The World of Music, Arts and Dance festival, also known as WOMAD, celebrates its 33rd birthday this year, but there’s another important landmark that everyone at Amazing Tents will soon be celebrating.
In 2016, Amazing Tents director Steve Haddrell will be marking an impressive 30 years involvement with WOMAD, which remains one of the most exciting and diverse music festivals in the world since its inception.
Steve started working with the WOMAD team back in 1986 and was full time Production Director for 14 years between 1990 and 2004. He was lucky enough to be centrally involved in organising WOMAD festivals all over the world, as well as in the UK. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a country that Steve hadn’t visited as part of his duties, from France, Sicily, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Spain and Portugal to the USA, Canary Islands and even Sri Lanka and Singapore.
After all of his travels, Steve returns year after year to undertake Site Management at the main UK event – WOMAD at Charlton Park, which in 2015 takes place between 24th and 26th July. He has many fantastic memories from his work with the festival, which included liaising with suppliers and local authorities to make sure the event was built on time, but his lasting impression of 30 years with WOMAD is, in his own words:
“Being with such amazing musicians from all over the world when they are off stage. Seeing the spontaneous interaction, in hotels, buses and planes, between diverse artists from many different countries and witnessing the fact that music really is an international language.”
WOMAD – looking back to its roots
WOMAD was founded by progressive rock superstar Peter Gabriel back in 1980 and took place for the very first time in 19282 with acts such as Echo & The Bunnymen, Simple Minds, The Beat and of course, Peter Gabriel, on the bill. The festival has now travelled all over the world and entertained over a million music lovers, whilst all the time communicating a strong ethos – to embrace inspiring music and passionate musicians from all over the world, and to communicate without boundaries through movement and music.
Amazing Tents and WOMAD – a lasting partnership
Steve isn’t the only one with a strong and lasting connection with WOMAD, an event that has touched so many people’s lives across the world. Amazing Tents and in particular, its SaddleSpan tents, are a regular fixture at WOMAD Charlton Park each year. In fact, we’ve recently confirmed that the SaddleSpan S5000 event tent will once again be sheltering artists and providing amazing acoustics on the Charlie Gillett stage in summer 2015. You can also keep your eyes peeled for SaddleSpan stage covers and tents at many other UK music festivals.
So, here’s to another fantastic summer of inspiring world music, and for Steve, many more years with one of the world’s most exciting, boundary-breaking music festivals.