Womad A to Z

20:01, Mar 14 2014
tdn womad stand
WOMAD starts on Friday.

Anxiety - Brace yourself because there is no escaping it. Odds are better than good that while you're standing in the Hungarian fried bread line, buying a beer or waiting for your turn at the toilet you will miss the act everyone is talking about. It's going to feel terrible, probably similar to the time you were the only one in Room 4 not invited to Lilly Hepworth's 10th birthday. Okay, not quite that bad but it won't be great. Yet we are here to tell you "fear not about missing out". It is guaranteed you will see something just as good, or better, within two hours.

Broke - Whatever financial intentions you had coming into Womad prepare to leave nearly penniless. It's not your fault. The food, the drink, the stalls are all designed to be too enticing to resist. See Y.

Catatonic - Three-day pass holders may experience this state of being come Monday. Womading is a strenuous business. Experienced festival goers have already booked two days off to recover.

Diet - Forget about it. Womad is just as much about food as it is about music, art and dance. This is not an event where you should counting the calories unless to boast at how much you have guzzled. See E.

Eco - With so much food, drink, music and art for the taking, Womad really is the pinnacle of middle-class consumption. Luckily, to balance out the guilt of your cultured gluttony, there are dozens of volunteers on hand to help you be eco- friendly by reducing, re-using and recycling your waste. This will do nothing to halt global warming but you can easily pretend to forget that.

Friendliness - The pervading and cherished characteristic of all Womads so far. 


Geese Should you venture into nearby Pukekura Park during the day you may see three Canada Geese. The two elderly ones are unofficially known as Maureen and Cedric. Their younger offspring is unnamed. You can use this knowledge to start a conversation with a stranger. See F.

Hippies - Despite what many people believe there are relatively few "hippies" at Womad. Sure, there are some patchouli-doused free spirits floating around with vague grins and a plate of Hare Krishna food, but they're a drop in the ocean compared to Womad's main demographic. See M and V.

Interpretive - A form of dancing that seeks to translate particular feelings and emotions, human conditions, situations, or fantasies into movement. Can look painful and offensive but is totally acceptable at Womad. 

Joggle - A verb, meaning to shake slightly and the preferred method of dancing for middle-aged men. When combined with a bottom lip bite, they actually look like they are getting into the groove of things. 

Kids - These things get in free with their parents. They have no idea what is going on. 

Lost - Every Womad festivalgoer will lose their mates at one stage or another. Don't get too upset, though it may serve you well to ask if your separation from the group was entirely accidental. 

Middle-aged - Unofficial studies have probably shown woman aged 45 to 66 years old appear to outnumber all other ticketholders two to one. Being in such an absolute majority gives them a courage they would not usually exhibit in the real world. So get out of their way when they're marching between events, don't ever cut in front of them in a queue and get used to them dancing as though no-one is watching. This is their event. You shouldn't even be allowed a ticket.

Niche - There is usually one for everyone at Womad. So don't be afraid. You'll find something you like. 

Oasis - In the organised madness that is Womad some people attempt to create an oasis of calm for themselves. They do this with a ring of $14.95 camping chairs from Briscoes that really do impede crowd flow. Please be considerate of their right to be inconsiderate. See F.

People - Even if you don't like music, art or dance, Womad is the country's premium people-watching festival. As well as your average run of weirdos, there are heaps and heaps of oddbods.

Quandary - You have come to Womad with two friends. There is a strict four- drink maximum. Long queues dictate the logic of buying the maximum. There will always be a spare drink. Should you be ashamed if you repeatedly volunteer to drink it? See D.

Rain - Generally the name given to wet stuff that falls from the sky. If it comes, ditch the jandals for grippy shoes, put a raincoat on, pack a spare pair of trousers and ignore it. 

SSunscreen - Put this on to avoid embarrassing sunglasses marks and, to a much lesser degree, skin cancer.

Trip - Should you happen to take a trip and tumble to the ground you may not be able to get up again. Crowds surging between one popular act and another can be unforgiving to those members of the swarm who have fallen. Survivors compare it to being trampled by a herd of Wildebeest. See M.

Unavoidable - There are a few things in life we can't avoid; incompetent middle managers, the rising price of cheese and queues, especially at Womad. You will have to line up for stuff. No point getting grumpy about it. See F.

Vague - Some people may be acting a bit vague during Womad, that is to say they might be a bit distracted, a bit "away with the fairies". They don't usually cause any problems and in many parts of the world such vagary is now quite accepted. See W. 

Waft - Certain odours may waft past you at Womad. Some of them you may recognise as food-related, some as similar to a backyard burn-off. If you want to appear au fait with Womad, best not to comment on the difference. See H.

Xenophobia - Not the best place to be if you suffer from this. 

Yeast - Don't be conspicuous about it but bow your head and give thanks to yeast some time today. Without it there would be no beer or wine and though you don't need these to have fun at Womad, we're super-glad they're available.

Zoo - It's right there at the top of the hill but is closed during Womad and some animals even move out. We've heard through the grapevine the thumping beats give the kunekune pig dangerous levels of flatulence.

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