The WOMAD Story

WOMAD - World of Music, Arts and Dance the internationally established festival, which brings together artists from all over the globe. The central aim of the WOMAD festival is to celebrate the world's many forms of music, arts and dance.

As an organisation, WOMAD now works in many different ways, but our aims are always the same - at festivals, performance events, through recorded releases and through educational projects, we aim to excite, to inform, and to create awareness of the worth and potential of a multicultural society.

Peter Gabriel was one of WOMAD's co-founders: "Pure enthusiasm for music from around the world led us to the idea of WOMAD in 1980 and thus to the first WOMAD festival in 1982. The festivals have always been wonderful and unique occasions and have succeeded in introducing an international audience to many talented artists."

"Equally important, the festivals have also allowed many different audiences to gain an insight into cultures other than their own through the enjoyment of music. Music is a universal language, it draws people together and proves, as well as anything, the stupidity of racism." Peter Gabriel

WOMAD festivals are family-oriented, diverse and active musical events; sometimes offering as many as seven stages within the festival site. Since the first festival in the UK in 1982, WOMAD has held more than 160 festivals, creating events in twenty-seven countries and islands all over the world, including: Abu Dhabi, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UK, and the United States of America.

We have presented more than one thousand artists at our festivals, bringing the expression of more than 100 different countries to a live audience of over one million people.

WOMAD New Zealand 2017 sees the 13th anniversary for WOMAD held at the stunning New Plymouth site in Taranaki. Prior to shifting to New Plymouth WOMAD NZ occured twice in Auckland, but now takes pride of place at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands.