Financial concerns put paid to WOMAD festival

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One of the major festivals planned for Derry’s City of Culture year will now not go ahead.

The WOMAD world music festival was due to take place in the city as part of the 2013 culture celebrations.

But after a feasibility study undertaken by the Culture Company - the body organising events in 2013 - the festival will not go ahead due to financial risk.

The north’s deputy first minister Martin McGuinness says he is disappointed the festival is off the 2013 calendar.

“When the announcement was originally made that efforts were under way to bring the WOMAD Music Festival to Derry for the City of Culture celebrations it was met with great enthusiasm. But as with all proposals it must be economically viable,” he says.

“The proposers of this project ‘SEEDS’ and the Culture Company after examining WOMAD’s feasibility study are both now agreed that the financial risks with the Culture Company as a proposed sole funder are too high.

“While I am as disappointed as everyone associated with the project I have to accept the assessment of both the Board of Directors of ‘SEEDS’ and the management of the ‘Culture Company’ that staging this festival is not feasible under the present proposals.

“2013 is a very important year for our City and the programme of events presently being compiled by the Culture Company is exciting and comprehensive - catering for all sections of the community. I have every confidence that this disappointment will not overshadow what will be a magnificent year of opportunity and enjoyment for all of the diverse cultures reflected in our city and district.”

An online campaign - Save the WOMAD Festival for City of Culture - has been launched on Facebook.