A World of Discoveries for Families and Children at WOMAD 2009

Oumou Sangare - photo by Philip Ryalls
Oumou Sangare – photo by Philip Ryalls
WOMAD Festival returns this summer to the UK with a variety of events and happenings for the whole family. As well as an exciting line-up of first class world music, festival goers will have the chance to experience a huge range of workshops and activities from the Woodland Gamelan, Big Street Video to the renowned Taste the World amongst many others.
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Since the very first WOMAD families and children have played an integral part in the development of the festival, both in the UK and around the world. The work of the WOMAD Foundation has always been about moving boundaries and devising opportunities for intercultural experiences.

Taste the World, sponsored by Riverford Organics, returns to the arboretum with a terrific line-up of WOMAD artists, bringing their culture and cuisine to the stage, cooking and sharing dishes from their countries of origin with everyone. Sessions are hosted and discussions ranging from travel and music to history and religion crop up, whilst spontaneous musical interludes have been known to get the audience on their feet for an impromptu dance whilst the rice boils.

Don’t miss the chance to sample the Riverford breakfast at TTW – fresh bread, smoked salmon, juices, yoghurts, homemade preserves and delicious coffee to tempt you from your tent.

For younger chefs, Kitchen Academy will keep young minds and stomachs happy with their wonderful smoothie bikes and hands on healthy cookery sessions in the Children’s area.

Music Workshops for adults, will include participatory sessions with WOMAD artists such as the Portico Quartet, Oumou Sangare, Rokia Traoré, the Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan and the Ethiopiques, to name but a few. Festival goers will be able to immerse themselves in the stories behind the music, learn the origins of rare and unusual instruments and discover the inspirations and collaborations that drive some of the spectacular sounds from across the globe.

Woodland Gamelan will return to this year’s festival bringing their unique tools, tents and imaginations back to the arboretum, ready to convert the smallest piece of wood into the simplest instrument or create a full gamelan. Also, spot the amazing Tonefloat as it roams around the festival site with bottles full of music and an impressive array of tunes to be played.

First thing every morning classes in Iyenger Yoga and Tai Chi will be on offer to help tune up the body for some serious dancing later in the day, and Sing-Up in the Arboretum is the place to come before breakfast to raise your voice in celebration of songs from across the globe.

Budding filmmakers will be able to discover how to create their very own movies at WOMAD with Big Street Video. The boys are returning to inspire and instruct anyone with a keen cinematic eye in the use of, so that young festival goers will be able to create a unique record of the weekend.

For children, WOMAD presents a vast array of vibrant and exciting activities and workshops. The Opening Show for the festival will include children from seven local primary schools performing with world artists Colores de mi Tierra (Colombia) and Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra (UK) on the main stage. Over the weekend children will have the opportunity to create an incredible range of art including masks, flags, giant structures, costumes and junk instruments, which they will wear and display for the renowned celebratory Family Procession. The procession starts from the Children’s area at 6pm, Sunday 26 July and winds it’s way through the main arena to the sound of drums, trumpets and samba beats.

For more information about the work of the WOMAD Foundation both in the UK and around the world, festival goers will be able to visit the Friends of WOMAD stall onsite over the weekend.

Artists confirmed for WOMAD 2009 so far include: 17 Hippies (Germany), A Filetta (Corsica), Acetre (Spain), Andy White (Northern Ireland), Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter (Australia), Ba Cissoko (Guinea Conakry), Besh o droM (Hungary), Black Arm Band (Australia), Caravan Palace (France), Charlie Winston (UK), Che Sudaka (Spain), ciKus (Sweden), Darbar Morchang Party (India), Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan (India), Dub Colossus (Ethiopia/UK), Eliades Ochoa (Cuba), Enkh Jargal (Mongolia), Ethiopiques (Ethiopia), Etran Finatawa (Niger), Hindi Zahra (France), Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (USA), Los Desterrados (Germany), Mad Professor, Dub Show (UK), Mamer (China), Mariem Hassan (Western Sahara), Melingo (Argentina), Nneka (Nigeria), Orishas (Cuba), Oumou Sangare (Mali), Portico Quartet (UK), Rokia Traoré (Mali), Roy Ayres (USA), RSD featuring Joe Peng (UK), Shellie Morris (Australia), Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra (UK), Solomon Burke (USA), Spiro (UK), The Apples (Israel), Victor Démé (Burkina Faso), Wang Li (China).

WOMAD Festival 2009 – Charlton Park, Malmesbury,
Wiltshire, SN16 9DG
24 – 26 July 2009
Booking line: 0845 146 1735
Online: www.womadshop.com
Adult Weekend Ticket: £122
Teenager (14-17 Year Olds) Weekend Ticket: £59
Disabled Weekend Ticket: £122
Day Ticket: £60
All Children (13 and under): Free

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

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