WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) is an international arts festival. The central aim of WOMAD is to celebrate the world's many forms of music, arts and dance.
WOMAD was founded in 1980 by British progressive rock musician Peter Gabriel, with Thomas Brooman, Bob Hooton, Mark Kidel, Stephen Pritchard, Martin Elbourne and Jonathan Arthur. The first WOMAD festival was in Shepton Mallet, UK in 1982. The audience saw Peter Gabriel, Don Cherry, The Beat, Drummers of Burundi, Echo & The Bunnymen, Imrat Khan, Prince Nico M' barga, Simple Minds, Suns of Arqa, The Chieftains and Ekome amongst others performing.
However, Gabriel and his company — which had funded WOMAD — faced financial ruin due to its commercial failure,[when?] put down to lack of suitable transport to the venue and publicity. At the suggestion of his and Genesis manager Tony Smith, he and the remaining members of Genesis agreed to play together for a single show under the name 'Six of the Best'.
Since 1982 WOMAD Festivals has travelled all over the world, bringing artists to numerous locations and entertaining over one million people.