Robert Plant’s latest gang are the quietest act at this riotous pan-global celebration

DEFIANT carnival of rainbow-coloured multiculturalism, WOMAD has always been a bigger, richer, stranger affair than its caricatured image as a tasteful ethno-fusion picnic for Waitrose hippies. Indeed, in a good year like this, it can feel like the most adventurous and experimental festival of the summer, putting more self-consciously eclectic hipster events to shame. Any definition of “world music” that includes deliciously grainy soul-pop torch songs, thunderous widescreen Rothkowigging out, and Welsh-Cornish singer teaching the crowd cheese-based revolutionary slogans definitely reflects a generosity of spirit that makes for a great festival.

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