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I agree about the 'drip feeding' of the line up!! Annoying! They must know who's playing already if the artists themselves are announcing that they are playing! We already knew about 7 of the 14 that were recently announced and we have a further 14 on our list that they have not yet announced!!
They probably do it for the very reason that SBS and DT have stated!
I did recently ask this question on the facebook page, but I was ignored.
I'm relatively new to world music so I have never recognised more than a few of the acts billed for the festival. But I love that. Womad is a journey of discovery for me.
And I love it . . . I truly, truly do.
I agree with Djembe Fola and I couldn't have put it better myself. I have attended Womad since 1996 and stopped going in 2009 because I felt that it was becoming far too corporate, oversized and elitist. I loved the Reading days - there was something happening almost around the clock, the people were more friendly, music more varied (Womad Club, Whirly Gig), the market was brilliant, there were a variety of political/ethical campaign stalls, plenty of late night revels on the campsite for those who didn't want to go to bed at midnight. Yes, there was drumming after 8pm and I never heard anyone complain. The sight of all those flags always brought a tear to my eyes when I spotted them from the train and then again from the window as the train pulled out of Reading station on the way home. I loved Womad above all other festivals - even Glastonbury. Yes I know - nothing remains the same but something has definitely been lost since Womad moved to Charlton Park.
I am, however, giving it one more go in memory of my brother who died last year and attended many past Womads with me. I'm just hoping that my 2009 experience was just a blip and that Womad will meet my expectations. I do fear that Womad, like many other festivals, have lost sight of the magic of past festivals and have sanitised the whole experience in order to make money. Inward focussed? Sadly I think that's what Djembe Fola means.
I might have to stop coming on this forum if people keep dissing my beloved Womad!! Granted I did not know the Womad of old . . . but the things you talk about, I still see at Womad and it's the reason I love it . . . when you say they are not there anymore I wonder if we are attending the same festival!!
There is still something happening almost around the clock . .. the people couldn't get more friendly . . . the music is more varied than any other festival I know of . . . there are plenty of political/ethical stalls . . . and I've definitely heard drumming as late as 2am!
I've been to plenty of other festival many, many times . . . and there is definitely something totally unique about Womad. Yes they provide amenities to give themselves a wider audience and make money . . . but if they didn't make any money there would be no Womad would there? Things are going to change as the festival gets more popular . . l. but that's just life I'm afraid! Nothing stays the same. xxx
Desert Traveller is quite right. We're all dependent on the petrochemical industry. Shell, however, is implicated in murder and torture in Nigeria and thats not something I paticularly want to be associated with.
Its the sum of many parts that bring us back for more each year[9 years in a row row for me] i would be sadder if i didnt go , a we bit of electronic dance music would go nicely you need abit more sometimes than flute/kora/ guitars/drums to blow the winter cobwebs away
I agree with the electronic music Mikeemike - but then there always was some at Reading. There's plenty of 'world' music during the day, but when I'm out to play I stay out and want some adventures. As I said, not everyone wants to be in bed by midnight.
ScrummyMummy/Becky - there used to be a more open forum - The Unoffical Womad Forum moderated by my good friend Jim but it no longer exists. It was a lot more fun, had wider discussion groups, a very important EDIT FACILITY and no-one wanted to leave, Please don't leave this one. You're entitled to carry on loving Womad but people are also entitled to give their opinions on what was better before.
Why does it no longer exist. Why was it more fun? And it's a 'world' music festival isn't it? So why shouldn't there be 'world' music all day n night??!!
Thanks or your post and fair enough that you feel that way. Like others, I think your suggestion that the line up is obscure, elitist, thoughtless and uncreative needs a bit of clarification. So far - and I think that less than half the acts have been announced - I find it intriguiging, exciting and creative. Many acts I'm unfamiliar with, a coupe I've wanted to see for ages, a few really big names, new collaborations etc. The point is that it's all subjective. One person's mainstream is the next person's obscure.
It is impossible to provide a WOMAD line up to satisfy all. simple as.
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