WOMAD returnedd to Rivermead in Reading for a feast of music, arts and dance by the banks of the River Thames. We are celebrating 20 years of WOMAD festivals in the UK this summer, and this year’s festival brought an extravaganza of live music and dance from across the planet, with over 60 artists from 30 countries on seven stages.
Echo and the Bunnymen were one of the highlights of the very first WOMAD festival in 1982 in Shepton Mallett, Somerset, and WOMAD were very excited to be welcoming them back 20 years on.
Other late additions to the line-up included Mariza (Portugal), Little George Sueref (UK), Terry Reid (UK), Charles Zawose & African Fire (Tanzania), Coco Mbassi (Cameroon), Seckou Keita & the Jalikunda (Senegal), Frititi (UK) and an exciting collaboration between master drummer Bill Cobham and the voice of Cuban youth, Asere.
As well as the breathtaking array of live music, there were some all-new DJ nights planned with special guests including The Shrine collective from London on Friday 26th; Casa Latina – a night of Latin sounds featuring DJ Lubi and Martin Morales & Futuro Flamenco on Saturday 27th; and Adrian Sherwood’s On-U Sound Spectacular on Sunday 28th.
The Global Village was back with over 200 international food and merchandise stalls – where you could shop for the full range of festival accoutrements or perhaps have a massage; then indulge in some of the fabulous world-wide cuisine on offer.
The WOMAD Festival site is a feast for all the senses, with spectacular site deco including shimmering silk flags, brightly hued canvases, spectacular lighting and 3D installations.
The Festival’s friendly atmosphere is one its most special features; whatever your age there is something fascinating to do – from a wide range of free adult and children’s workshops to the funfair and organised activities for older children.