This year’s Womad line-up is packed with incredible treasures and talented artists from all four corners of the world. Our editor Taryn Utiger rounded up her must-dos to help you get a head start on your festival experience.
Womad is one of the best weekends of the year. There’s endless good vibes, tonnes of fun and a wave of happiness that just washes over our whole town. It’s hard not to feel simply amazed by the world, and stoked that our little region is punching well above its weight yet again.
Womad is also a smorgasbord of entertainment, so if you’re anything like me there’s always that slight feeling of fomo lurking in the back of your mind. I know, there’s so much to do, what if you miss out on something truly epic? Well, that my friend is precisely why my first must-do is to just let yourself get lost. Let go of your inner organiser and get lost in the positive energy, get lost in the music and get lost in the Womad experience.
Leave your worries and your fomo at home, unwind, and let this festival wash away the dust of everyday life, as Picasso so poetically put it. If there’s any place where you can be the very best version of yourself, no holds barred, then it’s Womad. And don’t worry, wherever you end up on site, you’ll have a blast.
My other hot-tip is to check out a few artists you wouldn’t normally go to. Honestly, your discoveries will be what you remember. One of my greatest Womad memories comes from stumbling across The Correspondents in 2012 and being absolutely stunned by their sound and their vivacious stage presence. I’m not usually one to be right up the front dancing against the stage barriers, but they had me hooked.
So, put The Correspondents on your list for this weekend, and be sure to chuck in some artists that aren’t your jam. My Baby, Dona Onete and Maarja Nuut & Ruum are my personal random-but-epic acts for 2019.
And finally, because no one likes to know too much about a festival before they arrive, get away from the music stages every once in a while and take in some of the other offerings.
Poetry Slam and late night comedy on the World of Words stage are worth checking out in the Kunming Garden this year, along with some awesome speakers like Sonya Renee Taylor. She proudly describes herself as “fat, black, queer, bald and neurodivergent” (she lives with depression) and refuses to apologise for any of it. Love it. Love her.
There’s also some pretty cool stuff happening in Te Paepae, and it’s a good feeling to stop and appreciate your country’s own rich indigenous culture among the world’s offerings.
Final final tip – because I’m a sucker for the full Womad experience – EAT ALL THE FOOD. Especially the Hungarian Bread Puffs. And have no regrets.