Friday

WOMAD FESTIVAL 2014

Last weekend I spent 3 fun-filled, sunny days in a field in the Cotswolds at WOMAD 2014 festival. I wasn't planning on blogging about it, so didn't pay too much attention to taking nice photos, but I loved it so much I just had to write about it here. I've collected photos off as many of my friends as possible so these are from all of our cameras and phones.

Normally I stick to one camping festival a year - the one I've totally fallen for - Boomtown. But this year it's the boy's mum's 70th that weekend meaning that I can only go for the Sunday. So to make up for it we had a look at other options and Womad seemed really appealing. Womad is a family festival for 40,000 people spread across beautiful Gloucestershire countryside, sprawling either side of the most amazing arboretum, which provided much needed shade over the weekend. We got the boy's brother and his lady to sign up, and my best friend and another friend and her 9 year old came too, as well as the boy's mum, who went with her friends.

We arrived on Thursday night and walked straight in with no queue. We picked a spot close enough to the main arena to camp, set up our canvas homes and cracked open the first of many weekend drinks before a quick wander round site to see what was happening (not much on Thursday night) so headed back to the tents for some rest before it really kicked off on Friday.


Womad was founded over 30 years ago and is all about world music, bringing artists over from Africa, the Far East, South America and closer to home. This meant it was an opportunity to see bands and musicians who I'd only heard through my iPod before. WOMAD means World of Music, Arts and Dance, and that's exactly what it is. Everywhere you looked there was a workshop to get involved in, whether it was laughter yoga, African dance, beatboxing or wooden spoon carving - which we really wanted to do but stupidly left til the last day when we found it was then fully booked.

We started Friday slowly with a bit of Calvin and Hobbs story time....


Then headed into the festival site for halloumi fried breakfast, and then danced and played for 12 hours solid - particular highlights being reggae from Clinton Fearon's and his band, and then later in the night Congo Natty getting everyone bouncing to his amazing set. The boys also squeezed in as many fairground rides as possible before we all collapsed in a heap back at the tents.


Saturday was another scorcher so we took things a little slower in order to cope with the heat! The lovely Lucinda Belle sent shivers down our spines with her jazz set in the afternoon - another artist I was so happy to get to see live for the first time.

Fat Freddy's Drop were one of the headliners on Saturday evening, but I stupidly left the tent they were playing in just before they came on and then couldn't get back in! The photos below were from a much less busy set in the same tent - and as you can see there such a brilliant mix of ages in attendance.



Saturday night was bliss - we wandered round the site at our own pace, catching bits of different music going in all sorts of weird and wonderful tents, and then finished off watching Clinton Fearon do an acoustic set, just him and his guitar at one in the morning - it was the musical equivalent of bedtime stories with David Attenborough!

Sunday was of course a slower day! We only had a couple of acts on our definite list, who weren't on til later so we took the time to take in more of the sights, sounds and tastes of the festival. We had heard that the food at Womad was meant to be amazing, which it was. My particular favourite was a Lebanese stall serving roast beef that had been slow cooked on shelves about hot coals over the festival days.


The beef was served up with delicious, fresh salads, homemade hummus and loads of meze bits, which was just what my slightly hungover body really needed at that point! You could eat your way round the world at Womad, with the food stalls covering pretty much every cuisine you can imagine!

The last 2 acts we saw on Sunday were 2 of my favourites from the whole weekend. First up was Fatoumata Diawara, a singer with the most gorgeous voice from Mali, who has recently paired up with Roberto Fonseca, a mind blowing Cuban pianist, and together their music is extraordinary. I may have shed a few tears during their set! Finally it was on to see Alice Russell, whose music I've loved for years but who I'd never seen live. She was brilliant, and is not only a great singer and performer, but also full of absolutely hilarious anecdotes between her tracks - a must see if you can.

WOMAD completely won me over and I can't wait to go back. I was worried I wouldn't like as much as other festivals as I'm so used to going to festivals where I know most people on the line up, but this was just brilliant all round. Thanks for having us WOMAD, and roll on 2015!!!!




 
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4 comments:

  1. I'm not normally into music festivals but this one sounds right up my street! I love world music!

    x Michelle | thefeatherden.net

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    1. You should check it out Michelle - really different from what springs to mind when you think "festival"!

      Rosie xx

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  2. Looks like a wonderful place to go, will have to check this festival out for next year! Ace photos, too. X

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    1. It was the most lovely weekend, and such glorious surroundings. I'll definitely be going again next year :)

      Rosie xx

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