ROCKTOBER Fest Borneo 2017, billed as Borneo’s biggest beachside rock festival, saw a successful turnout last weekend (October 6 and 7), attended by rock music enthusiasts from Malaysia and globally.
Held in Miri, the inaugural two-day festival welcomed over 5,000 attendees, with the majority of them hailing from Miri and other cities and towns in Sarawak. Other festivalgoers came from Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Brunei and Singapore.
“I came here to see my favourite bands Slapshock, XPDC, Bunkface, OAG, and Hujan,” said Mohd Yusof, a festivalgoer from Brunei who was also there to support Bruneian band, Rose On My Coffin Door, which participated in the festival.
Gan from Ipoh said, “I think it (Rocktober Fest Borneo 2017) is something fresh. Miri is
known for the Borneo Jazz and the Country Music Festival, but this rock festival attracts a new, different crowd to come here.”
24-year-old rock fan Deanna Maria flew in from Kota Kinabalu just for the festival, and listed OAG as one of her favourite bands. “I think it’s really fantastic that we have a huge rock event in Borneo. I look forward to next year’s event, and hope to see more international artistes,” she said.
The rock festival took place at ParkCity Everly Hotel and featured 37 bands on two stages, who performed live from 2pm until midnight. Among the headliners were Hujan, XPDC, Koffin Kanser, Filipino band Slapshock, Oh Chentaku, OAG, Bunkface, Estranged, and many more. Kicking off both festival in those two days were up-and-coming Bornean bands whose performances lent them remarkable exposure to a larger audience.
Estranged’s vocalist, Richael Lawrence Gimbang, expressed his enthusiasm at being able to perform at Rocktober Fest Borneo 2017 after the band’s last gig in Miri back in 2013. “It has been really awesome for Estranged to be back here and be a part of a festival with such great acts,” he said.
“The audience was so supportive and we were happy to hear that some of our fans travelled from all over to hear us play.”
As for his own favourite set at the festival, “I loved the set by XPDC. It was also great to catch new local Bornean bands on stage!”
The attendees also experienced a number of fun activities at the event such as giveaways, a food village, a mechanical riding bull, a horror house’, a Tattoo Garden run by a group of talented Bornean tattooists and various booths by Rocktober Fest Borneo sponsors.