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Regular readers know we are all HUGE Womad fans, and travel down to New Plymouth in Taranaki every year for a weekend of music, food, colour, vibrancy, and excitement. 2015 was no exception. Well, that's not entirely true. It kind of was an exception as it blew all the other Womads we've been to out of the water.
This is not to say that they weren't brilliant, and some of our Top 10 All-Time Highlights (such as Xavier Rudd, Babylon Circus, Ozomatli, and David D'Or) have come from other years. But Womad 2015 took it to a whole new level as the festival sold out for the first time since 2007, the campground spilled well beyond the inside oval of the racecourse, and the crowds all stayed till late, late in the night, every night. Even our youngest giraffe, who usually crashes out by about 10pm, lasted the distance.
TOP: The tents and campervans at the racecourse covered the entire inside of the oval and half of the outside as well this year.
BOTTOM: the herds of humans were the biggest we have ever seen at Womad.
All set for the weekend! When the campground is this crowded, the best way to find your tent at the end of the night (especially when it's as small as ours) is to camp next to someone with a colourful flag. Just make sure they're staying the while weekend though! If they leave on Sunday, you could have trouble finding your tent on Sunday night. We saw quite a few humans wandering around looking lost at midnight.
One thing we noticed this year was a lot more, err, more mature humans. Which is a good thing … the young humans can get quite silly, and quite obnoxious. We had an awful time camping the year Kimbra played and a bunch of kids from *local college* ran riot in the campground till 5am, and threw up all over our tent. Ferals! But this year they were all well behaved and respectful … hee hee hee … it's amazing what the threat of a LIFE BAN from Womad if they play up does for the behaviour of young humans.
On to our highlights for 2015! Over the last four years we have been gradually attending more and more Taste the World sessions … and this year we went to Every Single One. Jax Hamilton is totes amazeballs as host, sooooooo funny, and one of the highlights of Womad.
NOVA ENERGY'S TASTE THE WORLD WITH JAX HAMILTON
Taste the World features musicians cooking a meal from their country while chatting to Jax, getting engaged to Jax, breaking up with Jax, and performing songs for the audience. We have been to some GREAT session over the years … the Alaev Family from Tajikistan/Israel, Babylon Circus from France, and Mokoomba from Zimbabwe), but this year Che Sudaka ripped the place apart like never before!
CHE SUDAKA, OUR FAVOURITE BAND OF 2015, AT NOVA ENERGY'S TASTE THE WORLD
The band epitomise the multi-culturalism of Womad … two brothers from Argentina and two “brothers” from Colombia, who live in Spain, cooking a Thai green curry. Boo ya! We love humans who come from different places to live together in harmony. I'll be the first to admit that we animals don't always live together in harmony, but when we fight, it's always over important stuff like food and mates. You humans seem to fight an awful lot, and quite nastily too, over who made the world. Humans are funny sometimes.
After hijacking the camera on our USA trip last year Ferhad Junior was banned from taking selfies at this year's Womad. In the USA he found the high-speed-continuous-shot setting. When Kaz went to sort the photos out back home in NZ she found 65,876 fuzzy photos of a certain young giraffe. He snuck a couple in at Womad, but for the most part, we managed to keep him entertained with other diversions. Dover took over as chief photographer ... considering our hedgehog is only about half the sized of the camera, he takes great photos!
Poor Ferhad Junior was BITTERLY DISAPPOINTED that this contraption wasn't a time machine! Rebek was disappointed that it was called The Recycler, but didn't actually recycle anything. It was made of recycled material though, which was cool
Other than Taste the World, highlights for us this year included the Malawi Mouse Boys (even if Ferhad Junior was disappointed that they didn't actually perform with mice), Jupiter & Okwess International (with two giraffes in our mix we always make sure we catch the African bands), Balkan Beat Box (Ferhad Junior and Rebek are both named after a Croatian human, so they were keen to hear the “Balkans” … even if they did turn out to be from Israel and the USA), the mega-funky Fanfare Ciocarlia 11-piece brass band from Romania (we HATE brass bands - but they were brilliant), and Sinead O'Connor, who was mind-blowing as a live performer.
As always, we are now counting down the days till the next Womad … in the meantime, enjoy our pix and videos from Womad New Zealand 2015.
Who proof-read the wine list? Probably the same person who proof-read the security notices!!!! ROFL!
Just to keep Ferhad Junior happy ... another Che Sudaka photo album ... from their Shell Gables performance