Go Mad for WOMAD

Derry to host Peter Gabriel's international World of Music, Arts and Dance festival

In yet another triumph for the City of Culture, Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness announced this week that the World of Music, Arts and Dance festival will be held in Derry-Londonderry in 2013.

It is expected that the festival will entice hundreds of performers and thousands of festival-goers to Derry-Londonderry during the week long festival, which was established by famed musician, Peter Gabriel, in 1982. Although a firm date has not yet been announced, in previous years the WOMAD festival has taken place in the month of June.

‘This is great news for this city, the country and for the promoters of the City of Culture,' commented the Deputy First Minister. 'I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the organisers of WOMAD for even considering bringing their wonderful festival here to my home city. This will contribute a major part of the wonderful programme planned for 2013.'

The anticipated programme of events will encompass the entire city, and feature the very best world music performers from across the globe. It is also expected that WOMAD will attract millions of pounds into the local economy.

As part of the agreement for the 2013 festival, WOMAD will join forces with anti-racism charity Beyond Skin and multi-ethnic arts organisation SEEDS to create a community-based, global education programme that will add to the City of Culture legacy.

‘The partnership will be an extension of work that we are already doing with World Music NI,’ commented Beyond Skin Director, Darren Ferguson. ‘We want to go into schools and communities and educate people about the world cultures that are going to arrive with the festival.’

Ferguson hopes that the festival will shine a light on national, as well as international, talent. ‘Two amazing Bulgarian musicians just left my office,' he told CultureNorthernIreland. 'They are amazing, magical. We hope that this festival will put Northern Ireland on the global stage, and show we have emerged from conflict and are using music to explore that.'

Chris Smith, Director of WOMAD, said: 'We are delighted to be working towards taking part in the celebrations of Derry as the first UK city of culture. We very much look forward to bringing the world to Derry, but more importantly working with the organisers to take Derry to the world.'

Visit the WOMAD website for more information.