Its been another thrilling and exciting moment of the year when I was again shortlisted to represent Sarawak Bloggers to the most anticipated and long awaited rainforest fest of the year. Yes! the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF). This time however, I was given an assignment to cover more on the people behind the scene and the crowds. Unlike last year, my focus was on the workshops.
When I first get the news that I was selected to do the coverage for this year’s RWMF, I was a little bit worry about everything including transportation and accommodation. Last year’s experience really thought me a lot. Luckily the news gets to me as early as March. I was informed that another friend was also shortlisted. Upon getting the news, I didn’t hesitate to plan our necessary arrangements for the event. By April, I already have my leave applied, our transportation confirmed and our room booked. That saves us a lot of time and budget. You guys might want to check out her blog too at http://www.lindysim.com
Lets fast forward the story to the first day of RWMF 2013.
Setting up our rendezvous place at the workshops scheduled for the first day, my partner and I take our time in the morning to pack and have our stuffs all sorted out. We reached One Hotel Santubong at around 1pm and unload our gears before heading to Damai Beach Resort for the daily pass collection. Actually I was a little surprised and frustrated for the location change of the Media Center from One Hotel Santubong to Damai Beach Resort. It’s just our luck…just our luck. On the bright side, we manage to get a room this year and the medias and performances official shuttle still commute between One Hotel Sanntubong, Damai Beach Resort and Sarawak Cultural Village every 30min interval (or less).
We weren’t being informed of the changes until about two weeks before the actual event started. By that time, it’s too late to change our reservation and come out with a new plan. I have to however admit that Damai Beach Resort does have a better facilities and a nice beach view compared to One Hotel Santubong.
My partner and I reached Sarawak Cultural Village just in time for the 3rd workshop classes and we decided to check out the class at the theater. Before that’s let’s check out the crowds at the entrance that day, shall we?
Moving on. The workshop that we attend was called Fingers and Thumbs. Basically it’s a class of plucked instruments of different shapes and sizes. Check out the photos:
Well, overall the performance was good especially when they’re playing solo. However, the jamming part was kinda dull when each of them trying to find the right key and rhythm to go together. I really wish the jamming part was better. Maybe I’m comparing too much with last years’ string jamming session. For this year’s string workshop jamming session, I would rate it 7/10.
After finishing up with the workshop session for day 1, my partner and I decided to check out the dinning area. Owh yea, this year’s Media & Performers Dinning Area has been changed as well. If the years before the dinning area or rest tent for the medias and performers was placed inside Sarawak Cultural Village, this time around it was changed to a proper restaurant located at Damai Central. The Bayridge Restaurant. Pretty cool and comfortable place I must say but…it’s just not a convenient place to go if you’re on a busy schedule covering for the main event which is located inside SCV. The only downside, is you have to go our from SCV to Damai Central and go back in again to resume your work. I wish it was a ‘Grab-and-Go’ setup where you can always get a drink and plan your schedule while resting all at the same place in a jiffy.
Of all the privileges that a media personnel can have during the event, I enjoy the Heinekabanna the most. Owh yeah! What is Heinekabanna? Check this out…it’s a Heineken VIP lounge.
We didn’t stay long for the dinner and Heineken session because we want to check out the night shows, which is the highlights for the RWMF. Despite the hype, my partner and I decided to stay a little bit longer at Heinekabanna and wait for the show from Chet Nuneta at 8.35pm. The first few shows are from the local groups so we were thinking to skip it. By 8:00pm, we make our move to the stage area and waiting for the show to start. I didn’t go to the press pit that night because I want to enjoy the view from the common ground (*cough* and I didn’t have my photographer pass yet *cough*).
Check out these photos taken during the show from Chet Nuneta…
After enjoying the powerful performance and dance by Chet Nuneta, my partner and I went around the concert area and check out the Food Mart. Since it was already like half past 9:00pm, we were thinking to get some for for a bite. We were actually looking for some fries but end up having Chicken Shwarmas instead haha. Well, its just some twist and turns you’ll encountered when going round the Food Mart. Everything just looks nice to eat.
We enjoy the rest of the night show from the Food Mart area after that. Here, have a peek of how the Food Mart area looks like during day time.
Neat eh? Anyway, we didn’t stay exactly till the end of the concert since we went back about an hour before it ends to avoid traffic congestion along the way back to One Hotel Santubong. Plus, I just realized that I left my phone charger at the office. I thought at first I would like to drive back to the office and get the charger, but then I was advised better to stay put and avoid driving at night along Santubong road. It’s kinda dark though.
There goes my experience on RWMF day 1.