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Why a Festival in the Rainforest Might Be the Summer's Most Travel-Worthy Musical Event

June 6, 2014 at 2:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, we told you some of our top picks for festivals to kick off summer. The most worldly and unique, however, might be found on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo at the end of the month.

Known as the Rainforest Music Festival, the weekend concert features musicians from around the world with a theme of tribal and traditional music. Every continent is represented, but there is a focus on the local island cultures with performances by the indigenous musicians of Borneo.

As you can see in the photos, the instruments go well beyond basic guitars, which is our favorite part of the entire concept, the fact that you'll be able to hear the sounds of instruments you've never even seen before. The Iban tribe, for example, plays an ensemble of an engkerumong (similar to a xylophone), a tawak (bass), a bendai (snare), and a set of ketebungs (single-sided drums).

In addition to the concerts and performances at night, the RMF also has workshops during the day that dive into the cultural aspects of the music. Think dance lessons, theory lectures, instrument education, and fire-drum demos. Local food vendors serving up Malaysian specialties will also be a big part of the fun.

The festival takes place June 20th through the 22nd, about 40-minutes outside of Kuching in the Sarawak region of Malaysian Borneo. The exact location is the Damai Peninsular, home of Gunung Santubong National Park. You can hike your way up Mt. Santubong as a side adventure, or visit the Sarawak Cultural Village to soak up the local history.

Tickets are still available if you're looking for a last-minute idea for some frequent flyer miles, but otherwise, keep it in mind for next summer as it is a yearly event. We're lucky enough to be attending this year, so stay tuned for an inside look next month.

[Photos: Rainforest Music Festival]

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