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This is a little rant but it's a passionate one...
Really looking forward to my 28th Womad, booked my tickets early for the whole family.
30th anniversary, surely this will be one not to miss, a total feast of the best in world music, what a party to remember......
The promise of class world acts from future past and present, surely in good old opening tradition the Burundi's will explode on stage followed by the Dhol Foundation, va va vroom spirits high let the show begin !
How many times did I see that and feel I was witnessing something truly special, maybe the odd tear in my eye as the best three days of the year were about to begin, yes Womad has always been about loyalty and passion for me, always good old favourites and always something new to discover and take home with you to last another year.
There have been many magical moments, due to the diversity we all find our own, 1 Giant Leap, Nitin Sawhney! Baaba Maal, the list for me goes on and on and the passion filters down to my five children.
Something happened at Shepton in 1982, my eyes and heart opened up to a world of music beyond the fodder we are fed.
Well I feel I need to make my feelings a little clear and maybe get a little feedback from a few fellow music fans.
Great a spa ! Glam camping ! Glam this and that, well I would rather pee in a pot and watch a class act than Glam pee and experience an obscure Lithuanian flute player ( no offence to Lithuanian flute players).
Who is choosing the line-up ?
How obscure and elitist is the festival becoming ? I can't invite any friends along now and introduce them to what I like and love it's just too off the radar for them.
Surely 30th anniversary, couldn't we have a few collaborations between artists, mix up some unusual combinations, I really think the line-up so far is thoughtless and un creative, a little less Glam and a bit more thought would guarantee the festivals future, at this rate the 30th may be my last.
One hugh saving grace Is the radio 3 tent, thank you radio 3 you have produced the best and most enjoyable acts and experiences of the last five years.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel as strongly as I do about the current direction the festival is going I would love to know how you feel.
all the best Mark
Nope sorry! I love love love love love it! N always will . . . but then I'm relatively early on in my world music Womad journey. This will be my fourth so I've only ever known Charlton Park n don't know if it was better or worse before . . . but for me it's still the best 4 days of the year! x
Interesting post Mark.
Well I dont go back to Womad 82 but I was at Stonehenge and another illegal in Winsor great park, they were terrible; a complete mis mash of everthing including fear and violence. But festvals were for young people, JD's Hippys etc. Not that we ever really were, but it was raw new and you had a wow factor when you said you'd been.
Remember that 'bloody helicopter' waking us all on a Sunday night 3 years ago? Thank not God but the festival organisers who put the burning tent out and airlifted the badly burnt victim away to A&E. Most Festivals are well organised, safe and a pleasure to be at and all ages can now access them, why should people not have posh loos and a Spa? We are getting on, some have medical issues, some need comfort & a decent nights sleep. :)
Womad is more than its music, yes there are those who would have it as an elite gathering, a minority I feel who must be discouraged, maybe there are too few hedonists these days, they've all gone off to Burning Man in Nevada!
I love that its open to all, but its not edgy because as we get older we seen it & done it, there will be few surprises.
Musically, well there are always gems to be found, but you may have a point. One highly acclamed artist a few years ago sounded to me like the squaking of a dying man! But I wonder if the amazing work of bands like the Afro Celts would have ever happened without Real World and Womad to bring them together.
Yes I wouldnt mind a few more legands on the bill , ACSS being one.
I know Gary posted a thread last year about this so an open debate is garanteed
I would welcome an open debate...
All festivals have to be well organised these days and I have in the majority always found Womad to be excellent, most of the festivals I have attended have also been of a high standard.
The point is that Womad was always different, today if you take the performers out of the equation it just seems like any of the others, even the food compared to 10 years ago has changed, we now have the same old stalls that attend most of the big festivals.
The line-up is elitist, it's becoming more "hard core" year on year, I listen to music from all over the world all day and every day and I look at the line- up not knowing more than half a dozen acts, I don't mind that in general but my point is this is a big anniversary and they should be celebrating all that has happened over the last 30 years, I have met some of the organisers and they are definitely becomming inward focused.
The overall vibe at Womad is really good, I went to the IOW last year- awful and not so good at Beautiful Days either. It helps we have the World of Wellbeing and that massive kids area.
Yes, on the 30th it would have been good to get as many headliners back from Previous Womads as possible.
At Glasto, they have the luxury of being able to put the less well known off in an area such as The Glade or the Rabbit hole.
It may reflect the festival scene which seems to getting more specialised. I have worked with Festival Republic , great well run festivals but run to a formula. Big Chill was pulled , was it because there are too many festvals and it didnt fit into a mold? I hope not, just as I hope Womad is not seen by outsiders as the ' world' music venue. It would be lovely to have a wacky Rabbit Hole style area, hey may be put Radio 3 in the main arena and make that tsmall area into the rabbit hole it! ( see Secret garden Parties web site for details)
D of Womad = dance, so what about some electronic stuff? I can feel your shudders now!!!. In the 90's I was part of a team that saw the Chemical Bros perform in the Big Blue (tent) To see 9K people dancing to Hey Boy, Hey Girl with lasers at 2 am a proud and memorable moment. Bet you would not find too many elitists in that dance crowd at Womad. So yes less hardcore would be good.
With the latest line up , guess who I most want to see, the legand that is Robert Plant. You will not be able to stop tapping your feet .
Djembe-I don't understand what you mean about the line up being elitist and hard core. Would you clarify what you mean? After reading your posts I'm not sure if you're asking for more mainstream acts, or more well known acts, or acts that have performed at the festival before? I'm new to WOMAD as this will be my first. Most of the line up so far, are new to me, and I am thrilled about that. I have checked out the videos of most of the artists, and there are some that I really don't have much interest in, but I'm sure that's going to be the case when there are so many choices. Out of the list so far, the only performers I have seen before are Jimmy Cliff, and Robert Plant. I am still hoping to see Baaba Maal added, and Seun Kuti and would love to see Echo and the Bunnymen on the list too. I do agree with Desert Traveller about possibly adding an electronic act-would be a good idea. In reading your posts again, I am thinking that you think that the line up is loaded with acts that are too obscure. hardcore in that sense. I would agree with you if that's how you feel. Since this is my first, I don't know how this line up compares to years past. I do think some of the comforts offered like the fancy loos, and spa, are a nice things to offer to those that might enjoy them. I'm sure you'll categorize me as elitist, as I'm staying in a cottage in town, not even camping. The one thing we have in common though is a love for music and it will be wonderful to be in the company of so many that share a common interest in world music.
I have to admit to being slightly underwhelmed by the line up this time around but it's early days yet and they could still pull some big names out of the bag. I am getting a bit sick of the way they're drip feeding us the line up. I want to know whose playing just in case I want to sell my tickets and book a different fest.
The stalls thing is happening on every high street, not just at festivals. The same old shops all selling the same things. The festival market scene is just like any other capitalist arena with fewer and fewer businesses managing to compete and survive.
My biggest disappointment and one that will have me thinking very hard of whether I come again is the Shell connection. I know it's a different Womad, but actually it's still Womad. The multinational that is Womad is in league with the devil in my eyes.
To be honest I (Del) think that the world has changed in the last 28 years and WOMAD is just reflecting that.
I really enjoy the mix of music at WOMAD and I don't see it as elitist intelligent and inspirational yes
Okay some people want a flushing loo or a wigwam that's there choice and as long as every have fun what's the problem?
WOMAD has enriches my life each time I go and I could never complain about that.
Djembe Fola you have far more experience of WOMAD than I so I don't doubt your views are heart felt I hope some of the feedback on the thread answer some of your question or give some kind of reassurance.
What do you mean by they are becoming 'inward focused'? x
I dont want to side track this into a shell V Womad, but does it matter? I say that because all the oil co.s are amoral. Whos proposing fracking under your town.? From whos oil is the keyboard you are typing made from? Which oil made the butyl Polymer that was made in to rubber for the tyres on the vehicle that takes you to Womad? They all culpable of differant abuses.
It is disappointing Womad have needed to use a multinational sponser in NZ , better we lobby Shell than Boycott Womad.
Oh and yes SBS I agree with your first paragraph; I have not yet bought my ticket.
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