In Photos: WOMADelaide Is Where the True Music Lovers Go to PlayArticle by: Francesco Vicenzi|@FraVicenzi
Thu March 24, 2016 | 00:00 AM
The World of Music, Arts, and Dance (WOMAD) began in 1980 as the brainchild of superstar Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman and Bob Hooton, in order to bring up-and-coming UK acts together with lesser-known (or entirely unknown to Westerners) talent from around the world.
The first staging in those pre-Internet and smartphone days was a bit of a harried affair for Gabriel and his co-founders, two men who ran a quarterly record industry magazine out of Bristol. They didn't anticipate ticket sales, and ended up running in the red, unable to pay the acts that traveled from around the world to perform. Peter Gabriel ended up reuniting with Genesis (a band he had left in 1975) to perform a special concert to bring the accounts up to date. At the time, it felt like WOMAD would be a one-off, never to happen again, but Gabriel came back the following year wanting to do it again—and it’s taken place annually ever since.
Now, iterations of WOMAD have flourished in both new Zealand (WOMAD NZ) and Adelaide, Australia (WOMADelaide). There is even a long-running, ever-moving series of traveling shows that has played in over 27 countries. WOMAD focuses on multiculturalism through world music and arts. In fact, it’s fair to say that the WOMAD festival is single-handedly responsible for cultivating the idea of world music, going as far as to create its own label to produce albums by global artists. And, unlike other more commercial festivals that have the standard three stages, evening headliners, and a more heavily sponsored atmosphere, WOMAD and its attendees pride themselves on their unadulterated love of music and the discovery of new sounds. Off stage, artists hold classes and meet ups for any interested in learning more about indigenous instruments, musical styles, and performance techniques. It's these kinds of hands-on, in-person experiences of different global cultures we could never get from all the Tweets or Facebook posts in the world.
Photographer Francesco Vicenzi captured this year's WOMADElaide festivities this past weekend for you to enjoy.