fri 14/08/2020

Peter Gabriel announces WOMAD’s 15th season in Sicily | reviews, news & interviews

Peter Gabriel announces WOMAD’s 15th season in Sicily

Peter Gabriel announces WOMAD’s 15th season in Sicily

World music gathering celebrates anniversary

Peter Gabriel looks forward to WOMAD’s summer in Sicily

Peter Gabriel announced WOMAD’s 2012 festival in Sicily this afternoon. It’s a year of anniversaries for the annual showcase of world music, with 2012 also marking the 30th year for Britain’s big brother festival. On a wintry afternoon, sharply contrasting with Sicily’s climate, Gabriel was joined at London's Italian Cultural Institute by Carlo Presenti, the institute's director, and Roy Paci (pictured below right), Sicily’s cultural polymath and musician whose past collaborators have included Manu Chao and the Netherlands' The Ex.

Roy Paci at WOMAD Sicily WOMAD 2012 press conferncePresenti said this year’s festival, to be held on 5–8 July at Palermo's open-air Teatro di Verdura, will “combine musical excitement with the beauty of Sicily”. The 2,200 ticket holders can also take advantage of Sicily's opportunities to hike, trek and swim when they're not taking shows in. But the main event is the music, with Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, France's Ben L’Oncle Soul and our own Portico Quartet the first confirmed acts.

Gabriel said Sicily is “magical, one of the most beautiful places I’ve played”. He stressed that music-wise the island is strategically located, a crossroads close to Africa yet part of Europe. Turning to WOMAD - which he was instrumental in founding - and its history, he said, “WOMAD has a role for opening culture to people who would not otherwise be exposed. I don’t think any of us could have anticipated that WOMAD would still be around today. It has spread like a virus.” If so, it's a benign one that's taken root in Sicily.

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