Written by on January 31, 2020

Shapeshifter are no strangers to performing at packed-out festivals including WOMAD UK. They create a stadium-sized sound which adds layers of heavy soul, drum & bass, jazz, funk, rock and electronica to solid bass culture foundations, capable of morphing from rolling drum & bass to pummeling guitar-driven jams to horizon-shifting electronic soundscapes. The five-strong lineup are thrilled to be bringing their very own genre-defying amalgamation to WOMAD New Zealand for the first time next week for a breathtaking show like no other. On stage at 10.15pm Friday on the Bowl Stage.

WOMAD NZ Director, Emere Wano says “After the news of Ziggy’s withdrawal we were thrilled when Shapeshifter, without hesitation confirmed to play on Friday night. The group and their management worked quickly with us to get things sorted so that we could make an announcement today! It’s the first time that they have played at WOMAD New Zealand which makes it even more special for all of us.”

“It has been far too long since we have played down in Taranaki and so we are utterly stoked to be headlining the Friday night at WOMAD! Got some brand new flavours alongside some classic old treats to play, can’t wait!” – Shapeshifter.

Award-winning Australian based singer Odette has also joined our WOMAD NZ line up after embarking on numerous shows from as far afield as Dublin, London, Zurich and Paris. British born, Odette has made her mark on the international music scene, the release of her highly acclaimed debut To A Stranger sparked a legion of growing fans and admirers resulting in the record amassing nearly 30 million streams, two consecutive Triple J Hottest 100 entries and two nominations in at the 2018 ARIAs including “Breakthrough Artist.” Deeply personal and captivating in presence, Odette is one not to miss and will be playing Saturday at 6.15pm and Sunday 2 pm on the Gables Stage.

Closing the Gables Stage on Saturday night is Auckland-based beatmaker DJ MONTELL 2099, one of the most exciting new electronic music talents to emerge from New Zealand in recent years. In an era where musicians often lean on gimmicks to market their work, MONTELL2099 is connecting with his audiences on the strength of his music alone, and he’s only just getting started. Mixing bubbling melodies, manipulated vocal snippets and booming bass hits, his idiosyncratic productions ripple and thud with club-ready swing and funk. With a taste for genre-bending releases, MONTELL2099’s mantra is simple–surprise his listener on every corner!

The full WOMAD 2020 stage schedule including World Of Words, Taste the World, Kidzone, Te Paepae workshops, STEAM Lab and the on-site performance programme is now available at

See your festival favourites perform twice or schedule your weekend around the exclusive one-off performances across the four main music stages. Experience and explore Māori culture and artistry at the welcoming Te Paepae stage. Learn how to cook with your favourite artists at OMV Taste The World Stage. Visit the Kunming stage, home to World Of Words hosting a mixture of speakers, interviews, book sessions, poetry slams and comedy. Hear from inventors, innovators and visionaries at the top of their fields who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo at STEAM Lab WOMAD’s newest stage. There is something for everyone at WOMAD New Zealand and we can’t wait!

Check out the brand new stage schedule here:

The highly anticipated jazz, soul, funk fusion group Hiatus Kaiiyote will be performing on Friday. Folk award-winning Laura Marling will make a one-off appearance on Saturday so will Aotearoas reggae, electronic, blues, rock, and funk supergroup L.A.B. Closing off what promises to be a very special weekend, the Ambassador of African music Salif Keita will perform one of his last shows ever on Sunday.

The Spinoff accurately reported on the back of the sold-out 2018 festival that, “WOMAD would never be so cruel as to only play things once, so most acts put on repeat performances over the weekend allowing you the chance to customise an itinerary that would rival an around the world music trip.”

WOMAD New Zealand 2020, welcomes double performances from the living legends of gospel, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, the mesmerising harp-kora duo of Catrin Finch & Sokou Keita, Maloya dance group Destyn Maloya, the Ezra Collective – hot off the UK jazz scene, the all-female Mexican mariachi ensemble Flor de Toloache, energetic brass band Hot Potato Band and the rhythmic trance group Ifriqiyya Electrique.

Explosive eight-strong Belgium ensemble KernesZ á l’Est, genre-bending Janggu player Kim So Ra, Ghanian kologo star King Ayisoba, the Brazilian black soul and samba group Liniker e os Caramelows and Indian Classical maestro L Subramaniam will all play twice throughout the festival.

Also scheduled for more than one performance is the empowering Greek-Sudanese multi-talent Marina Satti & her group Fońes, Japanese folk group Minyo Crusanders, the Cuban 12-piece big band Orquesta Akokán, Scottish folk music ensemble RURA and Finnish vocal folk hop singers Tuuletar. Trio de Kali, a young supergroup from Mali is scheduled to perform two sets, one with New Zealand’s classic ensemble The Black Quartet.

Representing Aotearoa, Albi & the Wolves, Reb Fountain, Soaked Oats, and Troy Kingi are all scheduled for repeat performances over the three days and The Black Quartet are set to play twice, once in a highlight performance with Trio Da Kali (Mali).

From when the gates open at 4.30pm on Friday, March 13th until the last act finishes at 11.45pm Sunday, March 15th, 2019, the stunning 55-acre Brooklands Park and the TSB Bowl of Brooklands is filled with thousands of happy people for a late summer indulgence in world music, food and dance.


The best way to build your itinerary is here! Download the WOMAD app to your Android or iOS device and start scheduling your must-sees and dos of the festival.

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Get up close and personal with the artists of WOMAD in engaging workshops held across the weekend. Taste your way around the world and shop ’til you drop in the exciting Global Village offering close to 100 exciting stalls. The kids will love the safe, welcoming and creative programme at Kidzone.

Add everything you want to your itinerary now so you can sit back and enjoy all the festival offerings.

WOMAD New Zealand is very proud to present, for the 16th year anniversary of the festival (in
alphabetical order)

Albi & The Wolves (Aotearoa/NZ), Blind Boys of Alabama (USA), Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita (Wales/Senegal), Destyn Maloya (Réunion), Ezra Collective (UK), Flor de Toloache (Mexico/USA), Hiatus Kaiyote (Australia), Hot Potato Band (Australia), Ifriqiyya Electrique (Maghreb/Europe), KermesZ à l’Est (Belgium), King Ayisoba (Ghana), L.A.B. (Aotearoa/NZ), Laura Marling (UK), Liniker e os Caramelows (Brazil), L Subramaniam (India), Marina Sattir & Fońes (Greece/Sudan), Minyo Crusaders (Japan), MONTELL2099 (Aotearoa/NZ), Odette (Australia), Orquesta Akokán (Cuba), Reb Fountain (Aotearoa/NZ), RURA (Scotland), Salif Keita (Mali), Shapeshifter (Aotearoa/NZ), Soaked Oats (Aotearoa/NZ), The Black Quartet (Aotearoa/NZ), Trio Da Kali (Mali), Troy Kingi (Aotearoa/NZ) Tuuletar (Finland).

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