WOMEX – Worldwide Music Expo – is the world’s most international and culturally diverse music meeting and the biggest conference of the global music scene, featuring a trade fair, talks, films and showcase concerts.
Over 2,600 professionals (including 260 performing artists) come together every October from 90 countries, making WOMEX the leading networking platform for the world music industry. Its musical spectrum is unparalleled in the international showcase performance market, ranging from the most traditional to the new global local underground, embracing folk, roots, jazz, local and diaspora cultures as much as urban and electronic sounds from all over the globe.
The 2024 edition of WOMEX will take place at spaces across Manchester – with Manchester Central hosting the main conference and trade fair, and venues across Oxford Road Corridor, including Bridgewater Hall and O2 Ritz all set to host live music showcases alongside a programme of international films at HOME on First Street.
WOMEX hosts 7 stages, around 700 exhibiting companies, 100+ speakers, films, an opening concert and an award ceremony across five packed networking days and rather short nights.
Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The figures speak for themselves in terms of the economic impact that hosting WOMEX 2024 on behalf of the UK will have. But this isn’t just about the numbers. Just as important will be the real opportunities it will give our musicians and other professionals working in the music industry to network and do business on their own doorstep with their peers from around the globe.
“In Manchester we’ve long recognised the powerful role that music and culture can play in regeneration, creating jobs, and other opportunities, and are determined to do everything we can to support the sector and the people who work in it.”
As well as a packed programme across the five days and nights of the convention, work is also underway to ensure that WOMEX 2024 creates a tangible, lasting legacy for everyone involved in music in Manchester, the North, and across the UK and Ireland. This work is being led by Manchester based Brighter Sound.
With an overarching focus on social justice and sustainability, it’s hoped the plans being developed will better help musicians, producers, promoters and other music professionals of all ages – including young people – to make a sustainable living from music , locally, nationally and internationally.
WOMEX and its community aim to support and strengthen the role of culture around the globe and to spread its values through nurturing and promoting creativity and music. As a result, the local and global music community is able to – and needs to – contribute to cross-cultural understanding in a welcoming, tolerant, diverse and productive manner.
The event remains devoted to facilitating and promoting the global music industry and providing a platform to connect, inspire and share experiences, enabling new partnerships across transcontinental markets and an open economic and international cultural dialogue.