertook by Society Atelier, while the selection of the international musicians to participate in the event was done by Randy, Edgar Ong and Yeoh Jun Lin and they also nurtured the future direction of the festival.

The Sarawak Tourism Board has since taken the task of organising the festival and promoting it to a larger audience, hence also to a more commercial level. Since then the response to the festival is overwhelmed, with accommodations around the venue and the city are fully booked.

The Rainforest World Music Festival bring together world renowned musicians from all continents and indigenous musicians from Borneo, conducting music workshop during the day and performing at the main-stage in the evening.

The three days festival is filled with music workshop held at the various traditional houses at Sarawak Cultural Village, cultural displays, crafts displays, food stalls and of course the main-stage evening concerts.

Musicians from Palestine, Scotland, Norway, Ireland, Sweden, US, Mongolia and many more have come to do music workshops and performed during the previous edition. Beside the indigenous Musicians from the Island of Borneo, there was musicians form other state in Malaysia.

As the music workshops are conducted at the various traditional houses located at the venue, you can have an up close with the performers and get to know more about the workshop topic. There is close interaction between the performers and the audiences.

The Rainforest World Music festival which is annually held in the month of July, features a wide range of performances from traditional music, to world fusion and contemporary world music. Although the uses of traditional acoustic world traditional instrument is emphasizes, electric accompaniment instrument are commonly use, adding versatility and diversity of sound.

During the initial stage for the festival, the main stage was built beside the lake, facing the main building of Sarawak Culture Village.  The space was overcrowded, so a new stage with bigger space was built behind the Panggung Budaya. The new site is built like amphitheatre with a permanent stage, sitting gallery and an open space in between. There are also the sound and lighting system facilities.

You can check out the latest info on the festival and ticket purchase online here.

Getting to the Festival.

During the festival, buses are available at various locations in Kuching City, ready to ferry you to venue. You can check with your hotels and also the local tour operation on the transport arrangement and the bus schedule. You can also walk to the venue if you are staying at the close-by hotels.

You can also drive to the venue but as there would be a large crowd, parking would be a problem, so it is advised to take the bus transport.

Accommodations for the festival.

There are number of hotels, resort and lodging near to the venue. You can also stay at the Kuching City and take the bus to the venue. These hotels are usually fully booked and some quests even make their reservation one year in advance.

You can also make your hotel reservation here.

Among the hotels, resort and guest house found closed to the venue are;

  • Damai Puri Resort and Spa
  • Permai Rainforest Resort
  • One Santubong Hotels
  • Damai Beach Resort
  • Nanga Damai Luxurious Homestay
  • The Village
  • Santubong Homestay

There are varieties of accommodations option in Kuching City, from Deluxe hotels, Inns, B&Bs, Guest House to Hostels. You can search and book your preferred accommodations here.

Rainforest World Music Festival which is held at the Sarawak Culture Village in Santubong, Kuching, received overwhelmed responses from the musicians and also the public and tremendous support from the tourist industry.

The Festival was awarded with the “25 of the Best International Festival” by Songlines Magazine for three consecutive years 2010, 2011 and 2012. It also received the “Gold Award” in the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in 2006 for the Heritage and Culture Category beside the “ASEANTA Excellence Award” in 2009.

While waiting for the evening concert you can also check out the various interesting places nearby.

Click Rainforest World Music Festival to Sarawak Events and Festivals.