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Femi Kuti injects Positive Force into WOMAD

Nigerian Afrobeat All-Star, Femi Kuti injects Positive Force into WOMAD alongside NZ’s soul siren Hollie Smith

The excitement can be contained no longer as WOMAD NZ organisers announce the icing to the cake for their 2014 Line Up with the return of legendary Femi Kuti and loved local artist, Hollie Smith.

Charismatic, outspoken singer-saxophonist Femi Kuti is the musical and political pulse of Afrobeat for the 21st Century. As the eldest son of legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti (who died in 1997), 51-year-old Femi continues to respect to his father’s formidable political-funk-for-the-people legacy, with his own dynamic band, The Positive Force.

Described by Q Magazine as “One of the true giants of African music”, Femi Kuti and The Positive Force play edgy Afrobeat with biting lyrics, pulsating rhythms, sax-driven jazz-funk punctuated with the visual spectacular of jaw-dropping phenomenal dancers.

Hollie Smith is the quintessential addition to the WOMAD lineup. This grounded, salt of the earth and charming young woman transforms on stage to the gut wrenching, passion driven, earth-scorching performer. In her relatively short career Hollie is the envy of many as she has supported world-class luminaries Bob Dylan, Coldplay and Simply Red.

Known to many as the voice of iconic single ‘Bathe In the River’, Hollie is a prolific songwriter with two number one albums; Humour & the Misfortune of Others and multi platinum-selling album, Long Player. This multi NZ Music Award winner also has multiple collaborations including the highly regarded Band of Brothers album with Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle) and the very successful Anika Boh and Hollie project.

The musical line up is now complete as these two stars join previously announced artists including US hip-hop stars Arrested Development, Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club piano prodigy Roberto Fonseca, Qawwali singer Asif Ali Khan, Portuguese fado singer Carminho, Tunisian diva Emel Mathlouthi, and our own Grammy award winner Kimbra together with British cut-ups master DJ Yoda and many more at Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl of Brooklands 14-16 March, 2014.

The World’s Festival of WOMAD brings the music, the culture, the food and the stories of countries spanning the planet. Walk through the gates of WOMAD for a weekend and let us show you the world.

Tickets are available from the fabulous new Womad website finding all the information you need a whole lot easier.
Camping, Ezicamp and Glamping options available.

WOMAD 2014 Full line up: Airileke (Papa New Guinea/Australia), Ane Brun(Sweden/Norway), Antonio Serrano (Spain), Arrested Development (USA), Asif Ali Khan (Pakistan), Breabach (Scotand), Buika (Guinea/Spain/USA), Carminho(Portugal), Danyel Waro (Réunion), Delaney Davidson (NZ/Aotearoa), DJ Yoda (UK),Dub Inc (France/Algeria), Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisia), Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Hollie Smith (NZ/Aotearoa), Kimbra (NZ/Aotearoa), La Chiva Gantiva (Colombia/Belgium),Latinaotearoa (NZ/Aotearoa), Los Coronas (Spain), Makana (USA), Moana Maniapoto (NZ/Aotearoa), Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Osaka Monaurail (Japan), Pokey LaFarge (USA), Red Baraat (USA), Roberto Fonseca (Cuba), Rodrigo y Gabriela(USA), Sam Lee & Friends (UK), Shanren (China), The Bads (NZ/Aotearoa), Tim Finn & The Bads (NZ/Aotearoa), Waiora (NZ/Aotearoa), Weird Together(NZ/Aotearoa)


WOMAD - World of Music, Arts and Dance the internationally established Festival, brings together artists from all over the globe. The central aim of the WOMAD festival is to celebrate the world's many forms of music, arts and dance.

As an organisation, WOMAD now works in many different ways, but our aims are always the same - at festivals, performance events, through recorded releases and through educational projects, we aim to excite, to inform, and to create awareness of the worth and potential of a multicultural society.

Since the first festival in the UK in 1982, WOMAD has held more than 160 festivals, creating events in 27 countries and islands all over the world. Womad internationally has presented more than one thousand artists at the festivals, bringing the expression of more than 100 different countries to a live audience of over one million people.

First created in the UK by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Brooman over 30 years ago, WOMAD was first presented in Taranaki in 2003, and celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2014. In its tenure the WOMAD festival in Taranaki has had 150'000 visitors through its gates and generated over 70 million dollars for the local economy.


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