Mojo (UK)

My Festival Romance

- David Hutcheon

Thomas Brooman TANGENT.

From seeing Hendrix in 1967 to getting a CBE, the co-founder of WOMAD tells some of the truth.

From the days of cash-flow problems to boffo box office as WOMAD became the byword for a world music show in a field, Brooman’s was the hand on the tiller (until ousted in 2008). This means he can be an unreliable narrator at crucial points in this celebratio­n of the developmen­t of the organisati­on (our three-day weekends were his hardestwor­king days), yet his addiction to new music saw him through both seeing Ziggy in March 1972 and fearfully fleeing Bali in 1998. Full disclosure: years ago, this writer worked for WOMAD and thought he knew many of those mentioned. Among the many things I didn’t know until now was that early events were funded by dealing speed in Bristol, or that my arrival coincided with the cocaine years. Ah, that might explain Brooman’s Tigger-like demeanour even as the money evaporated…

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