The largest international world music conference, WOMEX, had another record year. The 13th edition, held in Sevilla (Spain), saw registrations up 10%; the trade fair stands up 20% with 25% more exhibiting companies, Conferences, Film Screenings and 52 Showcase acts with 350 artists from 42 countries on 5 stages.
More than 2,800 delegates from all over the world gathered for 5 days of talk, trade, music and camaraderie. For the first time the nightly showcases were presented in the city centre, fully integrating this jewel of Andalusia with the thousands of international delegates of WOMEX.The famed Teatro Lope de Vega/Casino de la Exposición hosted 2 stages, with another 2 bright white tents right in the heart of the Plaza de España. There, enthusiastic Sevillians and delegates mingled and heard act after act of major and upcoming world music stars.
The 5-day event kicked off with a dynamic Opening, which set the pace and standard for the days to come. WOMEX was especially honored this year to be working in partnership with the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Fundación Tres Culturas in promoting the objectives of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, a project initiated by Spanish President José Luis Zapatero to, he said in a mission statement, "increase awareness to the risks that a wall of misunderstanding may arise between the West and the Arab/Islamic world." To break down that wall and to counteract those who seem to promote a "clash of civilizations", the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations was born, with Spain and Turkey in the role of joint sponsors.
The musical metaphor for the breaking down of that wall was provided by a joint presentation by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan successor Faiz Ali Faiz and his Qawwali Group from Pakistan and the Spanish star Duquende and his Flamenco Group, who each played separately and then joined together in an enthralling selection of songs that seamlessly joined the two traditions, respected each and found common musical ground.
"These are hard times in the music industry," noted Gerald Seligman, WOMEX General Director, "and perilous times for the world at large. There is great need to keep this multi-national, cross-cultural community alive. We at WOMEX work hard to provide the time, the place and the platform to help keep this community thriving. And you, all you delegates provide the toil and dedication, you make it all happen. Thanks to your efforts, there are more artists from more cultures touring than ever before in history."
Statistics WOMEX 2007
– Over 2,800 delegates and 1,400 companies from 90 countries.
– Over 1,000 concert and festival bookers, arguably the highest concentration of potential bookers in the same place at the same time anywhere on the planet.
– Over 350 national and international journalists, including more than 150 radio broadcasters.
– A bustling Trade Fair with more than 300 stands and over 500 exhibiting companies, including numerous umbrella stands of countries, regions, networks and other joint-venture structures.
– 52 Showcase acts with 350 artists from 42 countries on 5 stages.
– Nearly 40 speakers in two dozen Conference sessions.
– The festive Opening event, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of Spain and Fundación Tres Culturas in Honor of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations presenting a special performance: the Qawwali-Flamenco project, featuring Faiz Ali Faiz and his Qawwali
Group and Duquende and his Flamenco Group (Pakistan/Spain).
– The WOMEX Award, this year honoring Belize’s Andy Palacio and Ivan Duran.
– The WOMEX & World Music Charts Europe Top Label Awards in recognition of label excellence, with top three winners: Number 1 – Stern’s, Number 2 – Cumbancha, and Number 3 – Crammed.
– The WOMEX World Music Film Market with 16 film screenings, in cooperation with the International Music + Media Centre IMZ, Vienna. Networking meetings, receptions and press conferences.
– The WOMEX Book Conference for WOMEX authors.
– The Radio WOMEX broadcasting studio for live interviews and performances.
– The new WOMEX TV Studio in Trade Fair Hall 2, WOMEX TV & webcast, in cooperation with Mondomix, Paris.
– virtualWOMEX 2.0 – the professional future of world music online.
WOMEX thanks the army of production staff, volunteers, enthusiasts, professionals and fans, along with its production partners at ICAS, FIBES and at the Teatro Lope de Vega/Casino de la Exposición.
WOMEX 07 was a production of WOMEX – the world music expo, in cooperation with ICAS (the Sevilla Instituto de la Cultura y las Artes) and FIBES.
More information at www.womex.com
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central