My trip to Kuching this time was mainly for the RWMF 2009, and since this is my first time attending I was naturally quite excited to experience the much-talked about event which is now in its 12th consecutive year and still going strong.
Having decided in advance to attend only Day 2, Saturday, I parted with RM100 for a day ticket, hoping that I would not be too disappointed. (That's the pesky pessimist/cynic/whatever in me talking ;))
A sape carved out of belian wood welcomed everyone at the the entrance.
I had a great time and thought overall it was a fabulous event. Nothing in the complaints department at all, and anticipating the thousands and thousands of attendees, I could see that a lot of effort and preparation has been put in by the organisers.
For the concert, at around 5:15 pm we staked a spot on the left slope facing both the main stage and Stage 2 (The Tree Stage - because it was built with two big trees through it), although the show only starts at 7:10 pm.
The main stage, and on the left background is the Tree Stage.
X marks the centre? In the background atop the slope is the VIP stand.
That's our 2mx2m orange spot right there.
I had bought a polytarp sheet earlier in the morning as Debbie had advised me to bring a mat so we can sit, chill and enjoy the show. Well, we weren't the only ones there early as evident by the many mats of all sorts already in place before we chose our spot.
Staking their territory with two teeshirts and a bottle of cold Sprite!
Food (very important!):
A wide variety of food and drinks were available and were reasonably priced. In previous years I read and heard grouses about the inflated prices of foods inside the venue, especially since no outside foood and drinks are allowed in. I guess the organisers must have taken heed of the feedback.
For a late lunch I had chicken and beef satay, rojak buah, teh c peng. For dinner (in the middle of the performances) I ventured to the other food mart beside the lake and had a freshly cooked black pepper chicken. Hydration was via water, 100 plus and Diet Coke which warranted a few toilet visits and had to brave the expected queues; at least it was moving.
Kenny Sia. View from the back. Haha. Later, I said hello to him and chatted a short while about his marathons.
Astro TV host, Qi, on duty doing coverage.
Cheryl Samad. Anding. No pics.
Some others - I didn't know their names.
Stage Show and Workshop:
Show started on time - I like! Performances were top notch in terms of quality. Sadly, my camera battery went flat so was not able to take pics.
My favourite performers were the Kiwis - Moana and the Tribe - which also featured two Maori warriors. The haka bits were great, their songs thought provoking and entertaining. Kia Ora!
The folksy Jeff and Vida Bluegrass Band were quite entertaining, as with the Malaysian ensemble Akisa with their upbeat pieces. Lan E Tuyang, proudly Sarawak's own, provided the more mellow, reflective moments of the evening, playing soothing intricate tunes from their sapes. Earlier, a dedication was made for their leader and mentor, the late Uchau, who passed on about a week ago.
It was hot and humid, with a refreshing cool breeze later in the evening. Nice! The night before it rained quite a bit; I could imagine there were probably only a hardcore few who were watching the performance sans shelter.
There are a few workshops simultaneously in three venues on each of the days, from 2:00 pm till about 5:15 pm. We stopped by the one at the Iban Longhouse which was on 'instruments that are struck'. I don't know why I thought of percussions, it's actually more on strings? One instrument from Hungary(?) looked like the Chinese erhu, I thought.
Wobbly pic of the Bali troupe.
This man was seated right at the back near one of the doors, sketching the ongoing showcase.
Only okay I thought. I got myself a white tee at RM25, and noticed later that the nice simple green design was by LimKokWing. However, the quality of the material is low and it's not 100% cotton. For this world-class event, they should be able to come up with better quality stuff, ample time to source around. This is one area where I think the organisers should look into as it's a huge potential revenue stream. Event goers usually are willing to spend money on quality merchandise items. (This reminds me of the RM80 tee that was sold at JM's concert. Too pricey, low quality).
A visitor checking out the tees on sale.
More variety of items can be made available, such as baby tees, stickers/car stickers, small note books/pads, pens, canvas tote bags...
It was a good idea to give away free stuff (either the 10 Year Anniversary CD or a mousepad) to encourage feedback. We just love freebies, don't we :)? However if it weren't for the MC's announcement during the concert I wouldn't have known this. At the exit, a big signage would've helped create more awareness.
Random pic. Nice!
The World Craft Bazaar was held at the same time near the Melanau House. Although for locals this may seem common, it gives foreign visitors the opportunity to view and learn about our handicrafts.
Beautiful Orang Ulu motifs.
The tattoo booths were a hit - they were still busy working on customers at the time we left at 11 pm! Very brisk business indeed.
Henna tattoo from this lady's booth. The one on her back is in Sanskrit.
The X Pax booth provided a side show for those not interested in attending the workshops. Fire eating! Capoiera! Jamming!
His stagename is Pi, short for Api.
I got these boys to line up and pose for me! Haha! They just got their henna tats done.
This is real.
Making a fashion statement. And why not?
I thought, how appropriate.
Thanks to my 'hosts' Debs and Jerry for the company throughout :)
Debbie and Jerry clicking away :)
Will I be back next year?
I'll pencil in the dates.