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In the beginning… there were three men – Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman and Bob Hooton who put their innovative musical heads together and founded The WOMAD Festival. This was 1980. It took two years to actually realise their dream and bring WOMAD Festival to Shepton Mallet. And this was July 1982. The crowds came in their droves and encountered a feat of extraordinary musicians and artists, workshops for all.
And now… WOMAD, World of Music, Arts and Dance, is an internationally established Festival bringing together artists from all over the globe. WOMAD continues to present music that we feel to be of excellence, passion and individuality, regardless of musical genre or geographical origin, to thousands of festival goers everywhere. As an organisation, WOMAD now works in many different ways, but our aims are always the same – at festivals, performance events, through recorded releases and through educational projects, we aim to excite, to inform, and to create awareness of the worth and potential of a multicultural society.
“Pure enthusiasm for music from around the world led us to the idea of WOMAD in 1980 and thus to the first WOMAD festival in 1982. The festivals have always been wonderful and unique occasions and have succeeded in introducing an international audience to many talented artists.
Equally important, the festivals have also allowed many different audiences to gain an insight into cultures other than their own through the enjoyment of music. Music is a universal language, it draws people together and proves, as well as anything, the stupidity of racism.” Peter Gabriel
In the summer of 2013 i went with camera in hand. My Womad virgin eyes did not prepare me for what i was about to see, for just on the outskirts of a little village named Chalton in the county of Wiltshire lies a park in which once every year is turned into a portal to, well anywhere in the world your mind wishes to travel to! For the more than 20 years Womad has blessed this park in England and in many other places across the globe for even longer yet.
If you have yet to go to this gem of a festival that thousands of people attend each year or in fact have never been traveling and can not afford the plane ticket but would love to see what the rest of the world has to offer from a artistic, musical, crafts, culinary and many other different perspectives then this might be a good staring block for you.
Seasoned travelers flock in their hundreds from all over the world to witness what treats this festival has to offer, every year being different to the last so keeping the eyes fresh with good times and sences stimulated, not to mention your feet will not stop moving from start to finish with good music blasting out from several stages and an abundance of shops with good from almost every country you can think of.
Quite simply, i love this festival! here are my pictures of just a few moments my camera captured, enjoy
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Womad Highlight 2013