Womad 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

Festival co-founder Peter Gabriel said many artists billed to play this year’s festival have pledged to return in 2021

The 2020 Womad festival has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Co-founder Peter Gabriel said its organisers had been “hoping, waiting and watching” the situation to see if the event could proceed in July.

Following government advice and a meeting with the local licensing authority, organisers decided to cancel the festival. “Safety for all of our festival-goers, artists and our staff surpassed everything,” said Gabriel.

Musicians including the Flaming Lips, Angélique Kidjo, Fatoumata Diawara, Kate Tempest and Les Amazones d’Afrique were due to perform at this year’s Womad in Charlton Park, Wiltshire.

Gabriel said many of the artists billed to appear had agreed to play the 2021 edition of the festival and that more information would be announced in due course. “We hope to see you all at Charlton Park next year for a big celebration, when we’ve put this meanie back in the bottle,” he said.

Tickets for the 2020 festival are automatically valid for the 2021 festival, which will take place from 22-25 July. Ticket holders are also eligible for refunds.

Womad is the latest major UK festival to cancel its 2020 plans owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, Glastonbury announced that it would postpone its 50th anniversary celebrations until 2021. Other cancelled events include London’s All Points East, the rock festival Download and the Isle of Wight festival.

Yet many festivals remain on the calendar. British Summer Time Hyde Park has announced that the future of its planned events in London this July – including headline performances by Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar – remains under consultation. Reading and Leeds festivals, due to take place over the August bank holiday weekend, are also billed to proceed.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Organisers blame government as Womad festival cancelled again
Co-founder Peter Gabriel points to lack of insurance support as festival is called off for second year

Laura Snapes

28, Jun, 2021 @6:06 PM

Article image
'A Brexited flatland’: Peter Gabriel hits out after Womad stars refused entry to UK
Festival co-founder urges government to make it easier for international artists to perform in Britain

Laura Snapes

31, Jul, 2018 @1:02 PM

Article image
Peter Gabriel: festivals risk ‘losing everything’ without government insurance
Industry figures warn nightclubs and music venues also being pushed towards ‘financial cliff edge’ by delay in lockdown easing

Laura Snapes and Jasper Jolly

17, Jun, 2021 @10:31 AM

Article image
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Womad 1985: the qawwali star invokes rapture
Revellers on Essex’s Mersea Island were transfixed by the sheer spiritual power of Khan’s first performance outside south Asia

Ammar Kalia

15, Jul, 2020 @10:00 AM

Article image
Womad festival struggling to book artists due to Brexit uncertainty
World music festival director says acts worry they will face visa problems this summer

Sarah Marsh

28, Feb, 2019 @10:00 AM

World music review: Womad festival | Charlton Park, Malmesbury

Charlton Park, Malmesbury
It was the veterans – Youssou N'Dour, Peter Gabriel – who outshone the new acts this weekend, reports Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

27, Jul, 2009 @8:30 PM

Article image
Let’s welcome musicians to Britain – not pull down the shutters | Chris Wright
The Womad artists denied access to the UK are a worrying sign of things to come, writes Chris Wright, chairman of Chrysalis Records

Chris Wright

03, Aug, 2018 @8:00 AM

Article image
Womad festival review – polyphony and politics in global soundclash
Septuagenarians shone at the 37th edition of the globe-trotting music festival, that also subtly railed against Brexit with quirky European talent

Robin Denselow

30, Jul, 2019 @8:36 AM

Article image
Womad UK 2013: day one in pictures

The opening day of the world music festival at Charlton Park in Wiltshire, featuring Kissmet and Seun Kuti

Josy Forsdike

27, Jul, 2013 @10:34 AM

Article image
Womad festival – Gilberto Gil helps celebrate 40 years of blazing trails
The international arts festival returned after a two-year absence with a triumphant celebration of music and dance from around the world

Robin Denselow

01, Aug, 2022 @2:02 PM