‘Are you in your right mind?’ reacted Hanna, my typical festival-goer best friend, in response to my invitation to join us for the Rainforest World Music Festival 2018. ‘That is not an event for kids, there’s hippies, and narcotics, and…it’s not safe’.
‘Rubbish!’, responded my new friend Diana, with some annoyance. She had already convinced me to come along, particularly as her husband would be team-bound, officially covering the festival for the travel magazine he worked for. ‘Tim was there last year and it is a perfectly family-friendly event’, Diana said. I glanced at the official festival site once again, and was thrilled by what I saw, including many event programmes designed for children. Nevertheless, I decided to leave the kids behind. We spent the second day of the typically three-day event there, as I had to rush back to Kuala Lumpur for urgent appointments the following day. The experience was exhilarating and we both vowed to return in 2019, to attend the full programme. Come 2019, Diana and I went again, just the two of us – she didn’t even bring her aforementioned husband, who had no official duty assigned that year, nor did I bring my kids, nor did we invite anyone else. Excitedly,we flew into the Borneo jungles for RWMF 2019, held from 12–14 July.