Friday, March 12, 2010


Yesterday and today are my days at New Zealand's Womad, in a big park in Taranaki. Lots of Glastonbury-like standing around in vast open-air crowds, with big bands on big stages, and more esoteric fare in smaller spaces. Lots of the management-type people here still seem to be under the impression that Origins is a rock festival on similar lines - and that I'm here as a "buyer". I've been trying to explain that it's more specific, vaguer, and that, while there will be definite outcomes from this trip, we won't know exactly what they are for some time. I do very much want to increase the music element in the next festival - but we need to sort out venues and scale before we can be clear what we book. One thing I'm sure about is that the rock music, which may be in Maori but sounds like rock anywhere in the world, is not for us. On the other hand, there are some really interesting bands who are bringing the traditions of First Nations into a more contemporary medium, and dialoguing with the globalised world. One such, who I heard last night, is Pacific Curls - one Maori, one Scot, one Rotuman - who achieve a level of "fusion" I've not encountered before, and still retain clear integrity. They also sing about things that matter.

OK - off to the party I go....

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