8 Music Events & Festivals in Malaysia

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Music brings people from all walks of life together. We can always count on music when we’re sad or happy and it allows us to express ourselves in a very primal way. Most Malaysians love music and this shows in the various types of music festivals and events that we have in Malaysia. From traditional music of the past to the music of the future, Malaysia has it all.

1) Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival

Photo Credit: Hype Malaysia

Jazz is a popular genre of music that has encapsulated the hearts of many music lovers around the globe. With its mellow singing voices working in tandem with its funky tones, jazz is fundamental as a significant musical art form. So much so that UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) decided to dedicate April 30th as International Jazz Day.

The Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival (KLIJF) is one of Malaysia’s premier jazz festivals and takes place annually within the city’s limits. This year’s festival will feature international and local jazz acts such as Simone, Nicole Henry, French Sumo, KL Jazz Project, UM Big Band and others. Taking place at University Malaya, Malaysia’s national university, the festival will contain five separate stages, along with a food, art and fashion exhibition, amongst many other things to do whilst attendees take a break from enjoying some good old-fashioned jazz.

Here is a promotional video of the 2012 KL International Jazz Festival:


2) Rising Music Festival

Photo Credit: Rising Music Festival Facebook Photos Page


The electronic dance music genre has gotten bigger compared to how it was in the 90’s and early 2000. So much so that musical festivals revolving around the entire genre has sprouted up in blistering numbers over Malaysia. One such electronic dance music festival that has started to gain traction is the Rising Music Festival. While primarily a youth-centred genre of music, electronic dance music festivals also attract older fans who enjoy dancing and listening to this particular genre of music that has been on the rise since the 90’s. This year’s line-up for the Rising Music Festival featured both foreign talent DJ’s such as Yves V, Leon Bolier, Dominic Silver, as well as local DJ’s Rebirth Brothers, Rojak Bois and Bard Coupe to name a few.

More info on the Rising Music Festival can be found here.

Official Rising Music Festival for 2013:


3) Future Music Festival Asia (UPDATED)

Photo Credit: Future Music Festival Asia Facebook Photos Page

Heralded as Malaysia and South East Asia’s largest musical event, Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) 2013 marks the second time the Australian music event has visited this tropical nation. Typically lined with electronic dance music artists, this year’s two-day Future Music Festival, combined with another event called A State of Trance, featured a more diverse list of performers with indie rock, indie folk, pop, alternative and various other genres making an appearance as well. To top it off, world famous artists such as The Prodigy, Steve Aoki, Hardwell, and countless others graced the stages of FMFA which made it an unforgettable experience. Nevertheless, FMFA ’13 also had an incredible turnout of local and international visitors, with over 55,000 attendees showcasing that it was an event not to be missed.

*UPDATED* Future Music Festival Asia Will No Longer be Held in Malaysia

Official Future Music Festival Asia after movie:



4) Heineken Green Room

Photo Credit: Serge Norguard of Dustyhawk :: Broken Mirror

Heineken’s Green Room festival has set the standard for bringing down new and experimental sound into Malaysia. Combining new sounds and top-notch musical acts with innovative art pieces, this music event gives participants the chance to enjoy a memorable and unique night to remember. This year’s Green Room was highlighted by two international acts, New York indie pop group – The Drums, alongside British electronica DJ – TEED (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs). Local artists were also part of the event which was held at KL Life Centre at Jalan Sultan Ismail in June.

Official previous Heineken Green Room promotional video:


6) We Love Asia Festival

Photo Credit: We Love Asia Facebook Photos Page

Another electronic music based festival, We Love Asia, primarily kick starts the New Year with two days of loud beats for those who love to head bang and fist pump. Usually featuring notable internationally acclaimed DJ’s, this live event gives fans of electronic music in Malaysia the chance to witness some of their musical heroes on stage. Heading to the festival also guarantees that you will be partying with like minded individuals who enjoy listening to the same music you do and it is a perfect time to make new friends or to enjoy the festivities with old ones. Big names such as Yolando Be Cool, Ferry Corsten, Redfoo of LMFAO, and Steve Aoki took to the stage of this year’s We Love Asia festival and drew a huge crowd of music lovers.

Unofficial user uploaded video of Steve Aoki’s We Love Asia 2013 performance:


7) Rainforest World Music Festival

Photo Credit: Rainforest World Music Festival 2012 Photo Gallery

One of Malaysia’s most renowned music festivals takes place in Sarawak once every year to the joy of music enthusiasts everywhere. The three-day festival typically features the musical talents of performers from around the globe alongside local indigenous acts. For a more in depth article on the Rainforest World Music Festival, checkout our previous article here.

The official Rainforest Music Festival by the Sarawak Tourism Board:


8) Penang World Music Festival

Photo Credit: Penang World Music Festival Facebook Photos Page

World music takes a different form than its Sarawak counterpart in Penang with the Penang World Music Festival. Held over a course of two full nights annualy, global music and culture will be featured centre stage as visitors of the festival enjoy the open-aired festival that will feature a nature-themed backdrop in the Penang Botanic Gardens’ Quarry Park. Amidst all the music and art that will be showcased from around the globe, there will also be a wide selection of food and beverages which will no doubt be tantalizing given Penang Island’s fame for being the food capital of Malaysia. With a wide ensemble of musicians from various countries that will feature a multitude of playing styles and instruments, this music festival will surely delight both music amateurs and connoisseurs.

Official teaser for Penang World Music Festival 2013:


Music Events & Festivals in Malaysia Map

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