Fans have a fine time as sun beats down on Womad festival at the weekend

Sam Gibson, Luca  Gibson and Joe  Sinclair, from  Winchester

Sam Gibson, Luca Gibson and Joe Sinclair, from Winchester

First published in News

Womad's clockwork timing impressed the 40,000-strong crowd of revellers gathered in Charlton Park.

The festival arena was laid out so that as soon as one stage ended, next door’s began, avoiding any sound clash or waiting around.

Stewart Griffiths, of Sherston, visited for the first time with wife Jenny.

He said: “We’ve been really impressed at how well-organised everything is. It’s great to have it so close to home. There’s something for everyone.”

New for 2014, the Society of Sound stage treated music lovers to sensational sound through four stacks of Bowers and Wilkins speakers.

The technology allowed them to hear the 50-year-old Doctor Who theme tune like it had never sounded on television.

It was a rare public performance by BBC writers and pioneers of electronica, who had worked in the corporation’s Radiophonic Workshop, who had a collective age greater thanthat of the Rolling Stones and who recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Box studios a few weeks ago.

Other talks included a synthesiser presentation from original Human League member Martyn Ware, who went on to have hits as part of Heaven 17.

Beatboxer Beardyman recor-ded an off-the-cuff and eclectic album in real-time, inspired by song titles conjured up by fellow artists.

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There was not a welly in sight over the weekend, with baking hot sun on Saturday and parts of Sunday not dissimilar to some of the home countries of the artists, who came from Spain, Senegal, Iran, Cuba, Madagascar and Mali, to name but a few.

This year’s child-friendly event had hundreds of arts workshops and a fair and young visitors could go crazy in their late-night introduction to jungle by Congo Natty.

After a weekend of touring the globe gastronomically and musically, the festival closed with an uplifting set from the quintessentially British band Public Service Broadcasting.

Police made two arrests across the weekend, one for possession of cannabis and ecstasy with intent to supply and the other for theft, the suspect being a male 17-year-old from Stroud.

Superintendent Gavin Williams said: “Alongside the organisers, we worked hard to ensure the public had an enjoyable time at the festival. Only a low level of minor crime was reported and everyone appeared to have fun. Even the weather was on its best behaviour.”

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