What is WOMEX?
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"The most important international professional market of world music of every kind. This international fair brings together professionals from the worlds of folk, roots, ethnic and traditional music and also includes concerts, conferences and documentary films. It contributes to networking as an effective means of promoting music and culture of all kinds across frontiers.”
UNESCO Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity
WOMEX – the World Music Expo – is the most international music meeting in the world and the biggest conference of the global music scene, featuring a trade fair, talks, films and a showcase festival.
Over 2,500 professionals come together every October from more than 90 countries, making WOMEX not only the number one networking platform for the world music industry, but also the most diverse music meeting worldwide. Its musical spectrum is unparalleled in the international showcase festival scene, ranging from the most traditional to the new global local underground, embracing folk, roots, local and diaspora cultures and urban and electronic sounds from all over the globe as well as all musical juxtapositions of these. Jazz and classical are explicitly welcomed!
7 stages, 700+ exhibiting companies, 80 speakers, films, an opening concert and an award ceremony across five packed networking days and rather short nights.
Since 1994 WOMEX has been travelling all across Europe from Berlin (1994), via Brussels (1995), Marseille (1997), Stockholm (1998), Berlin (1999 + 2000), Rotterdam (2001), Essen (2002 + 2004), Newcastle (2005), Sevilla (2003 + 2006 - 2008), Copenhagen (2009-2011), Thessaloniki (2012) to Cardiff (2013), Budapest (2015), Santiago de Compostela (2014 + 2016) and Katowice (2017). The 24nd edition of WOMEX will take place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, from Wednesday, 24 to Sunday, 28 October 2018.
WOMEX is Pro-Diversity
We and many delegates aim to strengthen the role of culture around the world and see their work in an even broader context than the refugee debate suggests. The world music community is able to – and needs to – contribute to cross-cultural understanding. We hope, and in fact we are sure, that you are in it with us, by hosting, participating in and promoting the WOMEX community and spreading its values through art.
For more information about WOMEX's commitment to diversity and against xenophobia of all forms, please see our International Press Statement.
YouTube Playlist: Live at WOMEX 17
Feel free to share the photos as they were posted on our WOMEX Flickr page under a CC-BY Creative Commons licence. Thanks for giving credit to the respective photographer. For a high-resolution version of the photos (against a fee), please contact the photographer directly to discuss terms.
The WOMEX Photographers are:
"Bringing together professionals from the worlds of folk, roots and traditional music and more in an extraordinary five-day event, WOMEX remains a key highlight on the global music scene."
IMEXSA Independent Music Exporters South Africa.
"One of the highlights of the annual WOMEX conference (besides the discovery of awesome music!) is that it is truly a gathering of the tribes – devoted, passionate cultural entrepreneurs and international music lovers from all over the world who provide continuous inspiration for the following year until we meet again!"
Catalina Maria Johnson (USA), Radio Host/Producer and Music Journalist, Beat Latino
"I visit quite a few showcase events and conferences every year and WOMEX is always the highlight. There's always a lot of good music and some great music, but even more than that, the spirit of WOMEX is music and enjoyment first, business second, which means, rather than dog eat dog just under the surface, there's a sense of a bunch of very different people who form a floating collegiate."
Nick Hobbs (UK/Turkey), Charmworks
In the 2017 edition, WOMEX attracted …
- 2,600 professionals (including 303 performing artists) from 90 countries representing 1,400 companies;
- 950 event promoters;
- 540 labels, publishers and distributors;
- 420 governmental, educational and other institutions;
- 740 individual booking agents, 700 managers and 330 producers;
- 300 national and international journalists;
- A bustling Trade Fair with more than 700 exhibiting companies from 51 countries at almost 300 stands;
- More than 60 showcase acts with 303 musicians from 46 countries on 7 stages;
- The sixth WOMEX DJ Summit;
- 80 speakers and mentors from 38 countries in 24 Conference Sessions; 17 Network Meetings and 7 expert Mentorings;
- 17 Film Screenings including an international premiere and the new Film Library format;
- The Opening Concert with a focus on Polish music;
- Three WOMEX Awards honouring Oumou Sangaré from Mali; Petr Dorůžka from Czech Republic; and label of the year, Glitterbeat Records, based in Germany;
- The WOMEX Radio Studio, a cooperation of Polskie Radio (Poland) with EURORADIO of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), RBB (Germany), WDR (Germany), and NRK (Norway), plus EBU Radio Sessions by NRK, BBC, and KEXP Seattle;
- virtualWOMEX – your online gateway to the global music community.
International English is the lingua franca of the professional music community in general, the world music community in particular and the WOMEX choice for successful interaction.
Photo: WOMEX 14 Showcase Artists Ethiocolor, by Yannis Psathas