Rainforest World Music Festival 2011 expected to generate RM20 million

KUCHING: This year’s Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) to be held from July 8 to 10 is expected to generate around RM20 million for the local tourism industry.

SAPE MASTER: Mathew Ngau (right), a Kenyah from Lg Semiyang Ulu Baram, shows Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan (second right), Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism and Hertiage Datuk Ik Pahon (left) and Sarawak Tourism Board CEO Datuk Rashid Khan how to play the Orang Ulu musical instrument. — Photo by Jeffery Mostapha

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, who is also Tourism and Heritage Minister, said last year’s event raked in RM13 million.

He said the target of RM20 million for this year should be achievable by promoting the event more aggressively, including among European countries.

“Eventually we want to make sure that this festival is not only confined to the usual people who come from neighbouring countries like Singapore or Brunei but beyond, such as Hong Kong, Australia or more far away countries.

“Europe is also likely to be included in a bigger way, but we never really hard sell the event to them. This time we should hard sell it in Europe so that we can get more people to come from outside the usual areas,” he said.

Last time there were about 40 percent foreigners and this time the target is 70 per cent, Dr Chan told reporters during a media conference in conjunction with the unveiling of the new logo for RWMF at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.

Earlier, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer Datuk Rashid Khan said they were having an early start in preparation for RWMF 2011 to ensure greater success.

He said this year they were targeting 21 bands (19 international and two locals) to perform on three consecutive nights.

The response to this year’s festival was encouraging with all 1,000 special promotion online tickets launched in October last year snapped up.

“The second phase of the promotion which is ongoing indicated an 80 percent growth trend and I am confident we will be able to achieve the desired result,” he said.

To-date RWMF 2011 organisers have confirmed performers from France (Startijenn). Also going on stage are Pacific Curls – New Zealand, Mamak Khadem – Iran, The Blue Canyon Boys – US, Lisa Haley & The Zydekats – US, The Shin – Georgia, Eastern Europe, Ikswew – Canada, Frigg – Finland, Malick Pathe Sow – Senegal, Agungbeat – Malaysia, Victor Valdez Trio – Mexico/Australia, Ilgi – Latvia, Hanggai – China, Kissmet – India/UK, Paddy Keenan Trio from Ireland, Duoud – Tunisia/Algeria, Joaquin Diaz – Dominican Republic, Kamafei – Italy, Kenge Kenge – Kenya and Warsaw Village band – Poland.

Daily tickets priced at RM110 per adult and RM55 per child, aged three to 12, are now available online at www.ticketcharge.com.my while a three-day pass for adults costing RM300 and RM150 for children, aged three to 12, are also available.

For purchase, booking and enquiries call TicketChare Hotline at +6 03-9222 8822 or TiketCharge @ No 42A-1, Jalan Metro Pudu, Fraser Business Park, off Jalan Yew 55100 Kuala Lumpur or logon www.rainforestmusic-borneo.com for details.

Also present at the press conference yesterday was Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik.

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