Fun Rolled Into One Word – WOMAD

Whoever has been to a WOMAD festival knows that there’s not much that tops the experience – the sun shining over the many stages, stalls, artisans and small and big festival goers. Plus, the atmosphere of reaching out to each other and learning from each other through the universal languages of music, arts and dance make WOMAD such a unique experience.

At WOMAD 2006

At WOMAD 2006

Image: Heather Rai

According to the official website, the World of Music, Arts and Dance festival’s aim is to “celebrate the world’s many forms of music, arts and dance” and to “excite, to inform, and to create awareness of the worth and potential of a multicultural society.” It is this emphasis on caring, nurturing and educating each other that distinguishes WOMAD from so many other commercially oriented events.

Peter Gabriel, one of the festival’s many prominent founders, makes his point very clear:

“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.”

That is so true! I strongly believe that if more people would meet and simply sing together, the amount of misunderstanding and hatred would decrease significantly. I mean, think about it: How could you sing a beautiful song with someone and have a negative thought about him or her at the same time? Even if you found something not to your liking, it would probably pale in comparison to the joyful, shared experience of singing together.

African drums by Yelemba D'Abidjan from Ivory Coast at WOMAD Sri Lanka

African drums by Yelemba D’Abidjan from Ivory Coast at WOMAD Sri Lanka

Image: DreamwizarD

But back to WOMAD. Founded already in 1980 by former drummer and record label owner Thomas Brooman, entrepreneur Bob Hooton and singer Peter Gabriel, the first concert took two years to organize. Remembers Brooman: “It was a very physical, hand-held experience and in 1982, it was some achievement to pull all this off.” Surely, without cell phones, fax machines, e-mail and the Internet. Can you imagine writing a letter to artists in Indonesia, China and Nigeria because they didn’t have a landline and then waiting for their response? (For more about the exact challenges, read Brooman’s excellent article in tpi magazine.)

Bill Cobham live at WOMAD Sri Lanka

Bill Cobham live at WOMAD Sri Lanka

Image: DreamwizarD

With relatively little advance planning and even fewer advance sales (people just showed up on the day), it is little surprising that the festival almost folded before it really began. But a temporary reunion of Genesis and Peter Gabriel brought in the masses and therefore the money that helped establish WOMAD as a recognized musical event that was also financially viable.

Today, WOMAD is an international celebration with multiple stages, workshops, events and children’s activities – a festival for the whole family. Since the first festival in 1982 in the UK, there have been more than 160 worldwide in 27 countries, presenting over 1,000 artists from about 100 countries. The audience size has grown tremendously too: from a few thousand to over a million! In fact, WOMAD is in the 2001 Guinness Book as the biggest international music festival.

Other posts you may like: Uplifting quotes about music and life, Treat your body like a Temple, Enigma, Fantastic New age music Singers.

Click image to listen to Marcome's music

Click image to GET FREE MP3 songs!

Click image to listen to Zen Voices

Click image to listen to Zen Voices

Click image to listen to Seven Seas

Click image to listen to Seven Seas

Click image to listen to Ougainatso

Click image to listen to Ougainatso

Other posts you may enjoy: Fall in Love with New World Music, Journey through New World Music, Traveling the Road to Lhasa.

Zen Voices Meditation Chants by New Age Music Artist Marcomé

Zen Voices Meditation Chants by New Age Music Artist Marcomé

Relaxing Music Artist Marcomé brings us deep in the moment with Zen Voices Meditation Chants. Blissful and profoundly relaxing, Zen Voices is a musical tale that envelops body & Soul. Marcomé's pure and sultry voices mingle graciously into nature's sounds and...

Relaxing music: 1 Hour Meditation Love Prayer Chant by Marcomé

Relaxing music: 1 Hour Meditation Love Prayer Chant by Marcomé

1 Hour Meditation music to relief stress, practice yoga or meditation and give or receive a massage or simply help to go to sleep! Of course you could use it for other purposes, I love calming background music when I cook! Marcomé ♥ “Through my love for you, I...

Peace in my heart by Marcomé

Peace in my heart by Marcomé

Peace in my heart is a love music song about dancing with life, caring for oneself and others. Slowly and gently, life brings us closer toward what we’re meant to become which is… Love! And that love to be fulfilling has to be unconditional. I sincerely wish you to...

Healing with Music Quotes

Healing with Music Quotes

“Music makes people interpret their own emotions with the music and it makes them ponder their own life a lot: Am I happy in my work? Am I happy in my relationships? What am I striving for?” – Enya

Music Quotes by Enya, Sarah Brightman & more…

Music Quotes by Enya, Sarah Brightman & more…

Following the overwhelming response of my first post on music and life, here is another one that I hope you will enjoy as much. This time, I've tried to find quotes by fellow musicians about music and what it brings to their lives. Music resonates with us so deeply...

Ougainatso – Self created languages of Marcomé

Ougainatso – Self created languages of Marcomé

The magic of a first take recording I have been using improvisation for years now to create new songs.  I just love to sing in invented languages of my own creation, it provides with with a wide range of emotional possibilities and gives me plenty of freedom. That...

Eternal Voices of Love – Prayer Chant of Marcome

Eternal Voices of Love – Prayer Chant of Marcome

Eternal Voices of Love is a Prayer Chant I created while I was dealing with strong body pain after a surgery. When they say music can heal your soul well it can also make you forget pain! I've tried all sorts of pain killers last year and...

Uplifting Quotes About Music and Life

Uplifting Quotes About Music and Life

As you may know, I love to collect inspirational quotes!  You'll find them in my Twitter stream.  You'll hear them in my songs.  You'll even find them taped to my mirror at my home. Much like we read to know we are not alone (C.S. Lewis),...