Big Skies and Global Beats: Photos from WOMAD’s 30th Anniversary Festival (2/2)

Yellow flags at WOMADThe WOMAD follyFat David's Olympics protestCrowds at WOMADClouds above WOMADThe big trees at WOMAD
Flags and the main stage at WOMADCharlton ParkTipis at WOMADHobbit homes at WOMADSka Cubano at WOMADWOMAD at night
Raving in greenRaving in blueThe Birdman at WOMADGreenpeace protest against Shell's Arctic plansBull piñata at WOMADChildren's procession at WOMAD
The Birdman and the childrenBoubacar Traoré at WOMADThe vintage MercedesThe vintage Bedford busThe sky at the end of WOMAD

Big Skies and Global Beats: WOMAD’s 30th Anniversary Festival (2/2), a set on Flickr.

Yesterday I published my first set of photos from this year’s WOMAD world music festival in Charlton Park, Wiltshire, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The product of a great flowering of interest in festivals, WOMAD, which began in 1982, as the brainchild of Peter Gabriel and five friends and colleagues, tapped into the thirst for festivals that Michael Eavis had identified at Glastonbury, when the modern era of Glastonbury began with the 1981 festival and a name change from the Glastonbury Fayre to the Glastonbury Festival.

Long-time readers of my work will know how much the festival culture that has since bloomed into a phenomenon that draws millions of people into fields every summer came out of the upheavals of the 1960s and free festival movement of the 1970s, and, at its best, drew on Utopian, cooperative, environmentally aware ideals that were ahead of their time. A trajectory of these counter-cultural movements, and their successors in the 1980s and 1990s, in the rave scene and the road protest movement, can be found in my books Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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