February 9, 2022

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WOMAD NZ wants to thank everyone for being patient and understanding while we’ve worked through all our options to safely present the festival in March.

 With deep sadness, we are announcing WOMAD NZ is no longer going ahead for 2022.

We all had great expectations of bringing the festival back to Taranaki after disruptions due to COVID 19 in 2021. It is heartbreaking to cancel for the second year in a row due to circumstances entirely out of our control.

Our team has cautiously forged ahead with planning for 2022 over the last few weeks. The decision to cancel has not been made lightly. There is too much uncertainty surrounding large festivals and events, and what the growing threat of Omicron’s spread in the community means. Ensuring the safety of our festival and the people of Aotearoa continues to be at the forefront of our response.

To our artists, performers, traders, crew, volunteers, and sponsors who continued to stand by us and contributed so much – we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

WOMAD NZ is also deeply grateful for the additional security of the one-off underwrite of nearly $2 million that New Plymouth District Council approved to allow TAFT to run the 2022 WOMAD festival. Also acknowledging the Government’s Events Transition Support Scheme recognising the important role our festival plays in the region of Taranaki and ensuring the future of the festival.

Justine Gilliland, Venture Taranaki Chief Executive says, “It’s another major blow to the region that WOMAD, a highlight for many locals and visitors, has had to follow suit along with several other events this summer and cancel. Venture Taranaki supports TAFT’s decision as completely understandable under the current circumstances and uncertainty.
“In 2020 WOMAD’s economic impact on the region was $6.1 million. We look forward to supporting TAFT to present WOMAD again in Taranaki for 2023 and will welcome the positive flow-on effects the festival has on the region.”

WOMAD and TAFT have worked hard to create an award-winning festival in New Plymouth, and WOMAD is regarded as one of the most important events on New Zealand’s cultural calendar.

Director of WOMAD International, Chris Smith comments “The WOMAD festival attracts thousands of visitors to the Taranaki region each year and has rightfully gained a reputation as one of the most beautiful outdoor festivals in the world.”

We’re already setting our sights on WOMAD NZ 2023, our most exciting festival year yet, as we celebrate 20 years of WOMAD NZ making its home in the stunning Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Park, New Plymouth, Taranaki. With the news that our borders will open on the horizon, it’s looking highly likely that WOMAD NZ will be able to bring together artists from all over the world again over three incredible days of music, arts, and dance.

 To our festival ticket holders, your tickets will roll directly over to WOMAD NZ 2023, our 20-year celebration, which takes place 17 – 19 March 2023. Nothing changes and all tickets will remain valid and at the 2022 prices! We hope you will all join us for the 2023 – 20-year event!

If festival goers cannot make our 2023 dates, refunds will be available through our ticket outlet Ticketspace, at face value. Please bear with us while we work this process with our ticketing agent Ticketspace.
We will email all ticket holders with further information about your options.

We now look ahead to channelling our energy into creating a truly magical experience for WOMAD NZ 2023 – a 20-year event!

 – Chris Smith – Director of WOMAD International  & Suzanne Porter – CEO Taranaki Arts Festival Trust

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