From A to Z: Womad artist line up announcement covers from Afghanistan to Zambia

October 21, 2022

Suzanne Porter andf Mike Large - TDN

Artists from Afghanistan to Zambia have been announced as part of the Womad lineup for 2023, as the World of Music, Arts and Dance festival returns to New Plymouth after a two-year gap.

The event will be celebrating its 20th anniversary at the city’s Bowl of Brooklands from March 17 to 19.

The Womad 2023 programme was launched at the Plymouth International hotel in New Plymouth on Thursday evening with the announcement of 22 new artists.

Suzanne Porter, chief executive of the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (Taft), which puts on Womad, said it was “thrilled” to have the festival returning, calling it a “world-class event that enriches our community culturally and economically”.

“Our 2023 lineup celebrates multiculturalism through music, art, workshops, and food. So many of us have missed these experiences in the last two years.”

Next year’s lineup features Kiwi power group Fly My Pretties – who performed at the launch – Afro-Cuban rockstar Cimafunk, and one of hip hop’s brightest young stars, Sampa The Great from Zambia.

With eight stages, Womad will be back to full capacity after the pandemic.

In 2021 New Plymouth District Council underwrote the festival for $1.9 million as a safety net.

Last month, Taft asked for more than $1 million of its underwrite fund to be released to run next’s year’s festival.

The trust pledged to pay back the money – a total of $1,010,000 – a day after the event closed.

After honouring the Womad 2022 tickets that rolled over to 2023, all pre-sale and early bird tickets have sold out.

In a statement, Mike Large, chief operating officer for Womad UK, said it takes unique or special people to stage a Womad.

“Womad NZ could not have reached its success over the last 20 years without the dedicated and hard-working team at the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust.

“All Womads are different, but only a few we call home, and we are deeply grateful to the people of Aotearoa for making Womad NZ one of those few and what a beautiful home Taranaki is.”

Full line up: Acapollinations (Aotearoa), Bab L’ Bluz (Morocco/France), Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn (USA), Cimafunk (Cuba), Constantinople (Canada), Deva Mahal (Aotearoa), Fly My Pretties (Aotearoa), Professor Hinke Osinga (Aotearoa), Justin Adams & Mauro Durante (UK/Italy), Kefaya and Elaha Soroor (Afghanistan/UK), Kita (Aotearoa), Lil O’Brien (Aotearoa), MazbouQ (Aotearoa), Mdou Moctar (Niger), Mudra Dance Company (Aotearoa), Pandit Ronu Majumdar & Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh (India), Rizwan Muazzam Qawwals (Pakistan), Rubi Du ( Aotearoa), Sampa The Great (Zambia), The Garifuna Collective (Belize), The Langan Band (Scotland), and Youssou N’Dour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar (Senegal).

Read the article in full published by Taranaki Daily News, STUFF HERE 

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