Thank you to everyone who has raised concerns and contacted us directly with questions about the statement from Palestinian group 47Soul which relates to our partner festival, WOMADelaide. As many of you who have attended previous WOMAD festivals will know, this group is highly regarded by our programmers and they have performed at WOMAD festivals across the world. We would be delighted to have them perform at WOMAD Festivals in the future.

WOMAD was created to present The World to The World and as idealists we continue to believe that artists have a right to be heard - whether or not their beliefs and traditions match our own. Unfortunately, sometimes political situations and associated conflicts mean that idealism may be compromised, not least for the sake of public and artist safety.  

We appreciate how complex and contentious the Israel-Palestine issue is, especially now with so much violence.  As the situation evolves and the impact of the latest conflict is better understood, we are reviewing our programming strategy. Whilst safety remains of paramount importance, we will take each event in its own context and on its individual merits, and endeavour to make and communicate programming decisions accordingly.

We strive to amplify the voices of all people, and as can been seen in our recent line-up announcement, diversity and inclusion remain at the heart of our programming. 

As longstanding WOMAD festival-goers will already know, your voices and your opinions are genuinely important to us, and we extend our sympathy and apologies if this situation has caused any suffering or hurt. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
The WOMAD team 

Please see the statement below from WOMADelaide with regards to their conversation with 47Soul.

"In November 2023, during the final phase of 2024 festival programming, we invited 47SOUL to return to perform at WOMADelaide, eight years on from their last appearance.  In the spirit of WOMAD celebrating music, arts and dance from around the world, conversations continued with a number of other artists including one from Israel.
47SOUL accepted our invitation a few days later.  After careful consideration over the course of the next week, WOMADelaide formed the view that the situation unfolding in the Middle East and the associated climate of community protests, division, and uncertainty surrounding the conflict at that time, presented a real concern for the safety of all artists and audiences.
We advised via a phone call and email to their agent, of our concerns and very difficult decision to withdraw and no contract was entered into, nor announcement made, of 47SOUL performing at the festival.
We expressed our support for the band and that we would look to present the group instead at the 2025 festival when we very much hoped – like everyone – for the situation to have significantly improved.
The same decision was made regarding the artist from Israel.
Understandably, 47SOUL were disappointed by our decision. It was not one we made lightly at that time, and it was the first time the festival had felt the need to make such a decision.  A few weeks ago, 47SOUL contacted WOMADelaide to ask us to reconsider and we reiterated our great respect for the band and the cause they support – one shared by many other artists on the festival lineup – and we advised that it was not a practical possibility at this late stage to present them at the 2024 festival.
WOMADelaide has a proud history of supporting Palestinian's voices and presenting Palestinian artists."