Schedule revealed for WOMAD 2018

Photo by Alexander Hallag

Photo by Alexander Hallag

WOMAD NZ has released the full three day festival schedule and as is tradition, it is brimming with the very best musicians from around the world with 32 musical acts across 24 countries represented over six stages. 

Included is the schedule is the popular Nova Energy Taste the World programme hosted by Jax Hamilton in the Kunming Garden. During the festival, cooking sessions are spread across the weekend. Artists swap instruments and microphones for cooking utensils and unusual ingredients. This is an informal and lively environment, and a great way to get up close to the artists! 

For it's second year running, the World Of Words festival programme will celebrate the written and spoken word. It's designed to inspire people to think, talk, laugh, listen, learn and participate! The sessions with be a mixture of speakers, interviews, presentations as well as a poetry slam and the aim of each session is to encourage ongoing and informed conversation.

WOMAD prides itself on being a family friendly music festival and has activities for all ages. It’s a safe and welcoming environment for families and children (12 and under) where creativity, stories and entertainment are in abundance. This year’s theme is "Things With Wings". There will be a feast of creation celebrated in song, visual arts, movement, circus, story and performance, all shared through WOMAD Kidzone radio. Kids will develop their performance skills for the Kidzone Parade on Sunday

Building on the success of the Oyster and Bubbles bar in 2016 and the Ika Bar in 2017, this year WOMAD introduces the Garden of Brews. The craft beer garden located on the front lawn of the Gable’s house, the bar will be open for four sessions during the festival, with a selection of craft beer on tap available to purchase by the glass, or tasting paddle. 

And Winemaker Alan Scott will present an intimate hours session on Friday night of wine tasting and storytelling - each sample will be paired with hors d'oeuvres, designed to complement the elegant flavours of each wine.


The internationally established three day world music, arts and dance festival is known for its exciting and diverse line-up and next year’s event is no exception.

Over the weekend Brooklands Park will ring with the sounds of a melting pot of folk, afro-funk, hip hop, classical, jazz and punk rock performed on violins, ouds, koras and squeeze boxes. With artists from countries as varied as Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Mauritania delivering a blend of traditional and modern performances; expect diverse languages, cultures, harmonies and rhythms from the big names and to discover glorious artists you’ve never heard of. 

Making up the 33 exciting and eclectic artists from across the globe performing at WOMAD 2018 will be familiar festival favourites; the pioneer of bass-dominant, dub flavoured dance tunes, UK’s Adrian Sherwood, the heavy metal inspired acoustic guitar duo from Mexico, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Washington D.C. based DJ collective, the uniquely diverse dub inspired Thievery Corporation

Joining them will be; the highly anticipated Los Angeles saxophonist, composer and jazz superstar Kamasi Washington, the Indian classical and progressive sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar and classic Kiwi band Dragon.  

Brazilian 10 piece, Bixiga 70 will deliver dizzying heights of progressive Afrobeat, Tinariwen will delight audiences with their scorching Mali desert blues and Havana Meets Kingston's sound-clash of reggae, dub and dancehall with salsa and rumba will be sure to make the crowds move. 

Lebanon’s soulful, classically trained Ghada Shbeir and Israel’s vocal hip hop star Victoria Hanna will deliver tales from ancient texts and stories of current social injustices. Chilean political-punk-poet Nano Stern and Ghanaian Jojo Abot who seamlessly blends electronica, indie-soul, reggae and hip hop, will be  part of a growing global conversation with audiences.

Always a highlight of WOMAD are the talents of local artists and 2018 looks to be one of the most exciting yet with the “toweringly talented song writer” Aldous Harding and Auckland city’s Hopetoun Brown, who will stomp and parp their way into audience hearts with nothing but brass, a bass clarinet, two sets of tambourines and tonsils. West Auckland newcomers, The Miltones will deliver some excellent knee slappin’, foot stompin’ and booty shakin’ tunes. The award winning Māori soul acoustic artist Maisey Rika will capture hearts, and with deep roots in the classical world, Black Quartet will impress with their vast sea of influences, from blues, rock, jazz and pop. From Taranaki, The Slacks will bring home some classic kiwi messages of unity, aroha, and community.

“WOMAD 2018 is a fantastic representation of World music today and continues to support diverse voices on stages” - Emere Wano, WOMAD Event Director & NZ Programme Manager.

WOMAD 2018

March 16 - 18: Bowl Of Brooklands, New Plymouth

Tickets via WOMAD