KUCHING: The 20th Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is this year different from previous years with the presence of an inaugural Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) from July 7 to 16.
During the launching ceremony held at the Old Courthouse here yesterday, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said RFF is a 10-day spectacle of the best that Sarawak has to offer in terms of art, craft, music, fashion, food, film and photography.
“In previous years, RWMF was always confined in Damai, about 20km away from here.
Abdul Karim also said the next 10 days would be beneficial to the local hoteliers, food operators and transport providers.
When asked about the state government’s plan to let the private sector organise the iconic festival (RWMF), Abdul Karim said in a way the RWMF had been partly privatised “because we have been outsourcing some of the activities to event management companies and that we have received many sponsorships from corporate bodies.
“However, the government will always back up RWMF activities to make sure they are in line with our vision to promote our arts and culture.”
He also said the state government had come up with about RM2million to organise RWMF, which is money well-spent.
“The festival has come a long way from a mere 300 attendants for the inaugural event in 1998, to a crowd of over 18,000 people last year, many of them foreign tourists.”
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Snowdan Lawan and permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Datu Ik Pahon Joyik were also present during the launching ceremony. -TheBorneoPost