The year 2015 has been crowned as the ‘Year of Festivals’ for Malaysia by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. So now is the perfect time to introduce the first My Music Festival 2015 (MMF2015) – touted as the largest Malaysian live band festival in .
The 8th of March will see international British rock legends Smokie headlining the sound extravaganza at Sunway Lagoon’s Surf Beach as part of their 40th anniversary world tour. The band is famous for hits such as ‘Living Next Door To Alice’, ‘Needles & Pins’, ‘Don’t Play Your Rock n’ Roll To Me’ and ‘If You Think You Know How To Love Me’.
Joining them will be 20 popular local acts across all genres of music including indie, jazz, pop rock, fusion, funk, R&B and reggae among others. Names such as Joe Flizzow, Kyoto Protocol, Paperplane Pursuit, Hydra, and A.P.U. promise a night of high energy and red-hot beats. Seasoned favourites like Alleycats, The Blues Gang and The Strollers will also appear.
“My passion for this event is overwhelming,” said Francis Danker, founder and CEO of organisers OX Entertainment Sdn Bhd. “I have always felt musicians could do much more if only they had more support.”
A former musician himself, Danker added “in a country where arts is still in its infancy, you could say being part of putting together MMF2015 has been an absolute pleasure and honour as it allows me to do my part for the industry.”
From left: Steve Pinnell, Terry Uttley, Francis Danker, Ritzeraynn Rashid, Martin Bullard and Mick McConnell
Four members of Smokie were also present at the press conference – Terry Uttley, Steve Pinnell, Martin Bullard and Mick McConnell, with the remaining member Mike Craft due to join them on Sunday itself.
“It’s like a holiday, we’re having a ball here,” exclaimed Smokie band member Terry Uttley when quizzed on the difference between this visit to Malaysia and the band’s last visit in 2006. “Most of our tour is in and out and we like to give each other space, but this time we’re going out as a unit and we’re enjoying ourselves as a group, which hasn’t happened in a while.”
Paying testimony to local Malaysian musical talent, Uttley added “We’ve seen the most incredible musicianship here, and I don’t know if you know how good you are but you’re some of the best.”
A number of local performers for MMF2015 were in attendance at the press launch, including Dato’ David Arumugam from Alleycats, Ridzuan from The Union, G-beng from Hydra and John O from Paperplane Pursuit.
“Music, being the universal language, brings people together. And when people come together, things happen,” said Ritzeraynn Rashid, Manager of Public Relations and Communications for the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB).
He said such a festival would do wonders for the music industry in Malaysia and give the local scene a boost. He even held up his phone to show the audience that his Singaporean friends were driving down for the free concert.
Smokie’s Mick McConnell suggested that everyone needs to jump on board to help the fledgling scene flourish as it did in the U.K., making music the fourth biggest export from that nation. “Maybe in 10 years we in the U.K. will be listening to Malaysian music,” he said.
Being at MMF2015 is a good place to start supporting local musical talent. Admission is free for all, but limited to 15,000 visitors.