It is less than six weeks before the green fields of Wiltshire are transformed into a carnival of music, dance and culture as some of the world’s biggest artists come together and perform at the global party that is WOMAD. Day splits are announced today, so festival-goers can ensure they don’t miss their favourite artists.
WOMAD will kick off in style on Thursday 26 July with the spectacular sound of Jamaican megastar Ken Boothebringing his reggae beats to the festival and genre-defying collective Jazzanova feat. Paul Randolph who will perform their incredible live show, a fusion of super-cool nu-jazz and soul. As per tradition, the Malmesbury School children will open the festival with the Kafou Music Project,bringing a smile to everyone’s faces and setting the bar high for the rest of the weekend.
Friday will see a rich kaleidoscope of sounds from all over the world; the glorious Hashmat Sultana, two Punjabi sisters making their UK debut as winners of India’s X Factor equivalent in an incredible rags-to-riches story, the fabulous K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade(UK via Ghana) also making their first WOMAD appearance with their sensational full-on afrobeat, dancehall, reggae, jazz and dub 9-piece and then former members of the Gipsy Kings The Original Gypsies of Carmaguewhose rumba infused flamenco and guitars will conjure up Mediterranean vibes. Also getting the world party started on Friday will be homegrown talent and voice of his generation Kojey Radical,South American female supergroup LADAMA, shimmering soul and folk from Estonian Mari Kalkun, Polish punk rockers Hańba!,dance music legend Leftfield playing Leftism Liveand a DJ set from drum & bass pioneer Goldie.
Big-hitters from Saturday’s line up include Cuban-Jamaican collective Havana Meets Kingston,whose reggae, dancehall and salsa beats effortlessly intertwine to create an amazing Caribbean sound, West African songstress Dobet Gnahoré who hails from Cote d’Ivoireand sings her sweet melodies in a number of her country’s 72 dialects, new funk and soul project from Bombay Bicycle Club Mr Jukes, Malian music’s golden couple Amadou & Mariam, as well as tour-de-force Parisian Camille, the ‘French Bjork’ who will take audiences on a journey of discovery. Joiningthis stellar line upwill be Australian duo Electric Fields with their distinctive electronica, soul and indigenous sound, Ceilidh-infused 80’s punk mixed with country and western with the Well Oiled Sisters, and Finnish a capella beatboxers Tuuletar, in a spectacular musical trip around the globe.
Things certainly don’t wind down on Sunday, with huge sets from rockers Django Django, (pictured) smooth jazz and soul sounds from Ethiopian-American Meklit, as well as afro-psychedelic seven-piece BCUC redefining South African music as we know it, trailblazing DJ and music traveller Gilles Peterson, Spanish shapeshifter Amparanoia mixing up bolero, rumba, pop and son and exploring her Haitian roots through guitar is the irrepressible Melissa Laveaux, who last month performed on Later with Jools Holland.KoKoKo
WOMAD-ers know that this festival is about so much more than just incredible music; the World of Words celebrates the very best of spoken word and language, the Physics Pavilion making science cool, the World of Wellbeing and WOMAD Spa is an oasis of calm and chill out vibes with top of the range treatments, yoga sessions, hot tubs and saunas, whilst the World of Art provides creative inspiration. The World of Kids boasts a cornucopia of fun for mini WOMAD-ers with workshops galore and taste buds tingle as artists cook up a storm at the Taste The World stage.