postponements / cancellations


maybe it's just me being an easily triggered liberal

but was anyone else struck by the fact that the two acts who had trouble getting to GM this year were both from africa?

amadou and mariam getting bumped by a day - and then kokoko! not managing to get there at all

my first thought both times was visa issues / problems at the airport

our hostile environment in full effect

did some little nazi at gatwick / heathrow keep them in a back room for hours - before deciding that they couldn't be trusted not to stay?

as i said to others over the weekend, this is complete supposition on my part - and perhaps there are entirely innocent reasons for their troubles

but it did make me slightly depressed

I speculated the same but nothing to indicate this was the case, other than they were Performers hailing from Africa.

however, being a regular Womad attendee as well, this sort of thing happens quite often and not just with African artists.  There have also been articles, originating from Womad organisers and published in the Guardian saying that they are finding visa processing has got more difficult since 2016 (whatever happened back then, I wonder) getting to the point where more artists simply don‘t want to visit the UK as the cost of a failed application or being blocked at border control makes it financially unviable.

Hmm .. hadn't made the connection but it's a reasonable question to pose. 

On a lighter note, massive respect to The Beths for playing a cracking 3pm slot having arrived in London from Oslo that morning, with Elizabeth's guitar having been lost by the airline.


Yeah, that had crossed my mind too. Quick bit of googling suggests (as of 2013) Amadou and Mariam are still Malian citizens despite having lived in France for 20+ years, so I guess they'd need to go through a full visa rigmarole every time they visit.

Organising Womad must have been a horrendous pain these last couple of years and about to get worse.

On a lighter note, somebody told me that when Amadou and Mariam came on there were quite a few people up the front expecting Steve Mason (despite the really good attempts to communicate the changes). That would be quite a change in direction for him.....