My Festival Romance
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…