Organisers expect record-breaking event at Charlton Park, Malmesbury

WOMAD worker Nichola Lamb has a break as the festival takes shape on Wednesday

WOMAD worker Nichola Lamb has a break as the festival takes shape on Wednesday

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The hotly-anticipated four-day World of Music, Arts and Dance festival will bringing tens of thousands of revellers to Charlton Park in Malmesbury over the next few days

Building has been taking place all week to transform the open fields into a festival site for attractions including musical performances, ‘Taste the World’ culinary displays and children’s workshops.

Among the acts headlining this year are: hip-hop act Arrested Development; French-Algerian Rock’n’Rai performer Rachid Taha; and 100 young people from schools across Malmesbury, who will open the event.

Festival director Chris Smith is optimistic this year could be the best WOMAD yet, with forecasts for bright and hot weather.

Mr Smith said: "The ticket sales have really picked up since the sun came out.

“Building a festival on a dry site is a pleasure; I think we are having our best ever show yet up to this point.

“We’ve never had it this hot and dry before, so it’s been brilliant.

“We are optimistic that previous records will be broken.

“It’s amazing how a bit of sunshine makes people want to rush out to a festival.”

Meadow campervan tickets and boutique ready-built Nook campsite tickets have sold out, but day tickets are still available.

Other attractions at this year’s WOMAD include adult singing and dancing workshops, a global market selling trinkets and wares, and a fire and explosives art film project.

Youngsters from Malmesbury Academy, Brinkworth School, Minety School and Malmesbury Primary School, have been singing, dancing and playing instruments in rehearsal for their performance.

Internationally-renowned group Farah, which is also booked to play at the festival, performed alongside the students earlier this month.

The Western and Arabic artists led workshops integrating percussion, dance and choir, looking at wind instruments, the lute-like oud, and traditional dance routines specific to the Levant region called Dabka.

The festival campsite opened at 8am today and stays open until noon on Monday, July 29. 

For tickets, go to www.womad.org or call (0118) 960 6060.

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