WOMAD Festival 2020 Update

Posted on 8 April 2020

Like many others, we have been hoping, waiting and watching the Coronavirus situation.  Finally, we have been told that we will not be allowed to hold WOMAD this year at Charlton Park.

Safety for all of our festivalgoers, artists and our own staff surpasses everything.

All of us involved with WOMAD have already been really touched by the help and generous offers of many of those we depend on to make the festival come to life. Many of the artists have already offered, or agreed, to play for us next year and we will now put our energies into making a great WOMAD 2021.

It will obviously help us if you would agree to hold your tickets for next year’s event, however we are fully aware of the financial stresses this strange situation has brought to many, so we understand if you need, or prefer, to have your money back. Please have a look at the WOMAD website where you will find instructions on how to roll the tickets over to 2021 – or to get a full refund.

We hope to see you all at Charlton Park next year for a big celebration, when we’ve put this meanie back in the bottle.

Your love and support for the dream that is WOMAD, has always meant a lot to us, but especially now.

Thank you and stay safe,

Peter Gabriel


Statement from the WOMAD Team:

Dear friends of WOMAD,

At WOMAD we have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and love that we have received since the Coronavirus entered our lives to devastating effect.  Thank you.

We are all experiencing extraordinary and worrying times, for our families, our friends and our communities.  There is uncertainty in all walks of life but if there’s a message from this pandemic it’s that we are all in the same situation, that we must pull together and show respect to each other more than ever; something that’s at the heart of the WOMAD ethos.

Nothing matters more than our responsibility to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the WOMAD community and through that the wider community in which we live.  We must support our emergency services, our neighbours and do all that we can to prevent the spread of this virus.

We are also critically aware that our festival is an important part of the lives of our artists, our crew and contractors who earn a living in an industry that has been among the first to be hit,  hit harder than many others,  with livelihoods being lost overnight all over the world and with no sign of recovery in the short term.  The economic impact of our festivals in the communities where they take place is also significant and important to local and regional businesses.

So, whilst WOMAD is a bit part player in a global crisis we take our responsibilities to our whole community very seriously and have taken our time to consult, to learn and to make the right decision based on the information available.

Following a meeting with the Licensing authority, the combined emergency services and taking fully into account the government advice on halting the spread of the virus,  it is clear, that in order to meet our goal of protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of the whole community there is no way we can go ahead with WOMAD 2020.

We are devastated but confident that this is the right and responsible decision and that we have to play our part in helping the country stay safe and to recover.

WOMAD is fortunate that we have already completed 3 festivals this year around the world and it seems our future is secure.  We are already planning for WOMAD 2021 and talking to this years’ artists about next year – we all need something to look forward to!

To those of you who have already bought tickets there are two options.  You can either hold onto your purchase and we will issue you a new ticket for 2021 very soon or, you can claim a full refund.  The same applies to tickets being bought in instalments.  You can either pause payments and pick them up again next year for WOMAD 2021 or claim a refund of the face value of your ticket.  Details of how to do this are below.

We hope to see you all next year, we will definitely be in Charlton Park with our doors open but until then, take care, look after each other and keep following the various WOMAD social media feeds for information and also tasty WOMAD festival snacks to keep you going!

Keep Safe,

The WOMAD (2021) Team


Everyone who has purchased a ticket to WOMAD 2020 can join us next year or claim a refund. If would like your ticket to rollover to WOMAD Festival 2021 (something to look forward to!) you don’t need to do anything. Your ticket will be transferred automatically and we’ll look forward to celebrating with you from the 22nd – 25th July 2021.

If you would like a full refund all you need to do is complete a simple form. Please see our Tickets page for all details.

For those of you paying for your tickets by instalments look out for an email from Ticketline which will explain the next steps. This email will arrive in the next few days.

For all ticket information, please click HERE