In October 2013, Wales welcomed WOMEX, the world’s biggest trade event for world/folk/roots and traditional music. This annual five-day event includes a bustling Trade Fair, Showcase Festival, Conference, and Film programme, with around 60 concerts featuring 300 plus artists, some 650 companies from over 90 countries exhibiting in the trade fair, and more than 400 national and international journalists. In 2019 WOMEX landed in Tampere, Finland and the year before, Gran Canaria in the Canary Isles.
WOMEX is unique. It is the gathering point for the World Music Industry and is attended by people from every country in the world. People attend to sort out gigs, tours, deals, publicity, contracts and more. Musicians, agents, promoters, publicists, journalists, film-makers, managers and more meet, talk and make plans.
People ask what is World Music. Nobody really knows. The term was coined to market records and CDs that didn’t fit into easy categories but one magazine got close by calling it “Local music from out there!” Azerbaijani Shepherd choir? Maori improvised atonal DJ? Welsh triple harp? most definitely.
What we do know is that the music industry in the world wants to know about the music of Cymru and that this is where Trac Cymru goes to meet them. It’s where we begin to develop the relationships the music producers of Wales need to grow their careers. We are an information point for the traditional music of Wales, on hand to answer questions from delegates and to promote Welsh artists who are ready for the international market.
Over the years, we’ve supported Welsh artists such as Alaw and 9Bach as they’ve showcased to the world, and developed significant partnerships with music organisations as far afield as Brittany and New Zealand.
Trac Cymru is part of a wider partnership called Horizons. The whole UK Roots music world comes together to learn from each other and support our artists to be the best they can. Support for showcases is usually supported by Cerdd Cymru, the international music branch of the Arts Council for Wales‘ Wales Arts International