Rainforest Fringe Festival 2018: Top 8 Picks

By Nur Athirah Abdullah

The Rainforest Fringe Festival 2018 (RFF 2018) is less than a month away! Not to be mistaken for the Rainforest World Music Festival, one of the region’s best world music festivals, the Fringe is a cool combo of the very best of Sarawak’s music, art, craft, film, photography, and food. Helmed by Joe Sidek, the man behind the enormous success of Penang’s Georgetown Festival, the Rainforest Fringe Festival 2018 will reveal Sarawak as more than just an adventure destination. RFF hopes to place Sarawak on the world map as a hotspot of art, nature and history.

It’s on from 6 to 15 July 2018: ten days of exhibitions, film screenings, workshops, talks and more. RFF is certainly a festival for those who wish to immerse themselves in the stories of the people of Sarawak and their rich cultures, amidst the setting of a beautiful rainforest.

Here are ArtsEquator’s top eight event picks for this year’s Rainforest Fringe Festival!


1. First People Party 7 July, Black Box, Borneo 744



First People Party is an evening of fun featuring three performances that includes the exhilarating Electric Fields. Electric Fields will take the centre stage and bring their music to their audiences while merging traditional culture and electronic music in their mesmerising performance! They will be joined by Sarawakian experimental band AT ADAU as well as the soulful Pete Kallang. Check out this one-night-only performance here.


2. Yoga in the Wild 9 – 11 July, Cove 55



Ready to downward dog against Mount Santubong with you eyes on the South China Sea? With sessions led by celebrity yoga instructors and a refreshing environment, you are definitely in for a bodily and spiritual retreat for the three days. Go here for Yoga in the Wild packages.


3. Borneo People: A Photographic Journey 6 – 15 July, The Old Courthouse



Borneo People: A Photographic Journey by Dennis Lau is situated at The Old Courthouse. This exhibition portrays Lau’s deep respect and high regard for the indigenous people of the two North Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak. The exhibition is free for all to attend throughout the entire festival. Go here for more information.


4. Sarawak Culinary Heritage 6 – 8 July, India Street Pedestrian Mall



Join the Sarawak Culinary Heritage and Arts Committee as they bring you on a culinary adventure, allowing visitors and locals alike to experience and enjoy Sarawak’s ethnic foods. Aside from getting your fill of the delicious local cuisine – including some potent drinks! – you can also learn to make local tidbits during the “Hands Up or Hands On” demo on Kino Live Kitchen “Snacks Alive!”, if you get there early enough!


5. Forbidden Fruits 7 – 15 July, Borneo 744


Forbidden Fruits is an art installation that introduces weavers as artisans. It will premier at this year’s festival before heading to Georgetown Festival in Penang in August 2018. Forbidden Fruits is a project where several indigenous weaving communities will work in collaboration with IDC Architects to give traditional weaving new relevance so that the community can carry on this age-old practice in today’s modern world. Forbidden Fruits is open from 7 – 15 July and is free for all to attend.


6. Voices of Sarawak 7 – 8 July, Black Box Borneo 774



A concert by three local bands performing an eclectic mix of music, Voices of Sarawak features experimental traditional-and-modern fusion band Pinanak Sentah, soul nusantra folk band Rawi, and tribal contemporary band Suk Binie. Entry is free.


7. Brooke Gallery Tour 6 – 15 July, Brooke Gallery


Rainforest Fringe Festival


Definitely not the only tour throughout the festival, however. Brooke Gallery is providing free guided tours for visitors to learn more about the remarkable White Rajahs of Sarawak. Registration is available via their website and tour is available everyday at 10am and 2pm.


8. Moonshop Forest Workshops 7 – 8 July, Borneo 744



Moonshop Gallery is a plant design laboratory specialist that specialises in tropical ornamental forests. The team collects jungles species from the region and incorporates them into art that enhances the living environment. The workshop invites people to explore the natural circulation of the rainforest ecosystem. Held at Borneo744, the workshop will take place from 7 – 8 July. Registration and workshop fees can be found on the website.


For more information about the RFF programme, check our their website and their calendar here.

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