WOMAD 2019 Preview

WOMAD 2019 Preview

So after missing last year’s event and sending someone in my place, this Urbanista can’t wait to get back down to Malmesbury, to WOMAD Festival! Having been to three previous years at WOMAD, I can’t wait to get down to sample the most eclectic mix of music, fantastic range of food stalls, the wonderful world of wellbeing and much more!

The infamous WOMAD flags and revellers at the sign!

The World of Music, Arts and Dance takes place from the 25th – 28th July at Charlton Park in Wiltshire. Originally started by founder of Genesis, Peter Gabriel, the festival aims to celebrate and embrace musicians and artists from all over the world. In these times of isolationism with Brexit still continuing to frustrate people throughout the country, this incredible event is the antithesis!

Whilst many festivals in the UK will have acts coming to perform from around the world, WOMAD gives stage to acts from the widest variety of locations. It’s a festival of discovery, whilst it’s great to look ahead at the acts performing throughout the day, it is also a great experience to wonder around between stages to see some catch some incredible acts spanning numerous genres, from jazz and blues, to reggae and ska, electronic acts and hip hop.


I often get asked who is playing at WOMAD by mates, and I have to tell them that most of the acts I and they probably won’t have heard of, just as I haven’t, but there are always a few familiar names on the bill to spot!

This year Ziggy Marley, continuing the family tradition, brings his own reggae band, The Melody Makers along for one of the headline slots. The instantly recognisable voice of the 20 year old hit “I Try”, the multi-talented, Macy Gray will also take up a headline slot at Charlton Park. In previous years I’ve been happy to know a few names of acts playing, but this year we get to witness the iconic vocals of one of rocks greatest frontmen, Robert Plant will be performing in his new project, Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian and Robert Plant. Sharing duties on Sunday night will also be electronic legends Orbital! If the electronic side is more of your interest then perhaps Kraftwerk Re:werk will be up your street, a reimagining of Kraftwerk hits featuring an orchestra of disabled musicians.

Ziggy Marley

Other acts we’ll be taking in over the weekend include: Baba Zula, DakhaBrakha, Anna Calvi, Brushy One String, the annual Malmesbury Schools Project, this year performing with the Bolywood Brass Band and so much more.


I mentioned food earlier, well I’ll tell you more about that in our review following the event, but having been previously I’ve always been blown away by the fantastic range of food cuisines. We will also be taking in experiences at the World of Wellbeing, with a range of sites and activities designed to help visitors relax, unwind and learn. This year’s WOMAD also features talks from NASA Astronauts at the World of Physics as they look at 50 years since the moon landings!

I haven’t even touched on half of what can be experienced at this incredible event, but I will add that whether you’re thinking of going alone, with friends or with little ones, this event is an incredibly welcoming festival and attracts so many families, many festival goers attending previously came with their parents when they were children!

Anyway I’ve gone on enough, get yourself to WOMAD 2019 – for more information and tickets visit here:

Tom Longman


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Tom Longman