All roads lead to Charlton Park for WOMAD Festival

Artists from all continents are set to perform at WOMAD – The World’s Festival taking place at Charlton Park from 28th to 31st July 2011.

Africa has always made a very strong contribution to each and every WOMAD gathering and the organisers are delighted to unveil more additions to this year’s festival from the mother continent.

From Cote D’Ivoire, Alpha Blondy has ruled the African reggae roost for many years and his spiritually strong, politically edged songs continue to preach positivity. Across the continent on Africa’s east coast, there’s another reggae impulse, one that’s gently reshaping Ethiopia’s music traditions. Dub Colossus are the ones responsible, the collective that’s giving the sound of Addis Ababa a spacey, dubby re-rub.

Meanwhile, representing the North African quarter, Moroccan master-musician Hassan Erraji will be lighting up WOMAD’s Radio 3 Stage with his smartly named band the MoRoccan Rollers.

Back in West Africa, Sierra Leonean rappers Bajah and the Dry-Eyed Crew keep a close watch on social and political affairs. Their unvarnished reporting and keen sense of justice has earned them the distinction of being “the voice for the voiceless”.

Talking of hip-hop, UK DJ duos The Nextmen bring their turntable dexterity to Charlton Park for their WOMAD debut, accompanied by regular collaborator MC Wrec. Expect a convention-skewing mash-up taking in dancehall, drum & bass, dubstep and a little experimental electronica.

Leeds’ Submotion Orchestra share a similarly unblinkered worldview, fusing late-night jazz, dub and trip-hop into one seductive package, while much-admired Argentinean producer/multi-instrumentalist Axel Krygier will be rocking the Radio 3 Stage with his ultra-groovy, electronic soundscapes.
Not that it’s all about being thoroughly modern. On the same stage as Krygier, WOMAD welcomes the debut of American banjo player and singer Abigail Washburn whose attractively austere songs recall the days before country music had been invented, let alone given a name.

Another stylistic throwback is CW Stoneking, the Australian blues savant who, behind the vintage clothing and Brylcreemed hair, makes music that drops you into another time, another place – most often, as with Abigail, it’s the American South of the early 20th century.

Another of the weekend’s performers, Susheela Raman, also grew up in Australia but it’s the music of her Tamil heritage (stirred together with jazz, rock and pop) that’s earned her a Mercury Prize nomination. Her seductive songs will be perfect for the otherworldly environs of the arboretum-set Radio 3 stage. Indian traditions – both music and dance – are also upheld by The Gotipuas, young dancers and acrobats from Orissa whose vivid live show reminds us that the ‘D’ in WOMAD stands for dance.

Some of the artists confirmed for WOMAD to date are: Afrocubism (Mali/Cuba), Alejandro Toledo and The Magic Tombolinos (UK), Aurelio (Honduras), Baaba Maal (Senegal), Ballake Cissokho & Vincent Segal (France/Mali), Bomba Estéreo (Colombia), Booker T Jones (USA), Brassroots (UK), Danyel Waro (Reunion Islands), Dhols of Jaipur (India), Donso (Mali/France), Ebo Taylor (Ghana), Gogol Bordello (USA), I Am Kloot (UK), Khaira Arby (Mali), Lau (UK), Le Trio Joubran (Palestine), Mungo’s Hi-fi (UK), Nathalie Natiembe (Reunion Island), Nidi D’Arac (Italy), Nomfusi & The Lucky Charms (South Africa), Pacific Curls (New Zealand), Rodrigo y Gabriela (Mexico), Samuel Yirga (Ethiopia), Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono (Japan), and The Boxettes (UK).

Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9DG
28th to 31st July 2011
Booking line: +44 0118 960 6060   
Adult Weekend Ticket: £135
Teenager (14-17 Year Olds) Weekend Ticket: £70
Disabled Weekend Ticket: £135 (carer, with the correct credentials, comes free)
Thursday Ticket £25
All Children (13 and under): Free
For more tickets options and camping please visit
Please note that all minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.