On Thursday February 10 Peter Gabriel formally introduced this year’s WOMAD Sicily festival to the press at the Italina Cultural Institute, London.
Joined by Sicilian musician Roy Paci and members of the Sicilian tourism board, a Q&A session took place on the four-day event that looks sure to be one of the highlights of this year’s festival calendar.
Now in its 15th year on the idyllic unclouded skies of Sicily off the southern tip of Italy, the city of Palermo’s open air Tearo di Verdura will play host to this globally renowned event. Surrounded by a rich tapestry of historic architecture, the festival takes place on an island where cross-cultural integration from both West and East are embedded in its history and ethos.
Now in its 30th year, WOMAD itself continues to expand throughout the world under Peter Gabriel’s watchful eye. Performing there himself in 2004, Gabriel describes Sicily as “a magical place” and is “pleased to re-invite the world to the island.” With sincere adoration shown towards the Italian governmental support for the event, a great working partnership has clearly been established.
Questioned on the future of WOMAD, operations and events director Chris Smith stated his interest in the East, with even Siberia thrown in the mix as a possible future destination! Cooperation between WOMAD, tourism and government is evidently crucial, with Smith commenting, “we will go anywhere if the partnership works.”
So far confirmed acts include The Portico Quartet, Hanggai and Seun Kuti & Egypt 80.
More information about the festival can be found at www.womad.org