Beyond The Music at WOMAD – it’s much more than music at the world’s festival

The global party that is WOMAD kicks off in just two weeks’ time in the lush fields of Wiltshire, with a colourful kaleidoscope of artists taking to the stage over three days of music, dance and culture. But WOMAD has so much more than incredible music on offer, with whole worlds of adventure and discovery to explore across the site.

The World of Children will be buzzing with fun and games as this year’s theme is Insects – celebrating our many-legged friends and their hugely important role in our ecosystem that transcends all borders. From the micro to the macro, there is everything from the festival’s smallest Marionette Insect Circus to Aerial Bug Fun where kids can have a go at flying, gliding and swinging away on a giant trapeze, with workshops and activities galore in between. Little ones will be encouraged to get creative and design their own insect costume, make some bug bling with wibbly wobbly antennae, luscious ladybird headdresses or make a pom pom spider, or even help create some giant structures like dragonflies and dung beetles – all in preparation for the grand procession on the Sunday where mini WOMADers and adults, musicians and dancers come together to showcase their glorious work.

There is a world of adventure to discover; whether it’s dancing your socks off with Bollywood fitness or Ska Aerobics, strumming along with Family Ukulele, enjoying Dance Music Collective UK’s dance stories and legends of spiders and butterflies or being entranced by African Sambistas, who will entertain with tales told through movement, music and props. As if this wasn’t enough, there’s also circus skills, den building, slacklining, parachute games and loads more to get stuck into, including WOMAD Weenies for the under 5’s, and our Teen Chill Out Space where teenagers can relax on comfy sofas or take part in jam sessions, open mic, henna, hair braiding, face painting and more. The fun for kids continues elsewhere on site with thrilling tree climbing in the Arboretum, supersonic stuff at the Physics Pavilion and taste-bud tingling times at Children’s Cookery Workshops at the Taste the World stage.

And the adventure isn’t just for kids, as there are incredible and diverse workshops for everyone across the WOMAD site. The ‘All Singing All Dancing‘ and ‘World Rhythms‘ stages give the opportunity to delve deeper into the music, the moves, and the motivations of some of the amazing artists performing at the festival. Perform Carnatic beatboxing with Bollywood Brass Band, explore Gnawa trance rhythms with Hamid El Kasri, or learn new skills like Senegalese hip-hop, Cuban street dance and even Australian aboriginal rituals with the didgeridoo.

It’s a positively mouth-watering menu being rustled up at the Taste the World stage this year, with dishes from five continents being knocked up by some of WOMAD’s top artists, with off the cuff performances and personal anecdotes thrown in. The likes of Vegan Malanga Accra fritters with Canadian Haitian Mélissa Laveaux, Finnish Munavoi with Tuuletar, fish, coconut and bananas with Dobert Gnahoré from the Ivory Coast and Joloff rice and fried plantain with Afro Cluster will all be rustled up in a delicious fusion of music and food.

Celebrating the power of the spoken word, WOMAD’S World of Words is positively brimming with vibrant and diverse discussions, poetry slams, interviews and author chats, with some of the literary world’s top stars taking to the stage. Authors Chibundu Onuzo, Roma Tearne and Anbara Salam talk about their latest novels, with top-notch comedy and storytelling from Jess Thom and James Rowland, as well as insightful an interview with and all-female Latin American supergroup LADAMA, whilst Buddhist monk Gelong Thubten gives audiences an insight into mindfulness and meditation – join him on Saturday morning in the Big Red tent at 9:25am.

Over in the Physics Pavilion, it’s a world of adventure as CERN, the Institute of Physics and Lancaster University present a programme packed full of mind-boggling experiments and wondrous workshops for everyone to enjoy. From the Physics of Gin to Science Rap from biology beatboxer Jon Chase to the Physics of Football with Dr Ken Bray to an insight into hacking by mastermind Freaky Clown, it’s a whole galaxy for festival-goers to explore.

This year we have invited Brazilian art collective OPAVIVARÁ! create interventions and situations which redefine public and private spaces, and this year they are presenting Rede Social at WOMAD as part of the World of Art; a multi-part hammock, tangible ‘social network’ that is a space for contemplation, experimentation and coexistence. Based in Rio de Janeiro, the group are bringing their colourful and inviting ethos to the festival, situated in the Arboretum and open for the duration of the festival.

Get the full timetable via the festival app. Click here to download.

TICKET PRICES:

  • Weekend 3 day £185
  • Weekend 4 day £225
  • Teenage weekend 3 day £ 90
  • Teenage weekend 4 day £125
  • Children 13 and under FREE (but still require a ticket)