19 October 2016 - for immediate publication

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WOMEX 16 Presents Musical Flavours from Around the World

Santiago de Compostela: For the second time in its history, WOMEX – the World Music Expo has opened its doors in the historical city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. As the most important international meeting for world music professionals, WOMEX welcomes delegates from around the world for professional networking, inter-cultural and inter-discipline learning and showcase concerts from rising stars of the world music scene.

The Trade Fair opened today, with more than 2,000 delegates registered already [Please note: the final number of delegates will be published in the final press release at the weekend], and the official WOMEX 16 Opening, 'Iberians - Music Tapas Menu', took place in a packed Auditorio de Galicia tonight.

The official daytime programme – which includes conference sessions, network meetings, mentoring, film screenings, daycases and, for the first time, EBU radio sessions – starts on Thursday 20 October at 11:00 in Cidade da Cultura.

Read on for information on the WOMEX 16 Opening and facts and figures so far…
For all your media- and press-related needs, come and meet us at the Media Counter in Cidade da Cultura.
  • We will release high-resolution photos for press use on our dedicated Dropbox folder throughout the event here: WOMEX 16 Press Photos (Opening photographs will be available through the night)
  • We will also be releasing Live @ WOMEX recordings of the showcases in wav format here throughout the event: Live @ WOMEX recordings

WOMEX 16 Opens with a Taste of Iberia in Santiago de Compostela

WOMEX 16 started in the daytime venue, Cidade da Cultura, with the opening of the Trade Fair – this year with 291 stands from companies around the world. At night came the official Opening ceremony and festive concert held in the packed-to-capacity Auditorio de Galicia. The concert was based around the theme of 'Iberians – Music Tapas Menu', and true to its name presented tasty musical morsels from around Spain's regions, including Aragon, Catalonia, the Basque Country and the host region Galicia. The performances were directed by Galician musician and producer Pedro Pascual.

The concert saw live performances from five artists:

  • Carmen París representing Aragon
  • Cuarteto Caramuxo representing Galicia
  • Kepa Junkera representing the Basque Country
  • Maria Arnal & Marcel Bagés representing Catalonia
  • Talabarte representing Galicia
All sides of the Galician government were in attendance, with the President of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo among the speech-givers. He said: "Hosting WOMEX for the second time in three years is a privilege that only the most distinguished cities can enjoy, another opportunity for them to introduce themselves to Europe and to let Europe and the world likewise introduce themselves in those cities".

The Vice President of  the Deputación de A Coruña, Goretti Sanmartín, expanded on the mutual exchange between WOMEX and Galicia: "We hope WOMEX will contribute to bringing cultures together through music, but we also hope it will raise awareness of Galician music internationally…we hope you will become ambassadors of our land and introduce our groups and artists beyond our frontiers."

Vitór Belho of Nordesía Produccións, the local partner and host of WOMEX 16, explains how tapas and music work together: "We are here again in this magic place, Santiago de Compostela. We wish the more than 2000 delegates to discover our country not only for pilgrimage but also for its culture, which includes its people, its food, and most of all its music, the music of Galicia and the entire Iberian peninsula. Therefore we have chosen these amazing musical tapas, selected especially for all the international delegates coming here from more than 90 countries. Saude!"

The musical discoveries of Iberia and Galicia will continue with the Atlantic Connections stage as a part of the WOMEX Showcase Festival running throughout the next three nights in the old town of Santiago de Compstela. Altogether, the concert programme features more than 60 acts encompassing almost 300 performing artists on 7 stages from 43 countries, as well as the WOMEX Film Nights and daytime screenings.

The Trade Fair, Conference, Films and the Showcase Festival all will be rounded up by Sunday's WOMEX Awards, with Calypso Rose receiving the Artist Award and holding a concert to the occasion.


WOMEX 16 Facts and Figures…so far

  • Way over 2000 delegates (final numbers to follow with the final press release;
  • 291 stands at the Trade Fair;
  • 60 acts encompassing almost 300 performing artists on 7 stages from 43 countries;
  • The WOMEX Film Nights and daytime screenings showing 11 films  and including 2 world premieres;
  • More than 40 conference sessions, network meetings and presentations with around 90 speakers and 8 expert mentors.

What is WOMEX?

For the second time the international music networking meeting WOMEX is being held in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain. The journey's end for millions of devout pilgrims via the "Way of St. James" since the 9th century, the legendary city is the home of WOMEX from Wednesday, 19 to Sunday, 23 October 2016.

Across the event's five days, WOMEX will feature live and DJ showcase performances, a variety of conference session formats, network meetings from across the sector spectrum, film screenings including international premieres, expert mentorings, an in-demand radio studio and, as the hub of activity, a bustling trade fair, all of which represent the truly international aspect of WOMEX.

WOMEX is the leading international networking platform and showcase festival for the world music industry – a global family meeting of music lovers and entrepreneurs. Having its home in the so-called “world music” scene, WOMEX caters to a wide range of musical styles from the most traditional to global pop and juxtapositions of the two, consciously including jazz and classical styles. We used to be half traditional and half modern. Now we are 100% both!

WOMEX 16 is hosted in Santiago de Compostela by the local partners, event agency Nordesía; with the support of Xunta de Galicia, the government of the region, through AGADIC and the Foundation of the City of Culture; and the city of Santiago de Compostela through its Department of Culture and Tourism. In addition, cultural agents, gastronomic associations, and, of course, artists from Galicia and Spain are rallying together to make the 22nd edition of WOMEX a truly outstanding experience.

Photo credits:

Talabarte, by Pablo Giraldez;Cuarteto Caramuxo; Maria Arnal & Marcel Bagés.
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 21st edition of WOMEX brought over 2,500 delegates and more than 60 musical acts from 90 countries altogether to its 2015 host city, Budapest, Hungary.
More than 60 acts on 7 WOMEX Showcase Festival stages including the Opening Concert; 680 exhibiting companies at the Trade Fair; more than 20 speakers and mentors at the Conference; Film Screenings 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) to Budapest (2015).
In 2016, WOMEX will take place in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain from 19 - 23 October.
WOMEX is produced by Piranha Arts, Berlin. Local host and partners for the 2016 edition are Nordesía Producións.

The Piranha event portfolio also includes Classical:NEXT, the global meeting for all art music innovators (next edition Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 17 - 20 May 2017);
plus worldwide consultancy & special projects such as:
- Primera Linea (Havana, Cuba, 14 - 17 September 2016);
- Circulart (Medellín, Colombia, 11 – 13 November 2016);
- Atlantic Music Expo (Praia, Cabo Verde, April 2017);
- Sound of the Xity (Beijing, China, April 2017 tbc); and
- Porto Musical (Recife, Brazil, 15 - 18 February 2017). 
Press contact WOMEX
Paul Bräuer
T: +49 (0) 30 31 861 448 | E:
Photos and more material at our press section:
WOMEX online: | |

Copyright © 2016 Piranha Arts, All rights reserved.

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