Day 1 : 4th October 2013
I arrived at the venue around 2pm and slowly people starts coming in to check out the booths,the logistics were busy with the instruments, the sound engineer was busy fine tuning the audio and visual equipment. Im impressed with Sarawak Tourism Board and EastWood management as there was so many things to do and everything was organized.
So after checking out the venue, met a few Radio Djs, Kiyoshi from Hitz.fm, Afick from Era and Daffy from Radio Brunei. Awesome people I must say! Chit Chat with them till it was around 4pm and after that Kiyoshi and Afick started to giveaway free 2 days pass to the festival, and us being the over-friendly bloggers, helped out.
Day 1 started off with one of the local band called The Starlets, equip with a keyboard and guitar,these kakaks here have extremely powerful voices to get the mood going,the energy flowing till late night.
As the sun sets, more and more people starts filling up the musical corridor,Bob Yusof took the stage and sang a few of his numbers. One thing i realized a bout Bob, He is much more smaller in real life then in TVs or pictures*hahaha*. His voice was superb and i love his quote which goes like this "musik itu tiada sempadan,dari mana pun kita, musik menyatukan kita" which translate to " Music has no boundaries, where ever we come from, music unites us". None the less, Bob Yusof is an all rounder, traditional music, pop, u named it, he can sing it.
Bringing the traditional music with a modern pinch was Tritha from India. Her music was something new to my ears, no its not the type of music you hear from the Hindustan Movies you watch on the weekends, Its very unique and at the very beginning of her show, i totally cant brain her music but after a few songs, u tend to get the vibe. To explain it here its totally impossible I must say, if you were there, you'll know what i mean. But if you weren't, too bad :P
Bembol Rockers with Kamal Musallam. I love this guys.. From the way they played their music, I can tell that their music was influenced by Elvis and talking about Elvis, U know its a taboo just to sit down and listen to it. U gotta get up and rock and roll! Double bass and semi hollow guitar to Elvis like music, what could go wrong?
Day 2 : 5th October
So for the 2nd day of the event, I attended the press conference which started around 10am. After that it was free time so we decided to chill and checkout the preparations for the second day as it was a Saturday and we were expecting more crowds that day. As the sun slowly goes down the horizon, we can see more and more people coming in and checking out the booth, enjoying beer and good music..
Around 2pm, the Media was invited to attend the press conference with YB Lee Kim Shin,Mayor of Miri and Dato Rashid Khan regarding the future plans for Miri. The next big event thats has been planned for Miri is Country Music Festival which is going to be held on February 2014. They also mentioned that the country music festival would be an annual event and Miri will be the host for the event for the next 5 years.
Back to the main stage, the first band to perform on the second day was Mountain Wind Band which consist of 5 band members, playing country music. It didn't took that long before the crowd created a line and start a Poco - Poco dance sequence.
Next up was another local Iban artist that goes by the name Melissa Francis. I've heard of her name but never really got the chance to listen to her music except during semi-drunk/totally drunk karaoke sessions back at the longhouse during Gawai or Christmas. Her voice really caught me by surprise as I didn't expect that her voice would go that high and still sounded good.
Third up was the Starlets band. Yes, they performed on the second day too. Honestly, I didn't enjoyed the 2nd day performance compared to the first day. Maybe it was the song selection or my expectation was too high.
The energy that the Boy Thai Band managed to transfer to the next performer, which was Anthony Dassan Yen Party. Indian music full of energy mix with over excited crowd and wallah! suddenly everyone knows how to do the Bhangra dance including me..Hahahaha..
And the last one to perform that night was Foxy Girls from Indonesia. First song that came out from the speakers was their rendition of Aku Yang Tersakiti by Judika. This song is one of my favourite song due to the lyrics. I can relate so much to this. Back to the main topic, Foxy Girls gave a superb dangdut performance paired up with the famous "gelek gerudi". As the night comes to an end, double thumbs up to the performers for the memorable first ever Asia Music Festival.
END : Post Mortem
- The distance between Media Center and the Main Event area is too far. Its really quite troublesome to move to one point to another point because of the distance.
- Limited Wi-Fi coverage. Usually I don't complain much on Wi-Fi coverage as I depend a lot on my mobile data but since during this event, my phone was having issues with network coverage, I didn't managed to "tweet/instagram on the go" as Wi-Fi was only provided at the lobby area.
- Pit Pass - No security was seen at the pit area, public can easily go into the pit area without a pass and stay there as long as they want. We ended up asking the Schleppers to help up and asked the public not to enter the pit area as it was getting a little too crowded.
- Venue - I would prefer if the event was held in an open area similar to Rainforest World Music Festival and Borneo Jazz Festival as I find it quite scary/unsafe to organize an event on a floating platform. When the crowd starts jumping, I can feel that the entire platform was wobbling.
Apart from those 4, i can still say that Asia Music Festival was a great event. As it was the first ever, there's still a lot of rooms for improvement for the event. Once again I would like to thank Sarawak Tourism Board and Sarawak Bloggers for this opportunity to cover this event. Looking forward to cover more events in the near future.
As for pictures,you find them HERE and HERE.