Wadsworth, Womad & 107.6 FM
Helper a total fan of festival
Denis Wadsworth has been volunteering at Womad for years.
Photo: JONATHAN CAMERON
One of Denis Wadsworth's favourite sounds at Womad is the roar of generators as the festival
cranks into action.
The volunteer is one of the first on the scene on the opening day, usually turning
up at 6.30am.
"I love being there at that time. Just watching the place come alive is an incredible
Wadsworth's altruism stems from wanting to be behind the scenes of such a large, vibrant
festival. He still remembers peering through the gates at his first Womad in 2003, and
sceptically buying a ticket.
"The first one I went to, I buzzed for a week and it wasn't because of what I had had
there. Womad conquered me. I didn't go to be conquered, I went to be critical," he says.
"I went in and thought 'this isn't very exciting'. I was seated around silly people jumping
around making total dicks of themselves and then I realised I was doing the same. I realised
how awesome it was."
This year he will be volunteering in the Kunming Garden, home to the Wobar - a fusion of
upmarket champagne, fine wines, seafood and espresso, as well as the sustainable village.
He will show the traders where to go and help out where needed.
"One year I couldn't believe it, I was carting sustainable coffins in... I think they
served as bookshelves."
About 450 volunteers will keep Womad running smoothly this year, from taking care
of the artists to helping with the Zero Waste programme.
A former mobile disco DJ, Wadsworth has run a low-powered radio station, 106.7FM, out
of a shed for six years.
It pumps out older-style tunes - it's popular in rest homes - to a large audience and
also does a fair bit of advertising for Womad.
But nothing can beat the live performances.
"What I like about it is sitting down in the audience and there's so many
different nationalities, everyone comes together. It sounds a bit corny but
they're all there for the music."
His advice to Womad first-timers is not to rule out any performance, as it will be
the ones you don't expect to like that impress you the most.
"When you go to Womad, 90 per cent of the time you've never heard of the groups but
never discount any, go to as many stages as you can. Don't be afraid to go to something
even if it looks like total rubbish."
After all, the best part of the festival is the unexpected.
- © Fairfax NZ News
© Taranaki Daily News March 3rd, 2012.
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