Sevilla, Spain – Sunday, October 26’s ceremony to honor the WOMEX Award 2003 recipients Freemuse – The World Forum on Music and Censorship marked the Grand Finale of this year’s WOMEX 2003 at FIBES and El Palenque in the Andalusian capital of Sevilla.
From Wednesday Oct 22 to Sunday Oct 26 more than 2000 attendees from over 80 countries – amongst them 250 journalists – met 300 exhibitors at 200 stands in FIBES’ WOMEX pavilion, and discussed in 25 conference sessions. For the second time, WOMEX 2003 included a Film- and TV market focusing on world music content. From Thursday to Saturday, professional visitors as well as the Sevilla public
were digging the music WOMEX is all about and partied to 33 concerts at El Palenque. Complementary to the WORLD Flamenco Fair – taking place simultaneously to WOMEX 2003 at FIBES – this year’s WOMEX showcases had a focus on Spanish and Latin music and featured numerous musical highlights from all over the world alike.
Amongst producers, distributors, publishers, record labels, festivals, booking agencies and cultural exchange organisations, the international WOMEX community included more than 400 professionals from Spain and Latin America. According to the quantity of deals and agreements set, WOMEX again proved to be the central marketplace for the international world music community.
Thousands of regional world music fans followed the invitation to visit the public showcases and set a new WOMEX record for public attendance: Together with the official WOMEX delegates they very successfully provided the atmosphere of curiosity and excitement artists as well as producers like to have at their concerts.
WOMEX 2003 showcases offered a diversity of styles from Uru Punk to UK Club Funk, Maghreb Blues to the latest Global Dance News with artists from Uzbekistan and Israel, Mali and the Ivory Coast, Romania and Sweden, Gujarat to Andalusia to Brazil and beyond. Along with international stars like Tunisian singer Amina and Brazilian Mangue innovator Otto, Spanish localistas like Amparanoia and Elbicho
made up for highly excited audiences on the 3 stages of former EXPO venue El Palenque.
To accept the invitation of FIBES, the Bienal de Flamenco and Turismo Andaluz and to move the international WOMEX caravan to Sevilla’s luxurious Conference and Exhibition Centre FIBES proved another successful WOMEX decision altogether: Exhibitors and individual delegate numbers again increased by more than 10 % in relation to last year’s WOMEX in Germany. Moreover, the trade fair/conference and music locations in FIBES and El Palenque were granted an especially warm
embrace by WOMEX delegates and public alike.
After the successful debut at Zeche Zollverein in 2002 WOMEX will return to Essen / Germany for its next edition in 2004.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.