WOMAD 2017 Preview

WOMAD 2017 Preview

In a couple of months time the idyllic Charlton Park in Wiltshire will once again play host to the most eclectic mix of artists from around the globe. 2017 will be my third year at WOMAD festival and I can’t wait. In my previous reviews I’ve said that I will always keep coming back to this festival, it’s safe to say it’s become one of the highlights of my year.

World of Music and Dance was founded by Peter Gabriel in 1980, introducing audiences to artists from all corners of the globe. You’ll be hard pressed to find a bigger celebration of diversity in music and life.

George Clinton performs at WOMAD Festival, 30 July 2016.

Being a bit different, WOMAD doesn’t tend to announce headline acts, in part showing again their commitment to equality.

WOMAD is a place to discover new acts, but there are always a few big names there to finish up each day on the main stage. In the last two years WOMAD has played host to hip hop pioneers De La Soul and Funk legend George Clinton along with Parliament-Funkadelic.


This year WOMAD welcomes Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra, not just an interesting name, but as is the way with WOMAD, an interesting back story too. Formed in Sarajevo in 1980 as Zabranjeno Pušenje the band would later split and two separate bands of the same name existed through the start of the Bosnian War. Part of the New Primitivism sub-culture, Zabranjeno Pušenje and later The No Smoking Orchestra have drawn on punk, garage and folk influences. I can’t wait to see their live performance, I’m expecting quite a show! Away from the rock side of things how about a West African dance band? If that’s your bag then Orchestra Baobab will be one to look out for, I know I will.

It’s not just WOMAD’s whopping range of worldwide wide acts, there’s the World Market with simply the most incredible array of edible delicacies available, no greasy burger vans here, just an amazing choice that makes you look forward to each and every meal.

Hundreds of people take part in a morning group yoga session at a sunny WOMAD Festival, 30 July 2016.

The World of Wellbeing brings opportunities to relax, take in some meditation, some Yoga, a massage maybe even a gong shower. There’s the cooking classes from performing artists. There’s the World of Children – as this festival is an amazing place for all, families, the elderly the youthful. I’ve met people in their teens who went during their childhood with their parent, now they go with their mates. There is so much more I haven’t covered, just look at the site to see even more of what WOMAD has to offer.

Honestly I can’t emphasise my love for this festival enough, so you can look out for my review of WOMAD in early August or better still join us from 27th to 30th July instead, you won’t regret it.

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Tom Longman