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.. just looking back.....
2009 68 artists, 22 must sees on my list – result: – flipping brilliant time
2010 80 artists, 20 must sees on my list – result: – flipping brilliant time – perhaps best ever – it was magical
2011 87 artists, 38 must sees on my list – result: - flipping brilliant time
Seriously, if anyone is unable to find a path that excites them throughout the wonderful Womad weekend, maybe the problem isn’t Womad's…….......
My twopenneth worth...................
I am always glad when I know little or nothing about the bands playing at any festival and I never make any plans to see anything.
I'm a festival veteran of the old school - well at least back as far as 1984.
My main obeservation is of the middle classification of festivals and the lack of participation of festival goers to make it special. I have never experienced the uglier side of festival with the exception of Glastonbury in 2000 when my tent was robbed - which was no great problem. The free festival at stonehenge in 84 was a joy and opened my eyes to a world which has long since been lost as money and corperacy eased out the very people who began the festival movement in the tradtion for and of the people. Here endeth my rant........................
I think Womad is great, things will change, that is life and hopefully as Womad changes it will cling to the things that made it great and improve those things that can be improved. it is very easy to look back at past times through rose coloured spectacles, but in reality would you really want festivals to be as they were? thinking back to Led Zeppelin at Knebworth for example, I recall the toilets overflowing and you walked through raw sewage if you were within 50 feet of them. We wore our crash helmets for large chunks of the day because of the popular sport of throwing glass beer bottles at the heads of the crowd in front. Womad, I admit I have only been to 2 so far but those two were far far more enjoyable than any Glastonbury I went to. Womad is special and lets not forget what a wonderful weekend each year it is for so many people
One of the best things about Womad for me having a young family is how peaceful and chilled out it is. Wouldn't ever take my babies to Glastonbury!
Redleg . . . my oh has your same approach to Womad! He just wonders around n sees what he sees!
SS . . . .2010 was also my best and most magical year! . . . .I think I love you more now that you're a woman! x
I'm enjoying reading this thread, hearing what everyone wants from a festival and specifically from Womad. I'm intriguiged as to why some people feel it's elitist? Obviously apart from the ticket price, which will put it out of reach for many. Secondly, someone said (apologies, can't remember who) they miss festival goers willingness to participate. Could you exapnd on this? Participate in what? What is it that people are not doing at Womad now that they used to? Just curious.
Participation - that may have been me. I guess it covers many posibilities. The early festivals were a collaberation of people providing food, entertainment etc rather than corporate enterprises. I don't think Im looking through rose coloured specs. The festival scene drew on far greater social diversity and this led to greater inclusuion and spontaniety. I'm not against anyone attending festivals but the bulk of festival attendance today is from the white middle class, Not many of this group would have attended festivals as they were.
Womad was set up as a family freindly festival but even this has lost an edge as it becomes more sanitised. At my last festival in 2010, I must have heard people getting irate at night time noise on several occasions,
I could rant on.....................................
The times they are a changin
Yes Scummy 2010, absolute vintage year.
Festivals are now open to all, when I was young they were for the young, a few old hippys being the exception.
Becky can bring a week old child and a 90year old complete with electric buggy, both safe in the knowledge they will be ok and no bogs of sewage or flying glass bottles. I agree thats less edgy than some of the gatherings in the 80's and in those times I could party all night, now I need my sleep after about 2am. So I understand the rants about late night noise.
Yes times they indeed a changing- Those that hark back to the old days well, there is always Burning Man In Nevada.
I remember hammering my first womad tent peg going into the dry hard ground at Reading 1994. . . and being transported to another realm. . . . something that occurred each year until 2007. Am I a different person now? Is womad different? Yes and no. I loved the Reading years, the entrance through the leisure centre into another world. I loved everything at Reading except the dust which hurt my nose and the near farcical tent thievery going on in 2006. And there was music going on in the Whirligig until 4am! It does feel like womad has gradually evolved to provide for a certain type of audience. . . dare I say a Radio 3 audience? (even the fact that the idea of a "radio 3 audience" exists says something, doesn't it?) However, the Radio 3 stage has often seen some of the best performances in recent times. Womad at Reading had the genuine festival vibe resonating through it, almost like a beating heart. CP, however spacious, green and pleasant, has almost none of that festival vibe. . . sure, there is still some great music to be heard but the festival has definitely has lost its multi-cultural, political and social mojo. . . the reality is that going to a festival is just mainstream these days. . .
Good thread folks,
The essence of Womad was always collaboration, a beautifull fusion of world music, things you in your wildest dreams would never think of.
Food prepared by hands that had the recipes handed down to them by their grandmother, yes they wanted to make a buck , don't we all.
Music with no pressure, the highs the lows...just go with the flow.
The flags always bring a tear to the eye, you know that mixed feeling of excitement tinged with a feeling of comming home.
I bet there's not one veteran of more than 10 years who couldn't pen a recollection without it being an emotional experience.
The music the music, that's what brings us all together, we are in case nobody realised, in the minority,.......back then we were even fewer, the family has grown.
We have to cherish what we have, believe me it is special in many ways. No other festival comes remotely near.
Thanks to the organisers, they are the Gods of our domain.
Also Charlie, missed by many, i hope someone worthy takes his mantle, Nusratt , Ali, they all took us to places we had never been before. Qawalli singers as the sun goes down, powerfull stuff if your head can take it....
There are new talents just as gifted, we are lucky we have a wide window on the world thanks to Womad.
Nothing makes me happier than to read when relative newcomers exude their excitement and wonder, I've just discovered Womad ! They seem protective, its normal, Let me tell you the honeymoon period for some never ends. I can recall one year doing a round trip of 4000 miles to attend, it was worth it.
Change is good as long as the essence of what it is chainging is retained.
Are we one step away from a Burger King KFC franchise?
We do have Shell after all.
Maybe commercial interest can't always be kept from the door...but a little nudge now and again might hold it back for a while longer.
Do we old timers lament the passing of reading? Of course, so many memories and friends made. The move has brought a lot of changes, the essence is different, bigger bolder two main stages trading acts like ying and yang.
But hell I love the park and camp guys, bring it on ! So yes this old timer likes the move.
Keep the thread going share some memories.
Can I leave you with two things, I believe they were the moments when all this began.
1982 Peter Gabriel "Lay Your Hands on me" accompanied by the Drummers of Burundi.
1982 Echo and the Bunneymen "Zimbo" ditto Burundi's .
They have to open the Birthday".........
Perhaps some of you that have been going for years n years n years have just become a little bit immune to it all?
This will be my fourth year and for me the magic of Womad is still 100% in tact. I walk through the gate and feel that I have come home. The sight of the flags still brings a tear to my eye. And there are many moments for me, every day, that can only be described as spiritual. Not one year have I come away having not learnt something profound about myself, life and the cosmos. It's a journey of musical and self discovery.
I feel a deep sense of sadness on the way home knowing that I am now at the longest point until I will be back at Womad again n our whole year as a family is literally geared towards those 4 days in the summer!
I hope I always love it this much . . . because it has truly enriched my life .. . . and I don't know where I would be without it now. x
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