(Front row) Ting, Gracie (fourth left) and organisers with performers in a photo call at the finale.

MIRI: The 6th edition of Miri Country Music Festival (MCMF) which started on Friday remains a crowd puller.

Over 800 country music enthusiasts including those from Singapore, Australia and Brunei were seen on the first of the two-night festival.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture  Datuk Sebastian Ting; State Legislative Assembly deputy speaker Dato Gerawat Gala; Miri mayor Adam Yii ; Pantai Bayu Sdn Bhd executive director Troy Yaw and MCMF founder and organising chairwoman Gracie Geikie were among the crowd.

Midnite Busker, an upcoming Miri band opened the night followed by renowned Miri country singer, Frankie & His Music Machine which got festival goers dancing.

Australian Fields’ powerful songs and unassuming string-plucking transfixed the audience while Casual Ceilidh band which incorporated Sape with traditional Irish and Scottish music entranced festival goers.

Equally impressive was the performance by The Johnny Cash Experience from

Other performers were Dolly Parton Tribute by Diamond Dolly (UK); Joe Ferdinands F&F (Singapore), Os Pombos (Kuala Lumpur) and Lost Soulz (Miri).

Ting and the best dressed cowboy and cowgirl, David Balang and his wife Jenny Ngilo gave the thumbs up to Place Borneo Sdn Bhd, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Miri City Council and sponsors for bringing the festival to Miri.

“Wonderful. fantastic, this is the sixth year. Thanks to Gracie who started this. We will continue to improve and get more international bands to come and share talents with locals,” said Ting to thesundaypost.

He assured his ministry’s support to make the festival a signature event for Miri and Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Balang suggested that future editions of MCMF include bands who perform classic country music as he believed many find it easier to dance to classical than contemporary music.

“We welcome all suggestions and support to plan for the next festival on Nov 27- 28, 2020. We want the best in all MCMF,” stressed Gracie.

She added besides nightly performance, MCMF also has music workshops for children and adults as well as a curated bazaar of food and crafts to boost the local economy.