x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Womad music festival cancelled this year

Events director looks for an answer as to why popular free event is not being held.

Sain Zahoor performs during Womad on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi last year.
Sain Zahoor performs during Womad on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi last year.

ABU DHABI //The popular free music festival Womad is not being held this year.

No reason was given by the festival's UAE sponsor, the newly formed Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture.

But Chris Smith, Womad events director, said yesterday: "Naturally Womad are very disappointed that Adach [Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage] have taken the decision to postpone Womad Abu Dhabi until 2013. We do not know the reason for this and look forward to understanding why Adach have made this decision."

Adach would not explain yesterday why the festival, which last year was held at the beginning of April at Abu Dhabi's Corniche and Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain, was not being held.

Mr Smith said that "in these difficult times, events like Womad Abu Dhabi are increasingly important to show that people can live together in harmony regardless of religious or social background".

He added: "I feel that after three amazing festivals in the City and Al Ain, which attracted crowds of over 300,000 people and international media coverage, the festival has made a significant economic and social impact on both Abu Dhabi and the wider region.

"Womad truly brought together the diverse communities of the city in a way that no other event ever had before or since.

"The decision to bring Womad to Abu Dhabi was a brave and visionary one and we look forward to seeing our many friends and colleagues in the city when we return in 2013."

sasaeed@thenational.ae