Free Womad gig on Thursday

The public will get to experience just what makes Womad special in a free event the day before the internationally acclaimed festival opens.

New Zealand group Albi & The Wolves, Tuuletar from Finland and local dance performance group, Tansi Productions, will be on stage at Puke Ariki Landing for the free two-hour event, from 11.30am this Thursday.

Womad NZ event director and programme manager Emere Wano says the pop-up event is always popular, and she expects this year’s show to be another awesome event.

“There’s always a fantastic atmosphere at the NPDC Pop-Up Gig. It’s a really relaxed vibe, with people coming out in the lunchbreaks to enjoy the music and entertainment on offer in the lead-up to Womad weekend,” Wano says.

“Not only is it a great opportunity for the audience to get a taster of what they can expect to experience at Womad, it means people in the community, who may not be able to attend Womad, get the opportunity to be part of what makes this festival so special.

“We are very thankful for the support of NPDC to enable this event to take place.”

NPDC recreation and culture manager Teresa Turner says the pop-up brings a free flavour of what Womad is all about to the city centre.

“This is the sixth year that we’ve brought Womad into the CBD and it’s always a great event with families enjoying the great acts on the beautiful setting of Puke Ariki Landing,” Turner says.

“As well as music, there will be food trucks so those working in New Plymouth can pop down on their lunchbreaks.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with Womad NZ and to welcome artists from across the globe to our wonderful corner of the world.”

The NPDC Pop-Up Gig line-up

Described as a soulful, energetic, electric, and uplifting trio, Albi & The Wolves took out the Best Folk Artist at the 2018 New Zealand Music Awards.

This band prides itself on pushing the limits of what three musicians can do using only an acoustic guitar, an electric violin, a double bass, and three voices.

All the way from Finland, Tuuletar take a novel approach to traditional Finnish folk music with their fierce energy, fresh beatbox rhythms and other-worldly harmonies.

Pioneering the genre of “vocal folk hop”, the singers won the prestigious Finnish EMMA award (the equivalent to a Grammy) for the best ethno album in 2017 and continue to enchant audiences with their ethereal, tribal energy.

The NPDC Pop-up Gig will kick off with Taranaki’s own Tansi Productions dance crew. Tansi Productions will also perform alongside Taranaki school children on the Te PaePae stage on the Sunday of the WOMAD festival at Brooklands Park, New Plymouth, March 13 to 15. 

Words by Rochelle West
Main photo by Amandala