Dubbed ‘the world’s festival’, WOMAD (World Of Music Arts and Dance) is the original and biggest celebration of music, arts, food and dance from across the globe.
Founded by rockstar and former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel, the first WOMAD festival took place in 1982 in Shepton Mallet, Wiltshire – home to that other legendary British festival Glastonbury. More than three decades later, the WOMAD extravaganza runs annually at their current UK location of Malmesbury, Wiltshire, as well as locations in Spain, New Zealand and Australia. What they all have in common is their spirit of joie de vivre in every language.
The dedicated World of Kids brings magical myths and legends from all corners of the world to life through inventive story-telling. There’s a chance to create your own colourful costume to wear during the children’s parade. Be as flamboyant as
you dare: anything goes!
Musical Maestros The international roster of performers includes Laura Mvula, Mahmoud Ahmed and Badume’s Band, Tiken Jah Fakoly, De La Soul, Tinariwen, Bellowhead, Ghostpoet, Souad Massi, Ibeyi, Eska, 47Sould, Banda Magda, Ester Rada and more.
Featured Fun Carters Steam Fair has all the romance of the funfair heyday, with High Flying Swingboats, Rock N Roll Dodgems and the beautiful vintage Jubilee Steam Gallopers carousel. Those who like to splash the cash can go on a worldwide shopping spree at the souk-like Global Market, where you’ll find stalls overflowing with aromas ranging from aniseed to real ale, and treasures as diverse as bubbles and Bedouin silver. And there’s no need to fear the festival toilets: spend a few extra pennies to pee at the La-Di-Da Loos, which come complete with glittering chandeliers, satin tablecloths, gleaming mirrors, hairsprays, hairdryers, gorgeous lotions and potions. Oh, and gleaming porcelain toilets!
The Zones There are five main stages with a further one in the Arboretum. The buzzing Arboretum is also to a host of other ‘worlds’. The World of Wellbeing, an oasis of treatments, therapies and workshops; World of Art hosts a range of intriguing visual art from internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, including this year’s artist-in-residence Barthélémy Toguo; World of Words brings poetry, human books and debate to life, while Taste the World features artists show off their cooking prowess while being interviewed about life, food and music. There’s also Carters Steam Fair, the Global Market, Hip Yak Poetry Shack, The People Parlour, and the World of Kids.
- The dedicated World of Kids features art and crafts workshops with a focus on creating giant colourful structures to don during the Children’s Procession on Sunday. This year’s theme is the magical world of myths, legends and folklore from around the world.
- Graffiti walls for free form art.
- Beatbox sessions, drum tents and drop-in musical sessions around the site.
- Workshops and activities include circus skills, music making, face painting, story telling and crafts.
- The tipi story tent.
- Head to the Taste the World stage for Kids cookery sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
- Musical mazes.
- Bug-hunting in the long grass.
Chill Out Time The World of Wellbeing offers yoga workshops, massages and therapies (as well as endorphin-inducing tea and cake), while the WOMAD Spa offers a range of luxury treatments.
Dining Tables The Global Market celebrates global flavours, from homemade paella from ‘Paellaria’, to handcrafted ‘momos’ – stuffed steamed dumplings – at the Tibetan Kitchen. For libations, you can sup at the Tiny Tea Tent, or quench your thirst with a lip-smacking beer or cider from the Real Ale tent. Artists performing at the festival will be on hand at a designated ‘cookery’ stage to prepare and cook a traditional dish from their home country. Coming back for 2015 is the exciting Taste the World restaurant with a feast of dishes using spices and ingredients that reflect journeys across continents and ancient trade routes from Asia to Africa and the Americas.
Happy Campers There is General Camping, Family Camping, Disabled Camping plus Camp WOMAD, where tents are ready erected (from £145 for two) and you can hire inflatable beds and pillows too. Other options are Luxury Airstreams (from £1,800), Boutique Camping in shikar tents in the protected walled garden of Charlton Park (from £2,498 for a family of four, including exclusive VIP backstage area festival tickets); Hearthworks Tipis & Yurts, and Podpads which includes a colourful rainbow of tents and cute little beach huts.
THE PRICE TAG
Full Weekend Adult (18+) £165 | 14–17 years £80 | Under-14s Free
Photography Credit: Suzie M Blake and WOMAD
*** Want to see more family-friendly festivals for 2015. Check out our 12 We Love… Summer Festivals round-up ***