• NEXT EDITION
  • 23-27 OCT 2024
  • Manchester, UK

In October 2024, WOMEX will make its debut in Manchester, UK for the 30 years anniversary. Together with WOMEX's parent company Piranha Arts, WOMEX 24 will be realised with Manchester Music City at its helm, in cooperation with Brighter Sound, English Folk Expo, Manchester City Council and Marketing Manchester as the main local partners with additional support from Arts Council England, British Council, GMCA and Horizons.

For travel and venue information, please see here.
The Showcase, Club Summit and Conference Programme is made each year by an independent jury, and the Film Programme is curated by our in-house film team.
The Call for Proposals for WOMEX 24 is now open and will last until 1 March. Please subscribe for our newsletter to stay up to date.

Please note that WOMEX is unable to cover any fees, travel expenses or other costs. Please consider the financing of your trip to WOMEX in Manchester carefully and what support or funding you have. Possible sources for funding in your case might be:

  • National Music Export Offices
  • Foundations of Collecting Societies
  • National Cultural Institutes

Here you can find useful information on MIP (Mobility Information Points) compiled by On the Move. Check also On the Move's recent Music Mobility Funding Guide - Focus on Europe, which provides an overview of the funding bodies and programmes that support the international mobility of music artists (authors, composers, musicians, bands, orchestras) and other music professionals travelling from and/or to European countries.

Please note that WOMEX is not responsible for the content. In case of interest please contact the specific MIP of your country or area independently. More information here.

The registration for WOMEX 24 in Manchester will open by mid-April 2024. To stay up to date with developments, please follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter here.

Journalists play a vital role in the dissemination of music and in keeping the important discourse on this art form alive. WOMEX acknowledges this by offering a reduced rate to media professionals, subject to approval.

If you are a delegate who will attend WOMEX first and foremost in your role as a journalist or as a professional involved in the editorial work of a music media company, you are invited to register for our special Media Rate. Simply complete the delegate registration as normal, check the "Media registration" box when you are entering your personal delegate data – about half way through the registration process – and send a copy of your press credentials to media@womex.com. After confirmation from our communications department, you will be granted the discounted Media Rate registration price.

The official programme announcements for WOMEX 24 will start in June.

Our local partner Manchester Music City, together with Greater Manchester’s tourist board Visit Manchester, have secured exclusive accommodation rates for WOMEX delegates to take advantage of.

To search availability and get this special rate delegates must book using the following link: https://book.passkey.com/e/50694484

Delegate registration encompasses all five days of the event, and single day tickets are not available. Entrance to the WOMEX Trade Fair, Conference, Films, Opening and Award ceremony is reserved for WOMEX delegates who have registered for the full five-day event.

However, if you are not a WOMEX delegate or want to bring someone who is not a WOMEX delegate, you can purchase public tickets from the limited number of tickets available for the general public including nighttime concerts and films. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media to get instant notifications.
If spouses/partners do not wish to register for the full WOMEX event, they can purchase public tickets for the night showcase festival and film screenings from the limited number of general public tickets available (please see question above).

Yes, you can. Children under 12 years of age may attend WOMEX for free. Children above 12 and under 18 years of age may attend at student rate. Please contact and send credentials to registration@womex.com.

You are advised to inform yourself in advance about any national regulations regarding children’s admittance to concert venues, as well as the national laws for protection of minors.

Please be aware that WOMEX and their local partners cannot provide babysitting services and also cannot guarantee there will be baby-care facilities at the venues. Please also note that any Delegate partners/spouses or babysitters will not be allowed to enter event sites unless they are properly registered or hold a ticket applicable for the respective night-time venue.

In the majority of cases, yes. For more details please see the VAT information in our Terms and Conditions

To encourage participation and help delegates plan their schedules and meetings prior, we provide a Who is coming list of confirmed delegates attending once we open registration and update it regularly. Furthermore, you can use virtualWOMEX to search for companies or individual delegates and to set up meetings with other delegates ahead of WOMEX.
All registered delegates of WOMEX will receive a free one-year virtualWOMEX account. VirtualWOMEX is your online gateway to the world music community: you can present your company and artists, connect with other delegates, and much more.

virtualWOMEX is also open to those not registered for WOMEX – On payment of a fee (79 Euro) all interested parties can register for virtualWOMEX or extend their existing account without participating in WOMEX itself. Please do this through our virtualWOMEX registration form.

For more information about virtualWOMEX, visit the virtualWOMEX FAQ or contact virtual@womex.com.
Your virtualWOMEX logins are valid for one year from your date of purchase. To login, please visit: www.womex.com/virtual/.
If you purchased a virtualWOMEX membership, it is valid for one year from date of purchase. A curation conferences and showcases are available for re-streaming with new content being uploaded throughout the year. Head here to watch On Demand: www.womex.com/virtual/media.
Full information on how to arrange delivery of goods and packages for your WOMEX stand is available on the Register and Book a Stand page. Should you have any questions, please contact production@womex.com.

Yes, upon request, WOMEX provides invitation letters; and our local partners may provide Visa application support letters. Please contact production@womex.com.

Please note: Visa letters and support can only be provided in case of a fully confirmed and paid Delegate registration!

Delegates are responsible for facilitating their own travel and attendance, including visa procedures. This means to obtain all information and meet all requirements for the procedure in good time, to arrange and attend appointments with the competent authorities.

While WOMEX provides visa application support in the scope of our knowledge and ability, neither we nor our local partners are responsible or in the actual position to facilitate a successful visa application, nor are we responsible for any costs related to your visa application.

It is your responsibility to fulfil this process as soon as possible. We may not be able to help you, if you leave this too late!

For more helpful information please visit our VISA INFORMATION FOR THE UK page and see the VISA tab here in the FAQs.

Please write to visas@englishfolkexpo.com for further help.

This will depend on several factors including but not limited to:

  • your nationality.
  • what you are planning to do whilst in the UK.
  • the amount of time you will spend in the UK.
  • whether you will be paid.
  • where you are coming from.

To check if you need a UK visa, please visit the GOV.UK website and answer a few questions.

ALL nationals of the countries and territories listed on the visa national list need to obtain a visa before coming to the UK regardless of the purpose of visit.

If you are a visa national, you will need to apply for a visa and gain entry clearance before travelling to the UK.

Most WOMEX visa national delegates, showcase artists, member’s of crew, film presenters, conference speakers and exhibitors will be able to apply for a Standard Visitor visa to enter the UK. However, if you are being paid, you need to consider alternative visas such as Permitted Paid Engagement visa or Creative Worker visa (Temporary work).

As a WOMEX delegate, showcase artist, member of crew, film presenter, conference speaker or exhibitor, you can visit the UK as a Standard Visitor for ‘business, including sports and entertainment’ and are permitted to undertake all the activities listed at Appendix Visitor: Permitted Activities.

The permitted activities applicable to WOMEX attendees fall under the following categories:

Permitted General Business Activities:

  • attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews;
  • give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches provided these are not organised as commercial events and will not make a profit for the organiser;
  • attend trade fairs, for promotional work only, providing the visitor is not directly selling.

Permitted Creative Activities
An artist, entertainer, or musician can:

  • give performances as an individual or as part of a group.
  • take part in competitions or auditions.
  • make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities

Personal or technical staff or members of the production team of an artist, entertainer, or musician may support the activities provided they are attending the same event as the artist, entertainer or musician and are employed to work for them outside of the UK.

No one attending or performing at WOMEX receives payment.
However, you must still meet the Standard Visitor eligibility requirements to visit the UK whether you need a visa or not. You may be asked questions at the UK border about your eligibility and the activities you plan to do whilst in the UK.

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel to the UK. This is the same if you apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa. If you are applying for a Creative Worker visa (Temporary work), you can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.
You must apply online before you travel to the UK and attend an appointment at a visa application centre. You need to allow time to attend your appointment, as the visa application centre could be in another country. At the appointment you’ll need to prove your identity with your passport, have biometric information taken and provide the required documents that show you are eligible for a Standard Visitor visa.
The fee is £115 and maximum length of stay is 6 months.

It takes up to 3 weeks to get a decision on your visa once you’ve applied online, proved your identity, and provided your documents at a visa application centre.

You may be able to pay for a faster decision on certain visas and can choose ‘priority service’ if eligible when you apply. This is in addition to the application fee.

You can opt for value-added service when booking your appointment at UK Visa application centre and pay to ‘keep my passport when applying’ service. After submitting your biometrics and documents at the UK visa application centre, you can keep your passport with you until the UK embassy makes a decision regarding your visa.
  • Valid passport / travel document. It must be valid for 3 months beyond the date you plan to leave the UK after your visit. It must have at least one blank page for the visa.
  • Completed UK visa application form (online).
  • Two photographs (taken within the last 6 months, and in colour).
  • Proof you have financial means to cover the living costs while in the UK. These can include bank statements for the last 6 months or pay slips for the same period.
  • Proof of accommodation to show where you will be staying whilst in the UK. This can be a letter or reservation from hotel or friend, confirming address, booking details and dates of stay etc.
  • Detailed travel itinerary outlining how and what you plan to do whilst in the UK. This information should include travel dates, intended flight/travel arrangements, WOMEX schedule and programme listing.
  • Biometric information.
  • WOMEX invitation letter which will be personalised and will provide a detailed explanation of the purpose of the visit and will act as a supporting document to convey applicants’ genuine intentions of visiting the UK.
  • Receipt of payment of UK visa fees.
A personalised invitation letter from WOMEX will be provided to everyone confirming your attendance at the event as either a delegate, showcase artist, support crew, film presenter, conference speaker or exhibitor. This letter will be used as a supporting document for those applying for a UK visa. And everyone should carry a copy of the letter when travelling to the UK to show the UK border control officer and prove the purpose of your visit to the UK.

This depends on your nationality and what you plan to do whilst you are in the UK.

Visa nationals will have to apply for a UK visa whatever they intend to do in the UK. If you are only coming to the UK for WOMEX, and not being paid or working for a UK company you will be able to apply for a Standard Visitor visa which is valid for up to 6 months.

Non-visa nationals can come to the UK as a Standard visitor for up to 6 months without a visa, but you can only do certain business activities. These permitted activities include everyone who is due to attend or perform at WOMEX as long as you are not being paid or working for a UK company.

This depends on whether you are from a country on the Visa National list. Visa Nationals must always obtain some kind of visa before travelling to the UK.

This depends on whether you are being paid for any other performances whilst in the UK and how long you intend to be in the UK.

If you are not being paid for additional performances, then you can continue to come to the UK as a Standard Visitor and stay for up to 6 months.

If you are being paid for any other performances by a UK company, then it may be appropriate to:

  • visit the UK for a Permitted Paid Engagement which means you can stay in the UK for up to 1 month and be paid by a UK-based organisation to take part in arts, entertainment, or sporting activities; or
  • if you want to stay longer than 1 month in the UK, and will be paid by a UK company, then it might be appropriate to apply for a Creative Worker visa (Temporary work). Under this route, non-visa nationals are exempt from requiring a visa if working in the UK for less than 3 months and can come in under a Certificate of Sponsorship.

A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is necessary for employers seeking to sponsor Temporary Workers in various sectors like hospitality, agriculture, or creative arts. This must be applied for by a UK licenced sponsor and in assigning a CoS the sponsor is taking responsibility that the foreign national will comply with the conditions of the permissions and fill a genuine vacancy that can’t be filled by a settled worker. It is a virtual document linked to the individual’s passport. Each CoS has a unique reference number and contains the information about the job for which the CoS is being issued and the individual’s personal details. Companies can assign group and individual certificates of sponsorship. See the list of organisations licensed to sponsor workers on the Worker and Temporary Worker immigration routes.

This is necessary if you are coming to the UK under the Creative Worker visa (Temporary work) route and are a professional and contracted for paid engagements in the UK that last more than one month.

An electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is now a requirement for some people (including children and babies) who do not usually need a visa to come to the UK. It will give you permission to travel to the UK and it will be electronically linked to your passport. An ETA must be applied for online prior to travelling to the UK and is valid for multiple journeys over 2 years, or until the passport you applied with expires, whichever is sooner. An ETA will cost £10 per applicant and you will get a decision within 3 working days.

An ETA is currently required for nationals from Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates. People from these countries currently need to apply for an ETA before coming to the UK.

The ETA is a new scheme and nationals from more countries will eventually require one. There is a phased rollout from November 2023.

If you are a national from another country, you do not need to apply for an ETA now. More nationalities will be added but it is unlikely anymore will be added before WOMEX 24.

You also do not need an ETA if you have either:

  • a visa.
  • permission to live, work or study in the UK.
  • a British or Irish passport.

You can sign up to get updates about the ETA rollout here.

You cannot use a national identity card from an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein to enter the UK unless you: have settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, or Jersey, Guernsey, or the Isle of Man’s settlement scheme. More information can be found here.

British citizens, and nationals from EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein can use these channels and can use automatic ePassport gates at some airports if your passport has a ‘chip’ on it and you are 10 or over.

Nationals from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and United States can use the UK/EEA immigration lanes and the automatic ePassport gates too.

This is unless nationals from these countries, have had to:

  • obtain a visa for entry into the UK.
  • are entering the UK with a Creative Worker certificate of sponsorship for up to 3 months (and you want to enter without a visa)
  • or on a permitted paid engagement.

If so, you cannot use these ePassport gates and must get your passport stamped by a border control officer.

Please direct your visa related enquiries to Rachel Down and email visas@englishfolkexpo.com

If you plan to register on-site on Thursday, you may attend the Opening Concert on Wednesday. Staff at the Opening venue will request that you provide them with ID.
WOMEX provides an official Checklist, to ensure your stay is as smooth as possible, offering useful and practical tips on how to get the most out of your time at WOMEX.
It is possible to share a stand or become part of an umbrella stand at WOMEX. For further information please contact production@womex.com.
Exhibitors must not sell any merchandise at their stands.
Sunday marks the end of five days full of music, business and networking at WOMEX. Join us for our Networking Farewell, courtesy of WOMEX, and the celebratory WOMEX Award (delegates only!) on Sunday.
Each delegate will receive one copy of the WOMEX Programme Guide in their delegate bag, distributed on arrival. Additional copies of the WOMEX Guide may be purchased at the Registration Counter for a fee of 25€, subject to availability.

If you wish to purchase copies of the WOMEX Guide from previous editions, please contact partnership@womex.com.
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.
All venues are accessible and WOMEX will offer a detailed overview for all venues in the upcoming months towards the event. In the meantime, please go to our Location and Venues page where you find the specific websites of the WOMEX 24 venues for more information.
Please contact us before the event at registration@womex.com if you have any special access needs, to make your time at WOMEX as easy as possible. Fully-registered disabled delegates may be accompanied by their Personal Assistant (carer) free of charge.
All guide dogs are allowed in all venues.
Yes, please see the venue-specific access information for further details.
Yes, please see venue-specific information below for further details and contact members on-site for signage/directions.
Go to Location and Venues.