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Rolling with Womad


Sheila Majid will finally make her debut at Womad Singapore 2005.

The annual World of Music, Arts and Dance (Womad) festival in Singapore, currently in its eighth year, is only about a month away now – it kicks off at the historical Fort Canning Park on Aug 26 and ends on Aug 28.  

Womad Singapore 2005 will feature two large outdoor stages and two smaller, more intimate spaces for workshops and performances from more than 20 regional and international artistes. This year will also see an expanded Global Village within the park, where close to 30 traders will be showing their crafts, food and offering holistic treatments to festival-goers.  

As usual, the performances and workshops will run concurrently, so it is best to figure out what you want to go for early on and plan accordingly. However, there will be a lot of chances for festival-goers to see or even meet some of the artistes, so don’t worry about missing out on stuff.  

Some of the workshops and master classes that will be held at the three-day festival are Brazil Meets Singapore (conducted by Singapore’s Wicked Aura Batucada), Frenetic Strokes (France’s Les Yeux Noirs), Asian Bangra Meets Reggae Rhythms (Apache Indian & The Reggae Revolution from Britain) and Master of the Qunun (Abdullah Chhadeh from Syria).  

This year’s performers come from as many as 14 countries, including Malaysia. Veteran singer Sheila Majid will finally make her debut at Womad Singapore 2005. She will be performing alongside artistes like Tinariwen (from Mali/France), Matthaios Tsahourides (Greece), r-H (Singapore), Lior (Australia), Akim El Sikameya (Algeria), Asere (Cuba), Future World Funk (Britain) and Bill Cobham (United States).  

The major headliner this year would be Tinariwen, a bunch of Tuareg nomads and former AK47-totting freedom fighters that have won major acclaim for its album Amassakoul. Forging a fiery desert blues sound and earning a fan-base that stretches from Robert Plant, Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz) to the late BBC deejay John Peel, Tinariwen is the undisputed voice of African rock ‘n’ roll.  

For local fans crossing the causeway for the festival, Sheila Majid’s appearance at Womad is a rare one for Malaysian artistes and the veteran singer is expected to turn up on stage with her own version of Malaysian jazz.  

Tinariwen from Mali/France will be performing at Womad Singapore 2005 next month.

Tickets for the festival are at S$33/RM76 for a day pass, S$55/RM127 for a two-day pass and S$82/RM189 for a three-day pass. International and local students with valid identification (age seven to 18) and senior citizens (age 55 and above) pay S$24/RM55 for single day tickets.  

You can also get a family pass at S$80/RM184, which will allow entry for two adults and two children between seven and 12 years old. Children under seven go in free. Please note these tickets do not include the S$2 (RM4.60) handling and administrative charges.  

You can get your tickets at the gate (for single-day passes) or book online from www.sistic.com.sg. You can also call the hotline at 02-63485555 or fax at 02-64406784. For more information on tickets, performance and workshop timetable and venue maps browse www.womadsingapore.com. The website is regularly updated and provides a brief biography of each artiste and a sample of their music.

   

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