WOMAD Ignores Boycott Campaign

WOMAD organisers told local media they will ignore a new Facebook page called “Boycott Womad,” which calls for fans to ignore the March 16-18 world music festival in New Zealand.

The campaign targets the involvement of two of its major sponsors, Shell and Todd Energy.

Suzanne Porter, head of promoter Taranaki Arts Festival Trust, said, “We are focused on delivering the festival. Without sponsors, we wouldn’t have the festival.”

Comments on the page claim that Shell, which has contributed NZ$1 million to the festival since 2003 and worked on the festival’s green print, has alleged links with human rights abuses in Africa. Opponents of Todd Energy say the company pollutes the local environment.

This year’s WOMAD lineup includes Baaba Maal, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Pajama Club, The Black Seeds and The Yoots, among many others.