COPENHAGEN, Denmark (VIP NEWS) — There have now been 15 editions of WOMEX, the World Music Expo, that began with about 200 delegates and has now expanded to over 2700.
During that time, this fledgling movement has expanded to become a diverse, multicultural, increasingly popular expression of interest in world culture. And, in the process, WOMEX has become the premier professional event in the international world music calendar.
With the recorded music industry crisis surpassed by the overall world economic crisis, the organizers were indeed surprised – and grateful – to see the WOMEX 09 numbers:
There were over 2700 delegates and 650 exhibiting companies from 92 countries in 280 Trade Fair Stand Units.
WOMEX presented 57 acts including 340 artists on 6 stages and 23 Conference Sessions, having inaugurated a new structure. Each Conference day highlighted a
different key issue: Digital Myths, Markets and Mayhem; The Economy of Music; and Advocating for Change each presented special sessions designed to update, innovate or stimulate.
2009 brought a new city and a new partnership. Many of the city's key
cultural players banded together to make the invitation, and then created WorldMusicFair Copenhagen (WMF CPH) to become the local production partner.
First and foremost Roskilde Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and Wonderful Copenhagen.
The other principal members comprise the Danish Center for Culture and Development (CKU/DCCD), Global Copenhagen and World Music Denmark in cooperation with Welcome
This year's WOMEX Artist Award for World Music went to DR Congo's Staff Benda Bilili. The WOMEX Award for Professional Excellence was given to Christian Mousset from France.
Each year, in partnership with the World Music Charts Europe, WOMEX also awards a Top Label, based upon the releases of that label which the Charts DJs have voted highest during the previous 12 months.
This year's winner is Crammed Discs from Belgium.
And, finally, WOMEX hosted the presentation of a new award this year, one created by one of the partners, the Roskilde Foundation.
Presented during the Sunday Award ceremony by the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard, Roskilde honored Malian artist Rokia Traoré and her newly inaugurated Foundation Passarelle.
The prize included 30,000 euros.