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A lot of things that annoy others are being done by people who are putting their own cliques infront of other festival goers. Is it really necessary for some people to spend all their time at Womad with only the people they came with? If there is one place where it is safe to mix with strangers, it's Womad.
I have always thought that Womad was about one whole group of people getting together to celebrate the diversity of music in the world in particular and the diversity of art, dance and food as well. As it is people that make music, art, dance and food, the desire to meet and party with new and different people should be second nature to all Womad lovers. Otherwise it's a zoo.
To get the most out of any festival or party you have to be an active participant. You can't pay for the atmosphere, you have to make some effort yourself. This is why it is so important to have a late night venue where everyone can dance and party after the bands have finished. If people treat Womad like a service and stay in their cliques with a passive 'entertain me' attitude, the festival will become just a collection of concerts that take place in a field.
so now we should be dammed for our right to enjoy the festival with the people we go with??
as a group we have my parents who are in their late 40's early 50's, us kids who are all in our 20's and our friends who are also in their 20's we socialise as a huge group, the elders in our group have chairs and we 'younguns' have a mat so we can all boogie together and also sit down if and when we fancy it....
we socialise with everyone and anyone around us but we also like to all be together to enjoy the experience of womad TOGETHER it always feels strange when people get seperated for certain things that we want to see together...... we also go to see things seperately and some of us in the group go to see acts on our own....so i think the generalised statement that the 'nit picky' issues people are raising are down to putting 'their own cliques first' i think is absolute rubbish sorry currygoat...
their is a total sense of womad-snob-syndrome and im not talking about the spa loving different camping options people everyone else is labelling as that.....im talking about these people who think that womad is to be one way and one way only......its a diverse festival and if its seperated into WOMADERS and THOSE-WHO-ARE-DEEMED-TO-NOT-UNDERSTAND-WOMAD-ERS then im giving up now and never coming again...
i do exactly what you say is bad at a festival but i also enjoy it as an individual, as a duo and as a large group and i dont think we have ever felt it not 'safe to mix with strangers' these generalised statements have got to be better considered.....
Nicely said WomadPirate2011. I was about to respond but you said pretty much what I wanted to say.
I'm not sure whether I'm qualified to say who is a typical WOMADer and who isn't and I've been to over 30 WOMAD festivals. The one thing I can say is that we are certainly all different!
And the majority seem to mix so well!
Trebor your on the button mate!! x
It would be really interesting to know how the womad demographic has changed over the years. Festival going has gone from being at the heart of the 60s/70s alternative culture to being a commonplace thing for middle class people to do each summer, with all the trappings of consumer culture that brings. . .. there must be some books or research somewhere. . .
You, yourself wrote, "i completely understand but there is also that sense when 'standers' are shouting on their phones to their friends who then squeeze in and trample/move/barge other standers out of the way to stand with their friends its the same principle. i'm not condoning either behaviour im just saying its a bit of a pathetic issue to be OVERLY worried about...some people put out mats/blankets (which people have also complained about) because they have friends/family joining them from around the site, just as people standing at the front usher in their companions which also disturbs the viewing pleasure for those around them that have also worked hard at securing their coveted space whilst standing..."
All the behaviours you identify involve people annoying others infront of the stage by putting their own group of friends first. You mention disturbing others by phoning friends, barging others to make space for friends and reserving space for friends with blankets German beach towel style. This is not just different behaviour, it is selfish behaviour.
I'm not saying that groups should be banned, I'm asking for the organisers to remove the options that encourage the sort of groups that contribute nothing to the atmosphere. I have no problem with groups who are considerate of others and do things that add to the atmosphere.
But is it necessary to stay in your group infront of the stage?
What is wrong with dancing and engaging with the people who you happen to end up with around you?
Calm down, calm down. It's a very relaxed and respectful festival. There's not really anything wrong with it at all, apart from some issues with security.
... and folding chairs.
...... and wheel barrows.
.......... and inane chattering during performances.
i think sometimes it is necessary to stay in your group....sometimes you DO want to be with the people you know to enjoy in that festival...that doesnt stop you from interacting with others around you it just means you are with friends and family and such to enjoy it too....
It's the inane chatter that gets to me.
Standing near the CG or R3 stages, straining to hear the artists that we've paid to see against a background of thoughtless individuals who seem not to care that they are spoiling the experience for everyone else.
If they aren't interested in the performance why not go and have a cup of tea somewhere or a drink in the beer tent or just chill out under the flags further back from the stage where no one will mind?
Last year I remember watching Imogen Heap in the Siam Tent. Even though I was quite close to the front the performance was ruined by a bunch of students swapping gap stories at the top of their voices. Every now and again one of them would break off the conversations and say "ooh I love this song! ..., anyway did I tell you I bumped into Jason in Bangkok ..."
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