I’ve been to WOMAD this weekend just gone and it seems fitting that there should be an article about it. I will explain, but let’s start with the definition: World Of Music, Arts and Dance, at your service.
And the disclaimer: even if I was the one thinking about it, I could not have come up with a better way to entertain myself or with a better expression of the eclectic nature of this particular human being. In short, WOMAD suits me as if it was made to order! Lucky for me, Peter Gabriel is a genius 🙂
I will start with the obvious: it would be very difficult for me to stick with one genre of music. Yes, I love rock, yes, I love classical, yes, I love folk… and I can say yes to pretty much most music, with the possible exception of rap and punk. So WOMAD suits me because it has variety and choices within that variety. Sounds pretty dry, huh? Somehow not enough…. despite every word being absolutely true.
Like most people I listen to the music I love and occasionally delve into something similar to it. But WOMAD means that I can sample a lot more than just the tried and true. It opens up the world, which I assume is not far from the intent. I can listen to Canadian Irish folk then go straight through to Austrian electronica, Brazilian bossa nova, Australian soul, Kiwi rock, Korean drum and this is just one day out of three!
Then it’s the people watching – one of the pleasures of going to WOMAD. You see, the atmosphere at this festival is quite interesting. The experience is more important than individual taste, so instead of competing, people are more likely to settle down and decide they actually like each other. Which, in turns, makes for a relaxed, smiling crowd, mellow during the day (smoking of the green could possibly have something to do with that 😛 ) with an edgier alcohol fueled vibe in the evenings. But its’ family friendly at all times so the little one has come with me since birth 🙂
The food and drink are expensive, as with all festivals, and I have been known to bring peanut butter sandwiches from home in leaner years 🙂
The weather plays an astonishingly small part of the festival despite some real wet or scorching events – if it’s wet then you might see less of the fashion, but that seems to be all.
I don’t know quite to explain why the diversity of people at WOMAD makes me excited and happy rather than apprehensive and on guard. I may know some of them, but we have different taste in music, food, drink and clothes…. we are not of the same age, physical ability, ethnicity. We walk, act, sit and enjoy ourselves differently.
We are not attracted to this festival by any similarity other than our shared humanity – mayhap it’s enough?