KUCHING (Nov 19): The Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts is calling upon everyone to support the 10th Miri Country Music Fest (MCMF), to be staged on Coco Cabana Miri this Dec 1 and 2.
“I extend my heartfelt invitation to all music lovers, families, and tourists to join us at the 10th MCMF, an event that promises two days of musical enchantment, cultural richness and community engagement,” said the minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
“Let us come together to make this milestone celebration a testament to the power of music in uniting people and fostering a sense of belonging.
“Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at MCMF 2023,” he said in his speech read by the ministry’s permanent secretary Sherrina Hussaini during a press conference here on Friday.
The festival, too, has become synonymous with celebrating the vibrant spirit of ‘Country and Western’ music in the heart of Miri, said Abdul Karim, who is also Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development.
He commended the organiser, Place Borneo Sdn Bhd, for creating this festival and ‘growing it further throughout the years’, with support from his ministry.
“This year’s festival holds special significance as we celebrate a decade of bringing the magic of country music to the beautiful seaside landscapes of Miri.”
“In the spirit of gratitude for the support given by the fans and community over the past 10 years, I am thrilled to announce that admission to MCMF 2023 will be free for everyone – yes, free entry for all, as a token of appreciation for the unwavering support by fans from Miri and beyond who have made the festival a resounding success over the years.”
The festival, said Abdul Karim, has always been a unique musical experience, and this year would be no exception.
There will be a diverse line-up of nine bands from the USA, Vietnam and Malaysia, as well as local ensembles from Sarawak.
“It is always great to see more and more local bands, young and old, being given a platform to showcase their musical talent to a larger audience,” said the state minister.
Beyond staging the musical performances, the festival grounds will also house a bazaar showcasing local crafts and arts, as well as cuisines. Last year, Orang Ulu food and craftworks were featured and enjoyed by many festival-goers.
As part of the ministry’s commitment to community development, the ‘Buku Project’, a corporate social responsibility initiative introduced last year, would be continued this year.
“We invite everyone, the local community as well as festival attendees, to join us in this meaningful endeavour by donating one or more books before or during the festival.
“These books will be distributed to rural schools in need, contributing to the advancement of literacy within our rural communities,” said Abdul Karim.
Last year, a total of 500 books were collected and distributed to SK Long Lama and Long Latei after the festival.
Another highlight for the 10th anniversary this year is that, for the first time in the festival’s history, a free 5km Fun Run will be organised for festival-goers and the community.
Happening on Dec 2, the route will cover the Marina Park near Coco Cabana, and flag-off will be at 5pm before the live music performances kick off.
Abdul Karim remarked: “As the first ever ‘Country and Western’ music festival in Malaysia, we should continue to not only make it a celebration of music but also a significant calendar event that can boost tourist arrivals and establishes Miri as not only a thriving resort city, but also a hub to host international events.”
The performing line-up for MCMF 2023 are The Johnny Kongo Trio, a band based in Vietnam with US band members; Os Pombos, a Malaysian country music legend of 40 years; the Evergreen Unlimited, a country band led by Datuk Ladislaus Maluda; Roland Tarawe, a musician from Bario Highlands; The Colours, a young and fresh band from Miri; Country Road Band, an icon in Sarawak’s country music scene since the 80s; The Sape Movement, a band from Miri that keeps our traditional sape music alive; Sessionista, a lively band from Miri; and Knewton Global Schools, a band of music students from an international school in Miri.
Also present at the press conference was Place Borneo director Gracie Geikie.