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02 juillet 2008

Womad – The festival that’s light years ahead

The UK festival season is now well under way, and the biggest and best festival for music, arts and dance from across the globe is less than a month away. As usual at this year’s WOMAD Charlton Park there will be the opportunity to sample different cultures from all over the world and an atmosphere that is truly unique.

WOMAD is a festival that attracts a wide-ranging audience, from world music fans to people who just want to broaden their horizons and discover and experience new music and cultures. In its 26-year history WOMAD has also been at the forefront of accommodating families in an environment that is safe and secure, as well as being affordable – two children aged 13 and under can come free with each adult ticket holder.

There are plenty of children’s workshops, family workshops, and schools projects. Music making, face painting and cookery sessions. An irrepressibly gorgeous Children’s Procession. A vintage steam fairground that is more like a film set than a travelling fair. A dedicated children’s area complete with sandpit, reading library and Found Children tent, located close by the dedicated Family Camping site (which has a respectful, early(ish)-to-bed philosophy!). Plus, there is the magnificent Charlton Park itself: a rural idyll complete with arboretum, open lawns and rolling fields – the perfect place for enjoying and exploring especially at the height of British summertime.

Peter Gabriel re-affirms WOMAD’s desire to encourage families to come to the festival:

“From the outset when we started in 1980 we really wanted to include kids, so part of the aim for WOMAD was to introduce a lot of music. If we can teach them about some of the joys of the world then it’s a wonderful thing. It’s like with food, if you don’t let them eat different things, they won’t like things that are strange and foreign!”

While WOMAD Charlton Park offers extra space for car parking this year, the festival organisers are encouraging festival-goers to travel by more environmentally sound ways and so have teamed up with First Great Western and National Express to offer the simplest and most convenient travel solutions.

First Great Western offer a frequent service and value fares to the local rail stations at Chippenham and Kemble, and a frequent shuttle bus service will be operating between these stations and the Charlton Park site to make getting there even easier. For more information and to book, visit

National Express will be running a special coach service from London Victoria and Bristol coach stations directly to the festival site. Connections can be made to these main stations from over 1000 destinations across the National Express network. For more information and to book, go to

For further general information and to book tickets, visit and

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