WOMAD NZ 2022 line-up features Fat Freddy's Drop, COVID-19 expert Siouxsie Wiles

WOMAD NZ will return in the summer of 2022, it has been announced. The line-up for the festival's 17th event in Aotearoa features Fat Freddy's Drop alongside several other beloved Kiwi acts and also microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles, who has been one of New Zealand's leading experts during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The three-day-long festival will take place at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Park in New Plymouth, beginning on March 18. 

While Fat Freddy's Drop, Deva Mahal, Avantdale Bowling Club and Shades of Shakti lead the first musical announcement, Siouxsie Wiles has been named as the 2022 STEAM Lab artist, a festival feature which sees inventors and innovators in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics holding workshops and giving talks. 

Iconic Kiwi artist, product designer and author, Dick Frizzell will also make his WOMAD debut, discussing his work as the festival's 2022 World of Words artist. 

Musical guests Fat Freddy's Drop said they're "stoked" to be returning to the Taranaki festival for the first time in over a decade. 

"Taranaki, we're stoked to be coming back to perform our new and classic tunes under the watchful eye of the mighty maunga," the band said in a statement. 

"It's been 12 years since we performed there, and even though we've played WOMAD around the world nothing beats Taranaki. Chur Aotearoa."

WOMAD International's Head of Programming Paula Henderson said she initially didn't think it would be possible to create a mostly-local programme given WOMAD's reputation as an event that brings global artists together. 

"We are usually very spoilt, we have the whole world at our fingertips in terms of programming.  When we first thought about doing WOMAD with a mainly national event over a year ago initially, I thought no way. But, I was wrong," Henderson said. 

"It will sound a little strange, but, although challenging - as there were no gigs to go to - spending hours scouring the internet to find new artists that would suit the festival has been really exciting and I am confident that we have a programme that our audience will be overjoyed with."

Tickets to the event are on sale now, and the full artist announcement is scheduled for October 20.