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Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9DG

24 July –27 July 2014



‘Eclectic’ is one of the most overused words in music. It’s rarely used to its full potential. But one of those few occasions is when talk turns to the annual WOMAD Charlton Park festival. It’s eclecticism central. From folk-rock legends to reformed West African idols, all points in between are covered: cello-carrying troubadours, New Orleans brass bands, Peruvian psychedelists, jungle MCs, one-string bluesmen… There’s even room for a duo playing scorching post-rock as an accompaniment to recordings from public information films. WOMAD really is the place to find all the world’s music in a single weekend.

The wraps are now off the third wave of performers confirmed for the Wiltshire-based festival between 24-27 July. From his teenage years in the embryonic Fairport Convention to his impeccable 30-year career as a solo artist (via the brilliant records he made with then-wife Linda), Richard Thompson has been a colossus in the kingdom of folk-rock. A peerless guitarist and a biting lyricist, it’s been a long time since we last welcomed him onto a WOMAD stage. Too long.

Aficionados of classic-era West African bands will be salivating at the news that the reformed Les Ambassadeurs will be gracing us with their slinky, sublime presence. During the 1970s, led by that mighty guitarist Kante Manfila, Les Ambassadeurs were in the vanguard of the region’s bands, especially when a young Salif Keita joined them as lead singer. After huge solo success, Salif will be fronting them at WOMAD Charlton Park.

Similarly, admirers of Indian classic music will be equally excited by the presence of Amjad Ali Khan, arguably the foremost master of the sarod, the Hindustani stringed instrument. For his WOMAD Charlton Park appearance, he’ll be accompanied by his sons Amaan and Ayaan, both distinguished sarod players themselves.

One of the most fascinating projects to rise out of the UK music scene in recent years is Public Service Broadcasting, the inventive duo who use the narration of public information films to create stirring soundscapes. Another inventive combo to emerge of late is the Mercury-nominated Dave Omuku & The Invisible. They make their WOMAD debut in the company of Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa and a 40-strong choir for a vocal-based performance entitled Stars Align. Another British singer, the evergreen Kathryn Williams, heads towards Wiltshire with rave reviews for her latest album Crown Electric under her belt.

Congo Natty was one of the original jungle pioneers and, a couple of decades on, the MC is still defiantly telling it like it is, his lyrics both spiritual and street-wise. One-third of reggae legends The Gladiators and a session musician at iconic Jamaican studios like the Black Ark and Studio One, Clinton Fearon is a roots-reggae veteran who’ll be playing both solo and with his diamond-hard outfit The Boogie Brown Band. Across the Gulf of Mexico from Jamaica come the Hot 8 Brass Band, New Orleans’ masters of the horned-up reinterpretation, whether it’s Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing or The Specials’ Ghost Town.


Away from the big names, one of the delights of a WOMAD gathering is being able to make a journey without maps, to wander around the site to wherever the music guides you. Such intrepid exploration will doubtless uncover some new musical heroes, quite possibly involving these…

Francois & The Atlas Mountains (France)
Impossibly sunny Anglo-French indie-pop that also knows exactly how to get into the groove. C’est formidable!

SöNDöRGő (Hungary)
Fast-fingered mayhem from this five-piece playing tamburitza – East European folk music delivered through the mandolin-like tambura.

Chicha Libra (USA/France/Venezuela/Mexico)
Tropical psychedelia – the point at which Peruvian chicha, Colombian cumbia, surf guitars and Moog synthesisers intersect.

Linnea Olsson (Sweden)
Singer-songwriter who favours the cello over the acoustic guitar. Most recently seen as part of Peter Gabriel’s Back To Front world tour.

Melt Yourself Down (UK)
Something of a supergroup, this collective deliver full-fat futuristic funk grooves, flavoured by avant-garde jazz and rhythmic impulses from deepest Africa.

Hazmat Modine (USA)
Horn-heavy New York combo who throw pretty much everything into the pot – 1920s blues, jazz, klezmer, calypso, ska, funk…

Afrikan Boy (UK)
South-east London grime MC whose Nigerian heritage has caught the ear of high-level collaborators like MIA and DJ Shadow.

Sans (UK/Finland/Armenia)
Intriguing project tracing the common ground between the respective folk musics of England, Armenia and Finland.

Soema Montenegro (Argentina)
Intense and singular singer from the barrios of Buenos Aires with an extraordinary vocal style and an ability to truly inhabit her songs.

Brushy One String (Jamaica)
As his name suggests, this troubadour plays a single-string guitar, but his music – shot through with the experiences of a colourful life – is anything but limited and one-dimensional.

Batch Gueye (Senegal)
Deeply spiritual Senegalese mbalax singer following in the footsteps of giants like Youssou N’Dour, Baaba Maal and Cheikh Lo.

Siyaya (Zimbabwe)
The popular dance-and-drums troupe from southern Africa return to WOMAD with a First World War-themed performance.


We’re delighted that BBC Radio 3 will be with us at WOMAD for the 15th year running in 2014. They will be curating and broadcasting live performances on World on 3 over the Charlton Park weekend, showcasing new talent, many of whom will be appearing at WOMAD for the first time. With names still to be announced, for now the wraps can come off these….

Çiğdem Aslan (Turkey/UK)
Expressive Istanbul-born singer equally masterful whether performing in Turkish, Greek, Kurdish, Bulgarian, Roma or Ladino.

Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys (Canada)
Supercharged fiddle hoedowns courtesy of this bunch from Prince Edward Island. Like Bob Wills after a crate of Red Bull.

Monsieur Doumani (Cyprus)
Super-fresh folk roots grooves from this Cypriot trio nominated as Best Newcomer for the 2014 Songlines Music Awards.

The Chair (Scotland)
Orkney octet who send fiddles, accordions and banjos flying by adding klezmer, blues and dub to the sounds of their native isle.

Caci Vorba (Poland)
Purity be damned as this five-piece Polish gypsy fusion outfit mix and match folk music from right across Eastern Europe.

These artists join an already-announced – and pretty darned formidable – line-up at Charlton Park in Wiltshire on the weekend of 24-27 July. Let’s have one more look…

Youssou N’Dour et le Super Etoile (Senegal), Alice Russell (UK)  Nitin Sawhney presents ONEZERO (UK)  Manu Dibango (Cameroon)  Fat Freddy’s Drop (New Zealand)  Goran Bregovic’s Wedding and Funeral Band (Serbia/Bulgaria)  Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba (Mali)  Mulatu Astatke (Ethiopia)  Ibibio Sound Machine (UK/Nigeria)  Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits (Zimbabwe)  Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue (USA)  Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita (Wales/Senegal)  Marie Boine (Norway)  The Gloaming (Ireland/USA) Fatoumata Diawara & Roberto Fonseca (Mali/Cuba)  Tuung (UK)  Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons (UK/USA)  Kobo Town (Trinidad/Canada)  9Bach (Wales)  Justin Vali & Ny Malagasy Orkestra (Madagascar)  Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat (Iran)  Snarky Puppy (USA)  Salim-Sulaiman with Karsh Kale (India)  Anna Cizia Villani and the Macuran Orchestra (Italy)  Nuru Kane (Senegal)  Vinicio Caposella presenta Banda Della Posta (Italy)  Magic Drum Orchestra (UK)  The Good Ones (Rwanda)  Debademba (Mali)  Aar Maanta (Somalia/UK)  Jus Now (UK/Trinidad)  Chloe Charles (Canada)  Orange Hill (Colombia)  숨[su:m] (South Korea)  Imed Alibi (Tunisia)  Ethno Trio Troitsa (Belarus)  Madeeh (Malaysia)

WOMAD – The World’s Festival




Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9DG
24 July –27 July 2014


BOOKING LINE: +44 (0)118 960 6060  

Adult Weekend £160
Disabled Adult Weekend £160
SN16 Resident Weekend £115
Adult Weekend + 1 year’s subscription to Songlines £184.75

Further Ticket Pricing for WOMAD 2014
Teenage (aged 14-17yrs) Weekend £80 (Don’t forget to fill out the teenage registration form)
Child (aged 0-13yrs) Weekend FREE (suggested donation of £5 to the WOMAD Foundation)

Thursday £30
Campervan £55
Meadow Campervans £55
Meadow Park & Camp £65
Park & Camp £65
La-Di-Dah Loos £16
Weekend Spa Ticket £115 (17 years and over only plus backstage bar access)

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WOMAD (World Of Music, Arts and Dance) held its first festival in 1982 at the Bath & West Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Over the intervening 32 years, the Peter Gabriel-fronted organisation has hosted festivals across the globe, from Sicily to Seattle, Adelaide to Abu Dhabi. For the seventh time, its flagship UK festival is held this July at Charlton Park, near Malmesbury in Wiltshire.

BBC Radio 3 broadcasts distinctive classical music and wider arts programming in three dimensions, through radio, live events and context. As the home of classical music, BBC Radio 3 features more live classical music programming than any other and is the home of the BBC Proms, broadcasting every Prom live and over 600 complete concerts a year. The station is the most significant commissioner of new musical works in the country and is committed to supporting new talent, from composers to writers and new young performers, through schemes such as New Generation Artists and New Generation Thinkers.




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