First acts announced for the UK’s Womad Festival!


AMADOU & MARIAM, CAMILLE, DJANGO DJANGO, SHARON SHANNON, LA DAME BLANCHE and loads more included in the first artist announcement!

Watch the video featuring Peter Gabriel and festival programmer, Paula, talking about WOMAD 2018 and introducing their top tips for this year below:

Now in its thirty-sixth year, WOMAD features a colourful medley of music, dance, food, art, spoken-word, poetry, science and other family fun, bringing together artists and fans from all over the world. After a record-breaking 2017, this year’s festival weekend is set to be one of the most spectacular to date, with an incredible and diverse line-up from around the globe, the first wave of which is announced today.

AMADOU & MARIAM are one of the most prolific and thrilling acts to come out of Mali over the last two decades. The couple made a name for themselves with their irresistible swinging Malian blues before venturing into soul and have since collaborated with the likes of Manu Chao and Santigold in the process, while French artist CAMILLE’s diverse artistic career spans from performing Benjamin Britten, to providing the soundtrack for Pixar’s Ratatouille, to reinterpreting Joni Mitchell songs.

DJANGO DJANGO are arguably the most inventive art-rockers around, and their pop-edged psychedelia proved as fresh and dynamic as ever on last month’s critically acclaimed new release Marble Skies. SHARON SHANNON, the Irish accordion master has ploughed her own very distinctive furrow but is always eager to explore new styles from around the world as her latest album Sacred Earth takes on an African vibe. It was co-produced by WOMAD veteran and African music expert Justin Adams.

With her explosive mix of hip hop, cumbia, dancehall and reggae, the Cuban singer, flautist and percussionist Yaite Ramos Rodriguez, aka LA DAME BLANCHE will, this year, make her WOMAD UK debut delivering her powerful, compelling and extraordinary sound fusion. Born in Havana, she grew up in the heart of an awe inspiring musical cauldron that included her father, Jesus “Aguaje” Ramos; an exceptional trombonist and the artistic director of the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club.

Amongst those kicking off the festival on the Thursday night will be the Jamaican reggae musical titan KEN BOOTHE, whose mellifluous voice topped the UK charts in the 70’s with Everything I Own and who was, of course, namechecked by The Clash on(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais. He will be joined by celebrated nu-jazz collective from Berlin, JAZZNOVA LIVE FEATURING PAUL RANDOLPH, whose impeccable Latin-tinged sound has led to collaborations with Gilles Peterson and remix commissions for MJ Cole,4Hero, and Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Womad UK 2018 first acts poster