Pressemitteilung BoxID: 679735 (WOMEX Media Relations)
  • WOMEX Media Relations
  • Bergmannstr. 102
  • 10961 Berlin

Global music scene diversifies as WOMEX travels to Poland Oumou Sangaré receives WOMEX Artist Award

(lifePR) (Katowice, ) WOMEX – the World Music Expo – was held in the UNESCO City of Music Katowice, Poland over the course of the last five days to the praise of delegates and local audience alike. The 23rd edition marked the first in a Polish host city and was well-attended, with 2600 music professionals (including 303 performing artists of 60 acts on 7 stages) arriving in Katowice from 90 countries. WOMEX thus is undisputedly the most diverse and wide-ranging showcase festival and music market worldwide.

WOMEX drew to a close today, Sunday 29 October, with a tantalising performance by Malian singer Oumou Sangaré, who received this year’s WOMEX Artist Award. The concert was part of a ceremony in Katowice’s grand concert hall NOSPR, which also honoured WOMEX 17 Award winners Petr Dorůžka (Professional Excellence Award) and Glitterbeat (WOMEX Label Award).

The meeting, which was inaugurated with a Polish-themed opening on Wednesday, saw a strong attendance of delegates and music companies from Central and Eastern Europe. This included both the continued engagement of music professionals of the international "WOMEXican" community who had visited previous WOMEX editions in Eastern-bound creative hubs Budapest (2015) and Thessaloniki (2012), but also included a number of new delegates, companies and projects from Poland and its neighbouring countries.

WOMEX director Alex Walter reflected on the past five days:
  “I am convinced that this first Polish edition of WOMEX will not only boost the world music awareness in the country but will also strengthen the position of Polish artists on the global music scene. Together with ICP and the City of Katowice, we are more than proud that another high level international event has been organised and have shown that Katowice is a perfect meeting place for creative music industries.”
From the point-of-view of the Mayor of the City of Katowice, Marcin Krupa:
  "I'm very proud that Katowice could be a host of this prestigious event. I'm sure that the international public felt great in our city and will take back home only good memories. All WOMEX participants have brought to Katowice an incredible energy and enriched it with their cultural diversity. I hope that Katowice also influenced them by our musical richness."
As every year, the event saw five days full of networking, performances, conference sessions and films covering every sector of the music industry, this year all held in the modern surrounds of the cultural quarter of Katowice, an ideal setting providing short walking distances between all stages and venues.

A notable development for WOMEX 17, remarked upon by many of the participants, was a more diverse mix of delegates. This includes a younger generation of music professionals making themselves heard and marking new pathways and perspectives in the Trade Fair and Conference (read below for details).

WOMEX 17 saw new and expanded country representations, an increased engagement of many media outlets as well as from electronic music and jazz promoters,film makers and prominent institutions.

The 2600 music professionals (including 303 performing artists) represented 1400 companies. The Trade Fair boasted a record number of almost 300 stands with 700 exhibitors, making it the biggest trade fair in WOMEX history.

For more numbers and details about the programme highlights read below.

WOMEX Media Relations

WOMEX is "The most important international professional market of world music of every kind. This international fair brings together professionals from the worlds of folk, roots, ethnic and traditional music and also includes concerts, conferences and documentary films. It contributes to networking as an effective means of promoting music and culture of all kinds across frontiers." UNESCO Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity

Acknowledged as the most international hub of all professional music meetings worldwide in general, and as the most important annual gathering of the global music community in particular, the 24nd edition of WOMEX brought over 2,600 professionals and more than 60 musical acts from 90 countries altogether to its 2017 host city, Katowice, Silesia, Poland.

More than 60 acts on 7 WOMEX Showcase Festival stages including the Opening Concert; 700 exhibiting companies at the Trade Fair; more than 80 speakers and mentors at the Conference; Films and the Award Ceremony made for 5 packed networking days and rather short nights.

Since its first edition in 1994, WOMEX has been roaming all across Europe from Berlin (1994), via Brussels (1995), Marseille (1997), Stockholm (1998), Berlin (1999 + 2000), Rotterdam (2001), Essen (2002 + 2004), Newcastle (2005), Sevilla (2003 + 2006-2008), Copenhagen (2009-2011), Thessaloniki (2012), Cardiff (2013) Santiago de Compostela (2014 + 2016), Budapest (2015) and Katowice (2017).

In 2018, WOMEX will take place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain from 24 - 28 October.

WOMEX is produced by Piranha Arts, Berlin. Local host and partners for WOMEX 17 in Katowice are ICP Group (Poland Concept).

The Piranha event portfolio also includes Classical:NEXT, the global meeting for all art music innovators (next edition Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 16 - 19 May 2018);

plus worldwide consultancy & special projects such as:

- Circulart (Medellín, Colombia, 2 - 5 November 2017)
- Primera Linea (Havana, Cuba, 27 - 30 November 2017)
- Atlantic Music Expo (Praia, Cabo Verde, 4 - 7 April 2018)