Posts Tagged ‘charlton park’

First acts announced for WOMAD Charlton Park 2018

Posted on March 1st, 2018 in Recent posts by .



Amadou & Mariam, Ken Boothe and Dobet Gnahoré are among the first acts announced for this year’s WOMAD Charlton Park Festival from July 26-29

The first wave of names have been announced for this year’s WOMAD at Charlton Park. Recognised as one of the greatest world music events, the festival returns to its regular setting at the Wiltshire site this summer.

The prolific Malian power couple Amadou & Mariam will take to the stage this year, along with the legendary Jamaican singer Ken Boothe and Grammy Award winning singer Dobet Gnahoré, who hails from the Ivory Coast.

Camille, an eclectic and inventive French artist will also appear at Charlton Park, as will Afrobeat and hip-hop fusion group Afro Cluster.

Other confirmed acts so far include:

Django Django (UK)

Sharon Shannon (Ireland)

Jazzanova live featuring Paul Randolph (Germany)

Aeham Ahmad (Palestine/Syria)

Colectivo Danza Región & Cámara de Danza Comunidad (Colombia)

Electric Fields (Australia)

Ezra Collective (UK)

La Dame Blanche (Cuba)

Federspiel (Austria)

Gasper Nali (Malawi)

KermesZ à l’Est (Belgium)

KOKOKO! (Democratic Republic of Congo)

LADAMA (Brazil/Colombia/Venezuela/USA)

Papaya (Portugal/USA)

Pixvae (Colombia)

Tal National (Niger)


For tickets and more information, visit

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More acts announced for WOMAD Charlton Park 2017

Posted on March 30th, 2017 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


Orchestra Baobab, Oumou Sangaré and  Eliza Carthy & the Wayward Band are among the second wave of acts announced for this year’s WOMAD Charlton Park Festival from July 27-30.

Following February’s announcement of the first wave of acts heading to Wiltshire this year, WOMAD have revealed the latest surge of artists who will appear this coming July.

Iconic Senegalese band Orchestra Baobab take to the stage following the release of their new album Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng, the Malian vocal superstar and figure of African female emancipation Oumou Sangaré returns to the WOMAD stage for a much-awaited comeback, and folk powerhouse Eliza Carthy and her Wayward Band stop off in Wiltshire on a busy year of touring.


Other confirmed acts include:

Bixiga 70 (Brasil) 

Malmesbury School Project (UK)

Goat (Sweden)

Orkestra Mendoza (US)

Xáos (Greece/UK)

Bill Laurance (UK)

Tanzania Albinism Society (Tanzania)

King Gurcharan Mall and the Dhol Blasters (UK)

Ska Vengers (India)

Bonga (Angola)

Taiko Meantime (UK)

Inna de Yard (Jamaica)

Officina Zoé (Italy)

Meté Meté (Brazil)

Kuenta i Tambu (The Netherlands)

Beating Heart (UK)

Kakatsitsi, Gubi! Family and Bwiti (Namibia)


For tickets and more information visit


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Live Review | WOMAD 2016 – A World of Workshops

Posted on August 6th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

WOMAD ©Tom Askew-Miller

Graham Green provides an alternative view of this year’s WOMAD Charlton Park, in Wiltshire, July 28-31 from the perspective of the festival’s myriad workshops. Photo by Tom Askew-Miller

Everyone who comes to WOMAD wants to get closer to the music and perhaps learn some new dance moves or beat some unfamiliar rhythms on a drum, right? Well, no, not everyone. While thousands will be gathered at the Open Air Stage or filling the enormous Siam Tent, there may be a couple of hundred intrepid people in a smaller tent participating in one of the 30 or more workshops which run during the festival. The workshops seem to distil the spirit of WOMAD: uplifting for both participant and performer and generating waves of warmth between the two.

This year’s world tour in Wiltshire started for me in the desert of Rajasthan; my guide being the Grammy award-winning Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and his mohan veena, a sort of sarod-slide guitar hybrid. He and his team of singers and percussionists describe some of the Indian classical traditions that inform their music and then demonstrate individually and collectively their instrumental and vocal skills. The privilege for the audience is being able to see and hear the musicians at work from almost touching distance, and not on a remote stage.

A more participative workshop came courtesy of JP Percussion & Co and their ‘Rhythms of Rio’. Shakers, blocks and drums were distributed to a crowd eager to samba. JP’s tutoring in English was delivered in a surprising, soft Irish accent but the rhythms were complex cross-weaves of sound which seemed as authentically Brazilian as a one-hour workshop can allow. A WOMAD workshop crowd are always enthusiastic pupils and JP’s hand signals were followed to the last thunderous beat. Everyone was smiling as we shook, rattled and rolled.

Intrigued by hearing Italian band Kachupa in the Siam Tent brought me to their workshop afterwards. Their singer led us through traditional Italian folk dances, such as the tarantella, while the band played their blend of Mediterranean musics mixed with a little reggae skank here and there. The band audibly levitated when joined by an audience member playing a large tambourine with considerable dexterity.

Then, it was a short walk next door to Poland, or to be more specific, to what appeared to be a barn dance led by the Pied Piper of Hamelin. There was something rather darkly alluring, folkloric and elemental about the fiddle, hurdy-gurdy and wooden flute music of Muzykanci and the dances led by our particular piper. Lines of dancers  snaked round and round, up, down and through each other in limb twisting contortions. The atmosphere resonated with something pre-Christian and mysterious.

Finally, back to Italy, or rather, Sardinia and Cuncordu e Tenore de Orosei, a five-piece a capella band. Their tradition is centuries old and speaks of an age and a place where instruments were prohibitively expensive or simply not available. The workshop started rather tentatively as the singers appeared unsure of their audience. But it coalesced beautifully when the singers moved to the centre of the floor and the audience formed concentric circles around them. We moved counter-ways around the band as they sang. Both band and audience were visibly lifted by this arrangement, which, it occurred to me, was the proper presentation of this fundamentally ‘folk’ music. A formal concert presentation, with separation of performer and audience, cannot create the atmosphere we had in this tent.


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WOMAD Charlton Park 2014: First acts announced

Posted on February 27th, 2014 in Recent posts by .


Nitin Sawhney, Mulatu Astatke, Alice Russell, Goran Bregović, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Bassekou Kouyaté will all be heading to Wiltshire this summer for this year’s WOMAD Charlton Park festival (July 24-27).

Indisputably the daddy of all world music festivals, WOMAD now exists in a variety of global incarnations, from Russia’s Mount Mashuk to Adelaide, yet there is always something special about returning to Wiltshire’s beautiful Charlton Park.

WOMAD will showcase the incredible voice of British soul singer Alice Russell, after having had to withdraw from last year’s festival. Nitin Sawhney will perform a live incarnation of his Top of the World album OneZero, a cut-straight-to-vinyl retrospective that revisited key moments from his extensive back catalogue.

Festival favourites Fat Freddy’s Drop will arrive from New Zealand, while Goran Bregović and his Gypsy brass band, Wedding & Funeral Orchestra, fly in from the Balkans. Africa is always well represented at WOMAD, and this year is no exception, with Bassekou Kouyaté, Mulatu Astake, Songlines Music Awards 2012 Newcomer award winner Fatoumata Diawara (with Roberto Fonseca) and veteran Zimbabwean Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi all set to perform.

For the full list of acts so far announced and to purchase tickets visit



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