WOMAD Charlton Park 28th-31st July 2016

LogoIt’s that time again, in less than 24 hours the renowned World of Music Arts and Dance festival returns to Charlton Park! In the coming days the previously empty field will be filled with arts, dance, crafts and food that highlight the best bits of diverse culture and of course, buzzing with festival goers, ready to get their feet tapping to a selection of some of the best music worldwide.

And when we say selection, we mean around 95 different jaw-dropping acts, playing music originating from Mali to Israel, Australia to Herzegovina, Senegal to the Lebanon and everything in between.

Now if 95 feels a bit overwhelming, never fear! For WMN have compiled a list of our favourite acts at the festival and where they’ll be, so you won’t miss a thing. If you want more information about the acts that are playing this year, you can click here.

George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic (USA)

Saturday 30 July 9.30-11.00pm at the Open Air Stage

Whilst he is heralded as the ‘Godfather of Psychedelic Funk’, it is unsurprising to discover therefore that George Clinton has had influence on legends such as Prince. Here he appears as the spokesperson for 70s Funk along with his ‘Funkadelic’ entourage and treats his audience to what will be an unforgettable dance experience.

Baaba Maal (Senegal)

Saturday 30 July 7.00-8.15pm at the Open Air Stage

This weekend Baaba Maal brings his carefree soulful spirit back to the festival and will no doubt carry out an impeccable performance encompassing styles from not only his home country of Senegal, but from all the places and cultures he finds fascinating and hence knows so well.

Les Amazones d’Afrique (Mali)

Sunday 31 July 8.30-9.30pm at the Siam Tent

This all female Malian group made up of popular and progressive artists like Mariam Doumbia and Mamani Keita have shot to well-deserved success and will demonstrate this at the Siam Tent this weekend. Their twisting harmonies, mesmerising vocals and lyrics tinged with politics are just some of the reasons 'Les Amazones d'Afrique' are such a must-see.

If you want to see more of them, they will also make an appearance at the Yalumba Taste the World at 2.00pm on Saturday

Songhai by Toumani Diabaté, Juan & Josemi Carmona & Javier Colina & Guests (Mali/Spain)

Saturday 30 July 3.00-4.00pm at the Open Air Stage

More than 30 years after they first met, Diabaté performs with former Ketama members at WOMAD to revisit a ‘truly classic album’. Combining soft Kora with flamenco guitar this act will be, as always, a treat for the eardrums, described by the organisers themselves as a definite ‘red-letter’ performance.

Anoushka Shankar (India)

Saturday 30 July 4.00-5.00pm at the Siam Tent

This woman needs no introduction. One of the most well-known Sitar players on the World Music Circuit, Shankar returns to Wiltshire shortly after the release of her newest album which has already been well received worldwide. Notorious for her artful combination of Indian traditional and Western contemporary music just like her father before her, she will no doubt put on another one of her popular performances that we urge you not to miss.


Konono No 1 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Sunday 31 July 4.00-5.00pm at the Siam Tent

This band is almost perfectly described by the producer Vincent Kenis as “a kind of African punk music”. Their psychedelic feeling is perfectly combined with lively beats and high energy musicianship to create an art form well received at live performances and large festivals.

Ibrahim Maalouf (Lebanon/France)

Friday 29 July 8.15-9.30pm at the Siam Tent

Being a proficient Jazz trumpet player, Maalouf does very well at incorporating 20 century style dissonances into his Arabic/Lebanon inspired work. He is a frequent collaborator with other world music artists such as members of ‘Les Amazones d’Afrique’. A must see for any Jazz enthusiast.

Dubioza Kolektiv (Bosnia/Herzegovina)

Sunday 31 July 3.00-4.00pm at the Big Red Tent

Drawing from heavy rock as well as characteristic London ska, Dubioza Kolektiv has a distinctive ‘Madness’ like touch which shall surely come across in a live performance. They also articulate the chaos of 21st century living and seek to destroy the traditional ‘oom-pa’ fiddle band mindset, an idea perfectly articulated by a quote from the band: “People have strong prejudices about Balkan music and we want to show that music from this region exists outside the usual media stereotypes”.

Dawn Penn (Jamaica)

Friday 29 July 8.15-9.30pm at the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System

You may know this artist from her 1994 hit, You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No) but it would be unwise to assume she is a one-hit wonder. An everlasting musical genre, Penn is one of ‘reggae’s original queens’ and is set to perform an outstanding set at this year’s festival surely jam-packed with her hugely accessible reggae grooves.

Aziza Brahim (Western Sahara/Spain)

Friday 29 July 4.00-5.00pm at the Siam Tent

A child of political injustice and Saharawi refugee camps, Brahim creates hugely poignant music with heavy hitting lyrics and beautifully diverse melodies. Her pieces hark back to the difficulties of her past and are sure to move even the most stony-faced audience member.

Aziza will also be carrying out her own Workshop at World Rhythms at 1.00pm.