KUCHING: The pre-Gawai celebrations in Serian will be extra special this year as the town stages the first-ever Bidayuh Music Festival.
Bidayuh Artistes and Musicians Association (Bama) president Dr Alim Impira said the event would be held for two consecutive nights, starting May 23.
He also said about 5,000 people were expected to fill Taman Komuniti Serian to watch new and established Bidayuh recording artistes.
“Bidayuh Music Festival (BMF) 2015 will be parading the best recording artistes from the Bidayuh community. It is also one of the key activities for Bama, registered on Jan 6 this year, to elevate the standard of the Bidayuh music industry, which has a history of more than 50 years,” said Alim.
Bama is organising BMF 2015 with Serian District Council (SDC), which celebrates its silver jubilee this year. The event is also supported by Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) in conjunction with its 60th anniversary, and it also coincides with the elevation of Serian District into a division, added Alim.
The event’s patron, Minister of Human Resources Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem is scheduled to officiate at the opening ceremony on May 23, while Kedup assemblyman Martin Ben is expected to close the spectacle the following night.
Alim said the theme chosen for the inaugural BMF was ‘Lagu Bidayuh Paguh, Le Caq!’ (Bidayuh songs are good, let’s remain solid) to reflect the association’s aim to elevate the Bidayuh music industry.
“In the coming years, we plan to extend BMF to other Bidayuh populated areas, such as Bau, Lundu and Padawan/ Penrissen. We will also be holding the Juara Lagu Bidayuh (Bidayuh Song Awards) before the end of this year.”
Meanwhile, SDC councillor Stanley Sila said BMF 2015 was not just a prelude to the Gawai celebrations but also a platform to promote Bidayuh music.
“It is also a good way to encourage youths to play musical instruments and create music as a healthy way to pass their free time,” said Stanley, who is also the chairman of SDC’s cultural, youth and sports committee.
The artistes lined up for the first night are Angel Barbie, Hunters, Fiona John, The Gurus, Barbara Edward, Zig Zag, Lydia Mike, Alim & The Empire, Rannee Pat, Hyzenders, Richmond Allan Morshidi, Snipers, Felicia Gek and Mezzavoce.
On the second night, the artistes lined up are Alon Lupeng, Maria Stephen, Miracle, Michael Gayut, Acid Rain, FM2, Jenny & Morgan, Ezra, Megaforce, Wooden Gun, Mike Rantai, Claudia Geres and Spitfire.
The organising committee also expressed their appreciation to the main sponsors — Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications Dato Sri Michael Manyin, Riot and Martin — for making the event a reality.