WOMAD Abu Dhabi 2011 will feature an exciting line-up of performers and a more diverse selection of activities for visitors of all ages as the United Aarab Emirates’ festival of festivals heads back to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain for the third year running.
The festival, organized by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) in collaboration with WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) Organisation in the UK, was a huge success last year; over 125,000 visitors attended the event that featured 30 international music artists. Expectations are again running high for this year’s event and organizers are confident that they have put together the perfect mix of performers, activities and even fireworks displays to satisfy the musical and artistic cravings of WOMAD-goers.
The open-air festival will be held at the Abu Dhabi Corniche from April 7 to 9, and at the Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain from April 7 to 8.
Abdullah Al Amri, Director of Arts and Culture Department at ADACH, said: “The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage is thrilled to once again support one of the most highly anticipated multicultural festivals in the world. WOMAD Abu Dhabi has distinguished itself as the UAE’s festival of festivals as it provides an exclusive and unprecedented opportunity for ordinary people to enjoy the world’s many forms of music, arts and dances. It is a unique celebration that caters to a wide range of artistic preferences and diverse audiences, from performing arts professionals, to amateur performers and even entire families looking for a distinct entertainment experience and great educational value.”
Chris Smith, WOMAD Director, said: “Abu Dhabi is definitely one of the most fitting hosts of the WOMAD festival because of the uniquely diverse nationalities and cultures that live and coexist in the emirate and in the rest of the country. We are therefore excited that WOMAD is returning to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain for the third year running as it underlines the success of the festival as one of the most widely awaited music festivals in the country. We have put together an excellent show with an energizing, festive atmosphere that music lovers, arts aficionados and just about anybody can truly appreciate and enjoy.”
High-energy performances headlined by international artists from dozens of countries will again take centre stage at WOMAD Abu Dhabi. Many of the performing artists are likewise scheduled to serve as speakers of the nightly WOMAD Workshops for children and adults, which will provide exclusive insights into the different cultural influences, musical inspirations and the stories behind the music of leading artists.
WOMAD Abu Dhabi 2011 will also host the Taste The World in Abu Dhabi, where invited artists will conduct live cooking demonstrations of their favorite dish from their country of origin. Taste The World will also feature spontaneous musical performances, while the audience will have lots of opportunity to ask questions and sample a variety of featured dishes.
In the lead-up to the festival, artists from Egypt, Cameroon, South Africa, Jamaica, India, Guinea, Australia and UK will also be conducting a series of creative learning workshops as part of a program called WOMAD Beyond. The artists will share their music and visual arts with students in the outreach program that targets schools, colleges and universities in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
ADACH is the government institution that is in charge of looking after, conserving and promoting the heritage and culture of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Established through an Emiri decree in 2005, ADACH’s main aim is to achieve an integrated approach to the promotion and enhancement of culture and heritage.
WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) held its first festival in the UK in 1982 and has since organized more than 160 festivals in 27 countries and islands worldwide. More than a thousand artists, representing the culture, arts and musical expression of more than 100 countries, have performed to a live audience of over 1 million people who have attended the different WOMAD Festivals.
More information at www.womadabudhabi.ae.
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.