WOMAD - World of Music, Arts and Dance the internationally established festival, which brings together artists from all over the globe. The central aim of the WOMAD festival is to celebrate the world's many forms of music, arts and dance.
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.
WOMAD festivals are family-oriented, diverse and active musical events; sometimes offering as many as seven stages within the festival site. Since the first festival in the UK in 1982, WOMAD has held more than 160 festivals, creating events in twenty-seven countries and islands all over the world, including: Abu Dhabi, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UK, and the United States of America.
We have presented more than one thousand artists at our festivals, bringing the expression of more than 100 different countries to a live audience of over one million people.
WOMAD New Zealand 2014 is the tenth WOMAD to be held at the stunning New Plymouth site in Taranaki. Prior to shifting to New Plymouth WOMAD NZ occured twice in Auckland, but now takes pride of place at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands.
The World of Music, Arts and Dance have been delighting New Plymouth people and the rest of the world with the most amazing festival. For ten years I have heard about WOMAD and how amazing it is, so this year I won a 3 day pass for myself and my husband (kids are free) and we arrived on Friday night not knowing what to expect.
We had heard there was 52 stalls of food so knew dinner was on the agenda, but we were not quite prepared for what was awaiting us. Each year NP puts on the Food Extravaganza and so this was a step up from this. Food from around the world Greek, Italian, Indian - Pizza, Pita, Pancakes everything was on offer for us. As well as food there were markets from throughout New Zealand and after eating (rather a lot) we leisurely strolled around the various stalls selling everything from jewellery to clothing to hats.
I assumed that there was only going to be the main stage and was amazed that eight vairous stages were set up around the Bowl of Brooklands. Each offering an assortment of various bands, singers, dancing - what ever you were into was on offer. People from all around the world were on offer for everyone to enjoy.
Saturday we came for lunch and then spent the rest of the day in the kids area. Performers for the children were busting moves and showing them how to dance, Bouncy castles, climbing frames and then the craft tent where the children could make masks, wings, hats in preparation for the parade on Sunday night were they were the main stars. We also got family photos taken at the 2 Degrees tent and the Daily News tent. Unfortunately we found the glitter tent and the girls got to have a glitter fight and 3 days letter they are still covered in it. Everything besides the food and drink was free.
We did not plan on going on Sunday but had so much fun on the Saturday we once again ventured out in the wet (Cyclone Luci was rumoured to be in the area) and danced our way around the venue. The girls performed in the parade which walked from the top stage and snaked around to the bottom stage. Everyone was clapping and waving at them as they proudly showed up their masks they had made while dancing with the performers.
I highly recommend visiting WOMAD at least once. It is great for all ages and families. I guarantee you will find at least one artist that you can boogie on down to. If you do not want to attend for the whole 3 days you can only go for the one completely up to you. Also the race course is transformed in to caravan parking so you can bring a tent and bunker down for the event.
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