WOMAD 2020 first artists announced!

Written by on September 26, 2019

WOMAD New Zealand is famous for showcasing top artists from around the world and Aotearoa. The 2020 festival is no exception and will feature close to 100 hours of music, dance and voices across eight stages. Over three days Ngāmotu’s stunning Brooklands Park and the TSB Bowl of Brooklands will once again be transformed into a village of colour, energy and inclusion.

To whet the appetite ahead of the full 2020 festival announcement on Tuesday 15th October, WOMAD New Zealand is thrilled to share two of the international artists performing and the first two World Of Words artists for the 16th year anniversary of the festival.

For 2020, the mesmerising duo of Welsh harpist Catrin Finch & Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita will be making a welcome festival appearance as will living legends of gospel music Blind Boys of Alabama.

Catrin Finch & Sekou Keita have been hailed as the “most popular world music act of the decade.” Together Welsh harpist Catrin Finch (Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales from 2000 to 2004!) and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita create a musical marriage of culture that is breathtaking. Their multi award-winning-sound is a joyous, ethereal, and hypnotic homage to their country’s diverse cultures. The result is something so extraordinary it can only be described as magic. Their collaborative album  SOAR wins ‘Best Fusion’ Album in the Songlines Music Awards 2019.
The Blind Boys of Alabama are living legends of gospel music. Their uplifting and soulful repertoire includes everything from collaborations with Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, and WOMAD’s Peter Gabriel, to some of the world’s favourite traditional gospel tunes. During their remarkable 75-year career this Grammy Award-winning group has gone from being part of the soundtrack to the Civil Rights movement, to performing in the White House for three different Presidents.
“WOMAD NZ is one of my favourite WOMAD experiences. I especially love the chance to celebrate the Maori culture with others”.- Seckou Keita“We’re so looking forward to making our NZ debut as a duo at WOMAD NZ. WOMAD is a glorious celebration of global music and this trip has been on our bucket list for some time! Can’t wait!” – Catrin Finch

“The Blind Boys Of Alabama are excited to return to New Zealand for the first time in a number of years. and we are even more excited that we are returning to play at the WOMAD festival. come see us there!” Jimmy Carter, Original founding member of “The Blind Boys”
The ever-expanding World Of Words stage, now held on the sun-drenched lawn of the Kunming Garden will be hosting beloved entertainer Te Radar and pacific poet Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh.WOMAD New Zealand is also elated to announce two new additions to the festival for 2020.

Being hosted on a brand new stage in the tranquil setting of the Pinetum is WOMAD New Zealand’s first-ever STEAM Lab. Come and hear speakers from Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics fields talk about incredible breakthroughs and their journey of innovation.

Introducing WOMAD New Zealand’s inaugural Book Club. The book chosen for the 2020 festival is We Can Make A Life by Chessie Henry. Book Club aims to bring people together to express their perspectives and explore the themes within the book while getting insights from Chessie herself.

WOMAD New Zealand remains a place to bring artists together from all over the globe to break down barriers, educate, inform and inspire. Come and lose yourself in the sights, sounds, and tastes that blend together to make up the vibrant WOMAD experience!

WOMAD New Zealand – the world’s festival, is a three day festival of world music, arts and dance, known for its exciting, diverse and discoverable line-up. Now is in its 16th year, WOMAD New Zealand is being held once again in the stunning TSB Bowl of Brooklands, Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.

Over the years, WOMAD New Zealand has rightfully gained a reputation as one of the most beautiful outdoor festivals in the world. The main stage is set at the base of a natural amphitheatre and not only provides a stunning setting but an acoustic experience second to none. The other seven stages are located throughout Brooklands Park, with every square inch oozing the vibrancy of WOMAD.

The capacity for WOMAD New Zealand is kept purposely comfortable so that you’ll never feel like you’re in a mosh pit. Bring a blanket and enjoy refreshments in the chill-out areas, watch a cooking demonstration or explore the stalls and workshops. The kids will be entertained at Kidzone with workshops made especially for them spread over the weekend. There are plenty of things on-site to discover, come along and soak up the warmth of the WOMAD vibe.

The WOMAD New Zealand campsite is situated next to the festival within the New Plymouth Racecourse and TSB Stadium. The festival site is also located a short distance from New Plymouth’s city centre. If you book early enough, you could get a motel, hotel or house close enough to walk!

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