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A smorgasbord of entertainment in store for Miri Country Music Fest 2017

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James Thompson and The Strange Pilgrims from Australia will be among the new line-ups for the festival’s fourth edition.

James Thompson and The Strange Pilgrims from Australia will be among the new line-ups for the festival’s fourth edition.

KUCHING: The annual Miri Country Music Fest (MCMF) 2017 will showcases a list of bands that includes old-time favourites in the likes of Tantowi Yahya, Raggy and Mountain Wind Band.

The performing line-up is aimed at creating another exciting edition of the MCMF, which will be staged the Parkcity Everly Hotel Miri on Feb 25 and 26, according to the organisers.

The bands are Tantowi Yahya and Friends from Indonesia, Raggy Project (Penang), Russell Curtis (Kuala Lumpur), Shane Smith and the Saints (USA), James Thompson and the Strange Pilgrims (Australia), Casual Ceilidh (Brunei), Adi and Maha (Kota Kinabalu) and Miri’s very own, Mountain Wind Band and Country Road Band.

Tantowi, who has a big fan base in this region, is coming back due to popular request. He will be accompanied by Rani and Friends – another familiar favourite of the MCMF, having performed in several previous editions of the festival.

Other exciting MCMF comebacks are Raggy Project and Country Road Band – both performed in the first year of the festival three years ago, as well as Mountain Wind Band which was featured in this year’s MCMF.

Raggy, who has been appointed the ‘MCMF Ambassador’, performed with another band in 2014. Since then, he has been a familiar face at the festival – both as a performer and a member of the audience.

Next year, Raggy will return with a bigger setup – a five-member ensemble that promises classic country and bluegrass music fans a fun-filled time.

Just like Raggy, Adi Wow also performed with a different five-member band in 2014.

For next year, he decided to appear as part of the duo ‘Adi and Maha’ – a couple of talented musicians from the ‘Land Below the Wind’, set to wow the crowd with their energetic tunes.

Both Country Road Band and Mountain Wind Band will go all out next year at the nation’s only country music festival. Each band will come as a five-member setup.

MCMF 2017 will also feature first-time performances from Russell Curtis, who has been compared with established country singers like Blake Sheldon and Rascal Flatts; and Australia’s James Thompson and The Strange Pilgrims, who had just released two albums.

Another new band is Shane Smith and The Saints from Austin, Texas.

Nearer to home is Casual Ceilidh – a 11-member band comprising expatriates living in Brunei. Formed three years ago, the band has its own brand of country music laced with Celtic influences – giving it a very lively and danceable tempo.

Tickets to MCMF 2017 are now available online via www.miricountrymusic.com. They are priced at RM80 per adult for one-day pass, and RM150 per adult (two-day pass). For children aged between three and 12, it is RM40 per child (one-day pass) and RM70 per child (two-day pass). The pricing includes one complimentary drink.

Currently under the ‘Big Bang Sale’ promotion, the tickets are being sold at RM55 per day and RM100 for two days (per adult); and RM35 and RM60 (per day and two days, respectively) per child. The Big Bang Sale campaign lasts till Sept 30 and after that, pricing will resume to normal rates.

MCMF 2017, organised by Place Borneo Sdn Bhd, will include more activities in its list of programmes to further enhance and enrich the experience of festival-goers. There will be more stalls offering a wide variety of food and beverages, arts and crafts, apparel and souvenirs, as well as competitions like burger-eating contest and arm-wrestling challenges.

There is also plan for a ‘Sunday Cookout’ session on the second day of the festival, to encourage more visitors especially those with young children to come and spend the afternoon at the venue.

The fourth edition of MCMF is endorsed by Miri City Council and supported by Sarawak Tourism Board, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Sarawak) and Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB). Rentak Sejuta is the online media partner.

For more detail on the festival, logon to www.miricountrymusic.com, or email to [email protected]