Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is like any other music festival where people from all ages and countries come together in the name of music.
Organised annually at Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching, Malaysia, the three-day event features performances from traditional music to contemporary world music.
As interesting as the performers are with their exotic outfits and sounds, the most interesting people at RWMF are actually the festival goers.
Not to generalise people but here are 10 types of festival goers you tend to see at the Rainforest World Music Festival:
Rainforest World Music Festival is not just about the music and dancing but it is also about learning different cultures.
How to spot The Learner? They are the ones who raise their hands and ask questions during the cultural talks.
Or sometimes you can see them at the Rainforest World Music Festival Craft Bazaar engaging with vendors and asking questions.
Sometimes, they are your typical university students who major in music or anthropology. Sometimes, they are the intellectual types who take the opportunity during the festival to learn more about other cultures.
You can also spot them looking diligently at the festival guide or sitting in the front row of the sape lesson session.
2.The Live Feeder
These are the easiest to spot at the festival. They are the ones who have their smartphones raised during workshops, drum circles, and night performances for long periods of time, even just to take just a photo.
Or you can see traces of their live-feeding on their social media accounts even after the festival has ended.
This kind of festival goer has a superpower ability. They can smell selfie opportunities unlike most normal people.
They know, for instance, which part of Sarawak Cultural Village gives the best photo ops, who to take wefies with and most importantly, which angle to take it form. Like I said, it’s a superpower.
Every music festival needs to have The Spectator. They are the ones who peek through the windows of the Iban Longhouse to watch a dance interactive session but never join in.
They watch the night performances from afar… such as the balcony of Dewan Lagenda or sitting at the back on their picnic mats.
Whatever it is, they are just there to spectate and enjoy the music.
5.The Solo Traveller
These are the lone rangers of the festival. They eat alone, participate in the mini sessions alone and they dance alone during the night performances.
Despite being alone, The Solo Travellers are the ones who look like they are enjoying not just the festival but also life overall the most.
6.The Party Animal
The Party Animal type dances the hardest, screams the loudest and drinks the most.
In times past when the ground in front of the stage could become a mud pit during a rainshower, they would be the ones dancing in the rain with mud on their feet and all over their bodies.
You have seen this type of festival goer, not just during the Rainforest World Music Festival but every music festival.
While the performers are giving their all onstage or in the mini sessions, they pick a spot and do their own thing.
Be it a yoga move or throwing a hoop or swinging a pair of poi, Rainforest World Music Festival has seen them all.
This type of festival goer moves in flocks. They usually have one tribe leader who decides which mini sessions to go or where to eat, one ideal follower who has no idea what is going on but happy to follow and the rebel who tends to break away from the group.
Plus if the herd is alcohol-inclined, they have a sommelier or beer connoisseur who keeps the alcohol level in everybody’s system in order.
Sometimes they have a babysitter who has a mother-like role in the group to make sure the herd is safe and sticks together.
They are commonly groups of university students and young working adults who take Rainforest World Music Festival as a short escape from reality.
Some people would call this type of festival goer a dancer…only if you consider their moves as ‘dancing’.
The difference between The Party Animal and The“I-have-no-idea-what-is-going-on-but-I-am-here-to-dance” is that the latter tends to ignore what is going on because they just want to dance.
A band could be delivering a touching performance like At Adau’s Jackson Lian Ngau who dedicated a song to his late mum (in RWMF 2017) or Raghu Dixit from India and Slobodan Trjulja from Serbia giving a once in a lifetime hair-raising duet (in RWMF 2018).
These are the ones who would dance in the middle of a themed music demonstration or a drum circle during the festival irrespective of what is happening around them.
10.The ones who were not there for the world music but created their own world
These are the festival goers who were there at the RWMF but not exactly “there” at the festival.
They could be young couples who find their corners and just enjoy these time-defining moments with each other. Or even groups of friends who form their circles at Dewan Lagenda to drink together as the music plays in the background and sets the mood and atmosphere.