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Thursday, 25 April 2019 07:49 pm

Countries in conflict to come together at WOMAD 2016


Crowd at WOMAD 2015. IMAGE: Clementine Smart

MUSICIANS from countries in conflict will share the stage at WOMAD 2016.

The three-day festival showcases international music, art and dance from March 18 to 20 next year includes artists from China, Greece, USA, Mali and Syria.

WOMAD’s artistic director Emere Wano stressed the idea of 2016’s programme having artists from far flung regions and countries that are in conflict with one another.

“WOMAD is a perfect platform for them to be able to be showcased for you and to the world and for their freedom of speech to be seen and heard,” Wano said.

She said it is an opportunity to see performers from places New Zealand does not have a lot of exposure to, and “hear their stories through the music”.

WOMAD was co-founded by English musician Peter Gabriel in 1980 and New Plymouth has been one of the international hosts since 2003.

Gabriel’s chief operating officer, Mike Large, said New Plymouth’s WOMAD is unique because of its venue, the Bowl of Brooklands.

He said the Bowl can transport people around the world” for the three days of WOMAD.

“You turn up on the Friday and forget everything else until you leave on Sunday night,” Large said.

International acts include Ladysmith Black Mambazo from South Africa, John Grant from the USA, Tulegur from China and previous crowd favourite, Calexico from USA.

New Zealand performers range from Julia Deans, Katchafire, Bic Runga, Tiny Ruins and Thomas Oliver.

This will be the 12th WOMAD hosted at the Bowl of Brooklands and the event is secured until 2019.



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