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Fervent campaigning takes out the win for WOMAD’s last spot

Fervent campaigning takes out the win for WOMAD’s last spot on the bill

For the second year WOMAD NZ has opened up a slot in the line up for a local band chosen by the New Zealand public. Thousands of votes were cast and a mammoth effort from a gargantuan sized band wins the last coveted spot on the 2014 line-up at the WOMAD festival in Taranaki. This year over 50 bands entered and more than 15’000 votes cast. The winning group is The Balkanistas.

The Balkanistas are a 26 piece – yes 26-piece band, based in Wellington. Led by Andreas Lepper, the group took to the streets, school fairs, and local markets busking in their campaign for votes. With two drummers, three trombones, two accordions and a basouki – this band know how to attract some attention!

Hi-resolution of this image can be downloaded from:
The Balkanistas describe themselves as a large ensemble of capable Wellington musicians playing the music of the Balkans area in South-Eastern Europe. With an energetic mix of overlapping musical origins including brass band, gypsy virtuoso and traditional themes, material can reappear as Ska and disco interpretations or just plain flat out dance.

Trombonist Jonathan Dunn said about the win, “the process of campaigning for the competition, the busking, everyone from the group rallying and pitching in, and the networking with supporters has been really good for us as a band. And, of course, we're all so excited about the final result too!... an opportunity to play at WOMAD!”

You can check out their spirited performance and a peek behind the scenes here:
Decided by the general public, The Balkanistas will play at the WOMAD festival Sunday 16 March on the line up with some of the world’s best musical talent including Femi Kuti, Kimbra, Arrested Development, Buika, Pokey La Farge, Tim Finn and Asif Ai Khan.

Tickets are available from the Womad website
Camping, Ezicamp and Glamping options available.

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.

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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