WOMAD NZ Sells Out

This year’s WOMAD New Zealand drew 22,000 fans, its first sellout in eight years.

Photo: Dominika Zielinska

Ticket sales were up 30 percent from last year. Staged for its 11th year mid-March over three days at Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl in Taranaki, good weather led to a record draw of 5,000 campers.

WOMAD NZ also made history when Sinead O’Connor announced it would be her last time singing “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

She said that after 25 years of singing it, she could no long “emotionally identify” with the Prince-penned song.

“Nine months or so ago I finally ran out of anything I could use in order to bring some emotion to it,” she said.

The festival hosted 300 acts from 22 countries. Aside from major names including Rufus Wainwright, Richard Thompson, Youssou N’Dour and Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, audiences shared on social media their discovery of the Malawi Mouse Boys, Flavia Coelho, The Gloaming and Luzmila Carpio. Organisers announced a success of another kind: the introduction this year of the Globelets (washable, reusable drinking cups) stopped 50,000 beer cups going to landfill.

Next year’s event will be March 18-20.