The 28th Edition of WOMEX Comes To A Successful Close in Lisbon

Ivo Papasov by Yannis Psathas

After five intense and packed days of networking, meetings, conferences, showcases, films and re-connecting with the global music community, the 28th edition of WOMEX — organised by Piranha Arts and the local Portuguese partner, AMG Music — came to a grand finish on Sunday with the Awards ceremony taking place in one of Lisbon's most historic and important landmark theatres built in the 19th century, São Luiz Teatro Municipal.

The Awards ceremony honoured the achievements of the two award recipients: Francis Gay, COSMO Head of Music, who received the WOMEX 22 Professional Excellence Award and Ivo Papasov (Bulgaria), who received the WOMEX 22 Artist Award. Along with the Award recipients, the closing celebrated the independent recording industry with the 20 Top Labels of the Year presentation followed by an exhilarating performance from Ivo Papasov and his band.

WOMEX took place in Lisbon for the first time, and for the second consecutive time in Portugal. This year's culturally and musically diverse event concluded with more than 3,100 music professionals (including 280 performing artists) from 113 countries, hosted more than 60 showcase artists representing 280 musicians spread across seven stages, 21 music-based documentaries, 111 speakers and mentors participated in the conference sessions and a bustling trade fair with 676 exhibiting companies with more than 260 stands and two radio studios on-site.

On receiving the Professional Excellence Award, Francis Gay shared with the audience:

"WOMEX is a global village but also a place where we have obligations. Obligations to build bridges, obligations to address global inequalities such as the struggle for democracy, corruption, climate change, misinformation, gender issues, and migration. The obligation to keep our community alive. Each of us has something to contribute. It's up to each and every one of you to find a role in this community and use your privilege to really make a difference."

On receiving the Artist Award, Ivo Papasov stated:
(Text translated from Bulgarian to English)

"I am very honoured to receive this award. It is a vocation for our work, mine and that of my musicians. This high recognition fills me with pride for my work. I have been playing Bulgarian wedding music for more than 50 years. There are no boundaries between rich and poor, nor between colour and nationalities. Our music is the music that brings joy to people, makes them happy, and makes them free."

WOMEX 22 Lisbon: Overview
- More than 3,100 music professionals (including 280 performing artists) from 113 countries representing 1,630 companies.
- 1,150 event promoters.
- 660 labels, publishers and distributors.
- 520 governmental, educational and other institutions.
- 940 individual booking agents, 840 managers and 340 producers.
- 230 national and international journalists.
- A bustling Trade Fair with 676 exhibiting companies from 57 countries more than 260 stands.
- More than 60 showcase acts with 280 musicians representing 42 countries on 8 stages.
- 111 speakers from 45 countries in 19 Conferences, 9 Networking, 9 Mentoring Sessions, and 3 Associated Presentations.
- 21 music-based documentaries from across the globe divided into Market and Public Screenings alongside a Film Library, including new releases, preview screenings, and Portuguese premieres.
- The Opening concert ‘Lisbon Sounds'.
- Two WOMEX Awards honouring Ivo Papasov from Bulgaria with Artist Award; Francis Gay, COSMO Head of Music with Professional Excellence Award.
- WOMEX Academy 2022: taking place again in a hybrid format continuing the work with MOST, and Procultura but also preparing the UNESCO delegation and developing cooperation with the Aga Khan Music Programme in Central Asia. WOMEX is also a partner of two exciting new European projects SEWEM - Sino European Women Entrepreneurs in Music and Upbeat the European showcase platform for World Music.
- The WOMEX Radio Studios organised by EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and this year's local media partner RTP (Portugal).

article posted by:Gideon Elfgen, Piranha Arts