Books / autobiography

My Festival Romance

By joe melia, Wednesday May 31, 2017

The autobiography of Womad festival co-founder, Thomas Brooman CBE, is published by Bristol’s Tangent Books on June 1.

Brooman – who was born, grew up, and still lives in Bristol – was one of the organisers of the inaugural Womad festival, held at the Royal Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet in 1982. That first event was an artistic triumph but nothing short of a financial disaster.

Womad survived, just, and Brooman went on to organise more than 150 Womad festivals around the world. His career with Womad came to an end in 2008, just weeks before the announcement that he was to be awarded a CBE by the Queen in her Birthday Honours List for services to music and charity.

In his autobiography, My Festival Romance, Brooman explores the musical influences of his childhood in Bristol. He describes how Womad developed out of the Bristol punk scene of the late Seventies and recalls his time organising festivals and travelling the world with some of the biggest names in music. He also doesn’t shy away from the often turbulent times behind the scenes, and reflects upon life after Womad. His is a life completely dominated by a love of music.

The book will be accompanied by a limited edition CD of music chosen by Brooman to be released via Bristol Archive Records.

My Festival Romance will be launched at Waterstones in the Galleries on Friday, June 30 from 7pm. The event will feature live music from Totó la Momposina and family, and Darren Hodge.

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