The 24th edition of WOMEX, the World Music Expo - yet again the most international music meeting - will be closing its trade fair and conference programme doors at the INFECAR this evening, while the showcase festival at Auditorio Alfredo Kraus in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria will continue until late night, leading us into the WOMEX Awards ceremony commencing tomorrow morning (Sunday, 28 October).
The 5-day event as promised has once again proved to be the most diverse music meeting worldwide, hosting 2,700 music professionals from 92 countries, more than 60 musical acts with 300 artists representing over 50 countries, 16 films including documentaries from across the globe, 23 conference sessions, mentoring opportunities with 60+ experts including 4 roundtables and 5 one-to-one mentoring sessions, 19 network meetings and offWOMEX presentations and a new initiative: the WOMEX Academy.
Although year after year WOMEX and its community have been steadily growing in all demographics, this year has been exceptionally well received and well attended by younger audiences and professionals. Thanks to the ever-increasing interest in global music from newer regions, country export and cooperative initiatives, music festivals, venues, promoters and artists; this is a promising sign of ideas and innovative approaches that are constantly evolving.
WOMEX has achieved several milestones this year. For the very first time in its history, WOMEX ventured beyond continental Europe to travel to the Atlantic, closest ever to the shores of Africa and into the archipelago of the Canary Islands. Furthermore, thanks to the all-year-round warm weather at the Canaries, this edition, for the first time, hosted an outdoor, open-air showcase stage, bringing the summer festival atmosphere, and making it one of the most stunning, and unforgettable WOMEX locations so far.
Representing the European Creative Arts for the first time at WOMEX, Ms Barbara Gessler shared: "Creative Europe is about promoting and safeguarding cultural diversity and about the competitiveness of the cultural sectors in Europe as well as engaging in a partnership with partners from the global scene around the world. I think WOMEX is a natural place where such dialogues take place."
With diversity and inclusivity as the centre points of conversation at WOMEX 18, the impact of the success of this global expo goes well beyond short and midterm business and artistic results. It has grown to be the place where the major current debates are actively engaging and positively pushing the boundaries.
It is this union of cultures and music sectors that have made the relevance of WOMEX over the years so tremendous. So much so, that many cultural activists, artists, labels, festivals, promoters, and institutions schedule their upcoming season’s announcements, programmes, and launches to coincide with this biggest global meeting.
Last but not the least, WOMEX will travel to Finland for the first time to one of the best-kept secrets in Northern Europe – Tampere – to celebrate the 25th edition from 23 - 27 October 2019. You can find the press release here.
WOMEX 18 at a Glance
- 2,700 professionals (including 300 performing artists) from 92 countries representing 1,450 companies.
- 1,000 event promoters.
- 580 labels, publishers and distributors.
- 420 governmental, educational and other institutions.
- 830 individual booking agents, 730 managers and 400 producers.
- 300 national and international journalists.
- A bustling Trade Fair with more than 750 exhibiting companies from 54 countries at more than 280 stands.
- More than 60 showcase acts with 300 musicians from over 50 countries on 7 stages.
- The seventh WOMEX Club Summit
- 100 speakers and mentors from 30 countries in 23 conference sessions; 19 network meetings and offWOMEX presentations and 11 expert Mentorings.
- 16 Films in total subdivided into market and public screenings, 1 tribute, 15 new releases including 3 Spanish premieres.
- The Opening concert Tránsitos Atlánticos.
- Three WOMEX Awards honouring Kronos Quartet from the USA; ShoShona Kish from Canada; and label of the year, Glitterbeat Records, based in Germany.
- WOMEX Academy, a new Initiative by Piranha Arts Consultancy with 14 fellows from West Africa and 8 in partnership with the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki.
- The WOMEX Radio Studio, a cooperation of EBU (European Broadcasting Union), RBB (Germany), WDR (Germany), and NRK (Norway), plus EBU Radio Sessions by NRK, BBC, and KEXP Seattle.
WOMEX Academy - A new Global Venture for International Music Professionals
This year’s edition also featured the WOMEX Academy for the very first time in partnership with Goethe-Institut Senegal, GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) and ACERCA programme of the AECID (the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation), while continuing our collaboration with the existing partner, the Sibelius Academy from Finland. It is the latest initiative of Piranha Arts, the parent company of WOMEX, that aims to facilitate the participation of music professionals, and accompany them to strengthen their skills, especially in international networking and business.
The WOMEX Academy Initiative acts as a proactive door-opener for the participants, and this year was happy to welcome its first West African music professionals into the international live and recording markets.