Rainforest Fringe Festival 2018 – An Introduction to a New Beginning

A poster from the 2017 edition that highlights on the tenacity of the Iban Warrior.

THE inaugural Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) is a 10- day show of the best that Sarawak brings to the table from crafts, music, traditional arts,fashion, food, film and photography. Situated in the core of Kuching, the occasion will bring out Sarawak’s rich indigenous expressions and diversed culture, giving celebrating participants a genuine feeling of the magnificence and vitality of the land and its kin. Rainforest Fringe Festival acts as a prelude to the Rainforest World Music Festival, with plans to reposition Sarawak to an abundant enterprise goal, with inexhaustible potent cultural diversity.

Rainforest Fringe Festival made it’s debut back in 2017 from the July 7 till the July 16 and was curated by the brilliant mind of George Town Festival, John Sidek who was fascinated by the borderless boundary of the diversed culture in Sarawak.

During the first media conference for RFF back in 2017, He elaborately explained the inspiration behind the festival, “Sarawak is such a wonderful state – it has these interesting layers of beautiful art, nature, rich history, traditions and cultures – referencing the famous Sarawak kek lapis (layered cake).

This frequently visited part of Borneo is well known for its melting pot of cultural identities and their limitless creativity. Apart from traditions, it is rich with natural resources for ecotourism; from national parks, forest reserves to beautiful picturesque beaches.”

The festival mainly revolved around Kuching City as Joe Sidek wanted the audiences to see and feel what Sarawak has to offer in and out.

“The music festival is 45 minutes away and many locals don’t feel a part of that, because it’s too far and expensive for some. One of my objectives is to link what locals would feel for their own culture,” he explained.

Among the highlights of the festival in 2017 was the Sada Kamek concert with the title loosely translating to “Our Music” along with performances by actor Tony Eusoff, music collective At Adau, singers Dayang Nurfaizah and Noh Salleh, and Mathew Ngau Jau, a master of the Sarawak lute called sape with art exhibitions from photographers Jimmy Nelson, Chien C Lee and the late Wong Ken Foo, as well as young artists such as Alena Murang and Kendy Mitot glistening the visual perception of the audiences.

The Rainforest Fringe Festival programme, mirrors Sarawak’s rich multicultural character, incorporating a wide cluster of events from running workshops, talks, film screenings to music exhibitions, and even art.

The program is aimed to revive forgotten traditional arts, wildlife studying, culture preservation and nature watch from examples such as the lost Iban martial art of Kuntau, the plight of the Hornbill to traditional embroidery while also breathing interest of the beauty of Sarawak to foreigners and to locals who have yet see the true face of Sarawak.

This years’ edition of the Rainforest Fringe Festival will be commencing from July 6 to July 16. For more details on the festival, keep yourself updated by following https://www.facebook.com/rffsarawak/for the latest news. May the history of our state be shared and preserved through the machinery of what makes Rainforest Fringe Festival a truly examplary prestigous festival.