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Rainforest World Music Festival is Postponed

RWMF 2020 Postponed

The Rainforest World Music Festival 2020 has been postponed due to the Coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic around the world and also here in Sarawak and Malaysia. 

Known commonly as RWMF, the Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Abdul Karim had issued the media statement on 13th March 2020 in Kuching.

Rainforest World Music Festival 2020 Postponed

Cancellation of the RWMF 2020
The crowd at the last RWMF in Sarawak.

The decision to postpone the Rainforest World Music Festival 2020 was done due to the ministry's top priority for public health during the Coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic. 

The RWMF is a major flagship event for the state of Sarawak and is also a popular world-renown ethnic music event that sees over 20,000 visitors yearly.

The music festival not only sees local attendees but a large number of international visitors from all over the world attending the festival.

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place mid-year, usually during the summer of June or July, and is held at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong, one hour drive from the capital city of Kuching.

Rainforest Music Festival Postponed
The scene during the last RWMF in Sarawak.

Why this event is so popular is because of the uniqueness where a wide range of local and international performances from traditional music, to world fusion and contemporary world music are held in one natural venue.

This year, the Rainforest World Music Festival was supposed to take place from 10 to 12th July and according to Kevin Nila from the Sarawak Tourism Board, tickets were not opened for sale yet. 

This means that the Sarawak Tourism Board had anticipated the seriousness of the Coronavirus and held back from opening the online ticket sales. 

Therefore, most of the festival attendees or visitors would have pre-booked airline tickets and accommodations before the event. If you have done this, please read further below on what you can do next.

Cancelled RWMF 2020
Orang Ulu at the RWMF
Why is the Rainforest World Music Festival Postponed?

There are in fact many reasons that contribute to why the RWMF is being postponed, and I will list down the most obvious reasons below.

First of all, the current Coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic is the core reason for the postponement. of this festival. This is also followed by the concern of the virus spreading in large gatherings or events.

International musicians also make up the bulk of the performers of the festival, hence, flight logistics would be a serious nightmare for many of them.

Most of the performing bands and musicians come from all over the world, and with the current airline lockdown from many countries and airlines, this would impose a very chaotic situation.

Logistically, it would be an organizer's nightmare just to coordinate the arrivals of the performers, the equipment, the health screenings and so on.

RWMF Fringe Festival Canceled
The Rainforest Fringe Festival 2020 is also canceled.

Rainforest Fringe Festival 2020 Postponed

Another major build-up event that coincides with the RWMF is the 2-week long Rainforest Fringe Festival 2020. This event too has been postponed until further notice.

The Rainforest Fringe Event usually takes place around Kuching city, promoting the RWMF with daily and weekly events ranging from workshops to music performances. 

One of the performers during the last RWMF.

When is the Rainforest World Music Festival Postponed?

As of writing this article, there is no confirmed date when the RWMF 2020 will be postponed. For now, it was just announced by the ministry. 

It also depends on the situation of the Covid-19 or Coronavirus in Malaysia, and if it subsides or continues to spread. 

In the event, the Coronavirus does spread and an emergency is declared in Malaysia, all events and music festivals in Sarawak and the country will be canceled or postponed to the following year.

Datuk Karim also mentioned that events are not canceled but only postponed to a later date. This also depends on the outcome of what happens in the next two to three months. 

In the event, the Coronavirus comes under control or major improvement is observed, the ministry will then go under review to see if it is viable to set another date. 

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Sarawak also stressed that the decision to postpone all major events in Sarawak was also due to the advisory of the State Disaster Management Committee. 

What if you have bought flight tickets or booked hotel rooms for RWMF? 

First of all, you need to contact your airline or online travel agent (OTA) about postponing or refunding your flight tickets. 

Next, you need to contact the hotel or accommodation you booked for a cancellation. In this scenario, most companies will be flexible and issue you a refund.

No RWMF tickets were sold online due to the anticipation of the pending Coronavirus or Covid-19 issues in Sarawak and around the world.

World Rainforest Music Festival Cancelled
The Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak.
Where is the Rainforest World Music Festival held?

Every year, the RWMF is held at the Sarawak Cultural Village or SCV in Santubong, which is an hour's drive from the city of Kuching.

The Sarawak Cultural Village has been the home of this unique music festival ever since it was inaugurated back in 1997.

What other events have been Postponed or Canceled in Sarawak?

With the Rainforest World Music Festival 2020 being postponed, the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak has also made it official that any event in the next two months with more than 250 people has been postponed. 

This goes all the way from private to public sectors all across Sarawak and most of them are indefinite for now until further notice has been announced.

Any rumors or fake news going around should be verified with the ministry, and this includes the many social media platforms which are well-known to be the main source of this.

Currently, the major events that are postponed in Sarawak are;
  1. Spartan Race Sarawak 2020
  2. Borneo Jazz Festival 2020 in Miri
  3. Borneo Cultural Festival 2020 in Sibu
Sarawak Rainforest Festival Postponed
The massive crowd at last year's RWMF in Santubong, Sarawak.

If you have plans to attend the Rainforest World Music Festival 2020, you should take note of this event that has been postponed by the tourism ministry of Sarawak. 

Hopefully, the Coronavirus situation in the country and the world gets sorted out and things can get back to normal. You can also visit the official RWMF website for any further updates.

Apart from that, any visitors or travelers should also take note that there has been a tourism lockdown in Malaysia and the Visit Malaysia 2020 year has been also canceled. 

In the worst-case scenario that the event is canceled for this year, please do not worry as there is always an opportunity to attend the Rainforest World Music Festival 2021. 

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