Day by day line-up announced for WOMAD 2018

With just over a month left until WOMAD UK at Charlton Park, the festival has announced its day by day line-up of artists to co-incide with day tickets going on sale.

WOMAD kicks off in style on Thursday 26th July with the spectacular sound of Jamaican megastar Ken Boothe bringing his reggae beats to the festival. Genre-defying collective Jazzanova feat. Paul Randolph will perform their incredible live show— a fusion of super-cool nu-jazz and soul. As per tradition, the Malmesbury School children will open the festival with the Kafou Music Project, bringing a smile to everyone’s faces and setting the bar high for the rest of the weekend.

Friday will see a rich kaleidoscope of sounds from all over the world; the glorious Hashmat Sultana, two Punjabi sisters making their UK debut as winners of India’s X Factor equivalent in an incredible rags-to-riches story, the fabulous K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade (UK via Ghana) also making their first WOMAD appearance with their sensational full-on afrobeat, dancehall, reggae, jazz and dub 9-piece and former members of the Gipsy Kings, The Original Gypsies of Carmague, whose rumba infused flamenco and guitars will conjure up Mediterranean vibes.

Also getting the world party started on Friday will be homegrown talent and voice of his generation Kojey Radical, South American female supergroup LADAMA shimmering soul and folk from Estonian Mari Kalkun, Polish punk rockers Habna!, dance music legend Leftfield playing Leftism Live and a DJ set from drum & bass pioneer Goldie.

Amadou & Mariam - 'Bofou Bofou'. The Malian duo headline the Saturday at Charlton Park.

Saturday’s line up includes Cuban-Jamaican collective Havana Meets Kingston, whose reggae, dancehall and salsa beats effortlessly intertwine to create an amazing Caribbean sound, West African songstress Dobet Gnahoré who hails from Cote d’Ivoire and sings her sweet melodies in a number of her country’s 72 dialects, new funk and soul project from Bombay Bicycle Club Mr Jukes, Malian music’s golden couple Amadou & Mariam, as well as tour-de-force Parisian Camille, the ‘French Bjork’ who will take audiences on a journey of discovery.

Joining this stellar line up will be Australian duo Electric Fields with their distinctive electronica, soul and indigenous sound, Ceilidh-infused 80’s punk mixed with country and western with The Well Oiled Sisters, and Finnish a capella beatboxers Tuuletar, in a spectacular musical trip around the globe.

Things certainly won’t be winding down on Sunday, with huge sets from rockers Django Django, smooth jazz and soul sounds from Ethiopian-American Meklit, as well as afro-psychedelic seven-piece BCUC redefining South African music as we know it, trailblazing DJ and music traveller Gilles Peterson, Spanish shapeshifter Amparanoia mixing up bolero, rumba, pop and son and exploring her Haitian roots through guitar is the irrepressible Melissa Laveaux, who last month performed on Later with Jools Holland.

Also on Sunday, you can check out revolutionary new sounds from Kinshasa, courtesy of KOKOKO!. Huge fans of electronic music, they fashion discarded junk into musical instruments; a typewriter repurposed as a drum machine is just one example. The resulting sound is extraordinary. Raw and deeply funky, it also represents a backlash against Congolese musicians past— “the elders who did nothing but sing love and praise the authorities for money,” they say. These are revolutionary sounds. The groove is heavy, the radicalism strong.

KOKOKO! - Revolutionary sounds from Kinshasa

WOMAD festival-goers know that this festival is about so much more than just incredible music; World of Words celebrates the very best of spoken word and language, the Physics Pavilion making science cool, the World of Wellbeing and WOMAD Spa is an oasis of calm and chill out vibes with top-of-the-range treatments, yoga sessions, hot tubs, and saunas, whilst the World of Art provides creative inspiration. The World of Children boats a cornucopia of fun for mini WOMAD-ers with workshops galore and taste buds tingle as artists cook up a storm at the Taste The World stage.

Purchase day tickets

A Womad favourite:

  • Live at Real World

    The Drummers of Burundi

    Released 09 March 1992

    The formidable rhythms of Burundi's most celebrated musical exports might have been heavily co-opted by Adam & The Ants and Bow Wow Wow along the way, but the sound remains all theirs. The Drummers were the heroes of the first-ever WOMAD Festival in 1982 and, ten years later, pitched up at Real World Studios where they immortalised their art with this deeply hypnotic performance. Raw, heady and immediate, this record is a one-way ticket to the pumping heart and soul of the mother continent.

By Online Editor

Main image: KOKOKO! from Kinshasa, DRC, who perform on the Sunday of WOMAD UK 2018.

Published on Tue, 19 June 18

Further reading

‘The Surrey Ambience Service’ new Bob Holroyd on Real World X

The second release from acclaimed artist and composer Bob Holroyd on Real World X.

Announcing Palabras Urgentes: the new album by Susana Baca

Afro-Peruvian icon Susana Baca celebrates 50 years in music with this forceful musical statement.

Track of the day: ‘Sorongo’ by Susana Baca

Afro-Peruvian icon Susana Baca celebrates 50 years in music with this forceful musical statement.

Track of the day: ‘El Gamra’ by Bab L’ Bluz

The track is taken from their award-winning debut album Nayda!