Cowboy hats, checkered shirts, leather boots and sheriff badges were the dress code of the day as nearly 2,000 people filled the pavilion of Parkcity Everly Hotel in Miri, Sarawak, while the inaugural Miri Country Music Festival got underway. If the idea of a country music festival in Malaysia confuses you, you don’t know East Malaysia as well as you thought.
“Not just in Miri, but also Kuching, they seem to love country music,” said festival artistic director Asif Pishori. “You walk into a bar here and you’ll see a cowboy with his hat sitting at the bar, having a drink and selling his keropok.” He laughed. “I notice Miri people just dress naturally like cowboys.”
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