WOMEX, the annual World Music Expo held every October in Europe, announced the sites that will be hosting the event over the next two years today in an online press release.
After a three year stint in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 2009 to 2011, WOMEX will be moving south in 2012 to Thessaloniki, Greece's second major economic and political centre, located right by the Mediterranean Sea. With its 2300-year past, it's one of the oldest cities in Europe and a true cultural melting pot, bearing traces of an eventful history between Orient and Occident. Renowned for its vibrant cultural life, it is considered to be Greece's cultural capital.
Next year, WOMEX will be taking place one week earlier than usual, from Wednesday17 to Sunday 21 October 2012.
Daniela Teuber, WOMEX Director of Production, states: 'It's the first time ever that WOMEX will be taking place in Southeastern Europe, and it's a great opportunity for our 2500 delegates and 300 artists from all over the world to discover Greece and the Balkans - and its musical treasures - and to boost business contacts and exchange in the region.'
Following this in 2013, WOMEX will be exploring Celtic grounds: Cardiff in Wales has won the international bid to host WOMEX from Wednesday 23 to Sunday 27 October 2013.
Of Cardiff, Daniela Teuber states: 'The city offers a most favourable setting for our complex event: truly professional, highly motivated local production partners; wonderful venues matching our multifaceted needs in close proximity; and Wales' outstanding cultural wealth, hospitality and scenic beauty.'
Welcoming the news, the First Minister, Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones AM, said: 'WOMEX is a great opportunity to bring the most important world music stage to Wales as well as developing the sector in a sustainable way within our country. WOMEX Cardiff will place the music from Wales on the world stage alongside more established markets so that Wales' authentic music traditions become more widely known internationally and are positioned beside music from our Celtic neighbours. Hosting WOMEX will allow us to grow the profile of Wales's traditional music, both within and out of the country.'