WOMAD, short for World of Music, Arts and Dance, is a global music festival that celebrates diverse cultures and traditions from around the world. Founded in 1982 by musician Peter Gabriel, WOMAD has since become one of the world’s most iconic festivals, hosting some of the biggest names in world music.
The festival takes place annually in various locations around the world, with its UK event being held at Charlton Park, Wiltshire. The location itself is a beautiful stately home with acres of lush parkland, which provides a picturesque backdrop to the festivities.
WOMAD UK typically takes place over a weekend in July or August and features an impressive lineup of artists from all corners of the globe, as well as a wide range of cultural activities, food stalls, and workshops. The festival’s focus on world music means that visitors can expect to see a diverse range of genres, from African drumming to Indian classical music, reggae to folk, and everything in between.
One of the key features of WOMAD is its commitment to showcasing lesser-known artists alongside established acts. This creates a unique and exciting atmosphere, where visitors can discover new sounds and cultures while enjoying some of their favorite artists. The festival’s ethos is about celebrating cultural diversity and promoting global understanding, making it a truly unique experience for everyone involved.
Beyond the music, WOMAD also features a wide range of cultural activities and workshops. These include dance workshops, storytelling sessions, cooking demonstrations, and arts and crafts workshops. Visitors can also explore the festival’s extensive food market, which offers a wide range of global cuisines from around the world.
The festival also has a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. WOMAD encourages visitors to reduce their carbon footprint by using public transport or carpooling to get to the festival. The festival also provides free drinking water, encourages the use of reusable water bottles, and actively promotes recycling and waste reduction.
WOMAD’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility extends beyond the festival itself. The festival’s organizers work with local communities and organizations to support sustainable development projects, such as clean water initiatives and reforestation efforts. This commitment to social responsibility and environmental sustainability is an integral part of the WOMAD ethos.
WOMAD has also been recognized for its efforts to promote cultural understanding and awareness. In 2017, the festival was awarded the prestigious UNESCO Artist for Peace Award, in recognition of its contribution to cultural diversity and understanding. The award was presented to WOMAD founder Peter Gabriel at a ceremony in Paris, and it serves as a testament to the festival’s ongoing commitment to promoting global understanding and cooperation through music and the arts.
In conclusion, WOMAD Festival at Charlton Park, Wiltshire is a unique and inspiring celebration of world music, arts, and culture. Its commitment to promoting cultural diversity, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility make it a truly special event that is beloved by music lovers and cultural enthusiasts from around the world. Whether you’re looking to discover new sounds, learn about different cultures, or simply enjoy a weekend of music and fun, WOMAD is a festival that should not be missed.