NPDC WOMAD deal puts the Bowl of Brooklands back on the world stage

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WOMAD is back in business at New Plymouth’s iconic Bowl of Brooklands, thanks to a five-year host city agreement between New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) and WOMAD’s parent company in the UK. 

In addition to the host city deal, NPDC’s Mayor and Councillors are also set to consider a proposal to underwrite the festival for almost $2 million at a meeting next week (Tuesday 25 May).

The host city deal puts the Bowl back in the international spotlight as WOMAD’s New Zealand home and provides a major economic boost for the Taranaki economy after Covid derailed this year’s festival, says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom.

“This is awesome news for music lovers, local business and visitors as the country emerges from our Covid bubble. WOMAD is part of our district’s DNA as a Sustainable Lifestyle Capital, bringing in about 11,000 out-of-region visitors and adding more than $6 million a year to the Taranaki economy in recent years,” said Mayor Holdom.

The news comes after a red-hot summer of events at NPDC’s Bowl of Brooklands in the lake-filled Pukekura Park. About 60,000 people attended a summer of magic entertainment over five special nights while the rest of the world was largely in lockdown, including sell out gigs by L.A.B and Six60, and Synthony attracting its largest ever crowd to its first outdoor show.

For full details of the proposed WOMAD underwrite deal, check out the agenda report here.