20 March 2017 - 0 Comments
The 13th anniversary "of the most beautiful outdoor festivals in the world" WOMAD 2017, set in the stunning 55-acre Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth was one of the highest selling WOMAD weekends in its 13 year history, including a completely sold out Saturday, putting the site at capacity with 12,500 audience members and over 16,000 people in total including all of the workers, artists and vendors. Friday audience numbers were 11,500 with Sunday numbers looking to be similar.
Event Director and NZ Programme Manager, Emere Wano said the festival team was thrilled with the attendance and good weather. “The magic of WOMAD is the journey of discovery, finding a new favourite food, point of view and of course, artist. We really tried to provide a diverse line-up that was appealing to all age groups, and this year with the inclusion of Mt Eden and BAYNK, we definitely widened our demographic."
Suzanne Porter, Taranaki Arts Festival Trust CEO, comments, "It was a very solid line up across the board. The new programme World of Words went off and was very successful, especially the Poetry Slam which was at capacity. Poetry Slam judge, Penny Ashton performed a very moving, original poem that left not a dry eye in the crowd."
WOMAD delivered on its promise of being a place of discovery. Much sharing talk at the water stations included trading favourite moments, including the lively folk trio from Canada, The East Pointers doing their cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" and Vietnamese War survivors Hanoi Masters rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" while New Orleans funk band Hot 8 Brass Band delivered a sizzling party set with covers of Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley and Snoop Dogg.
While the rude boys and girls of the 70's were
reliving their youth at the Bowl Stage with The Specials (UK) on Friday night,
the youth of 2017 were creating their first festival memories at BAYNK (NZ)
with the chant "I
Love BAYNK and BAYNK loves me!" heard echoing out across
the Gables lawn. 2017 put the "D" back into WOMAD with The New Zealand Dance Company,
dressed simply yet stunningly in all black and white, enthralling the
all-seated audience. It was a year that also saw an exceptionally strong
female line up with Oumou
Sangaré (Mali), Ana
Tijoux (Chile), Aziza
Brahim (Western Sahara/Spain), Nattali Rize (Jamaica/Australia)
and Inna Modja (Mali)
- known for their work in speaking to political issues - delivered
stunning performances to enraptured crowds.
Keeping festival-goers dancing right up to the very end, Austrian Electro-swing band Parov Stelar and New Zealand's own producer and multi-instrumentalist Lord Echo closed Sunday night's festivities. After a weekend of truly spectacular Taranaki weather, this was the perfect finale to what is being touted as one of the greatest WOMAD NZ festivals yet!
Check out the stunning pictures and reviews that came in over the weekend, and keep up to date with 2018 news and announcements at WOMAD NZ:
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