Thomas Brooman was the cofounder of Real World Records, along with Peter Gabriel, and of the festival production company called WOMAD. WOMAD is the World of Music, Art, and Dance festival, which opened on July 16th, 1982 and was considered the go-to space for festival production.
Thomas Brooman, the creative director at WOMAD, is one of those rare individuals who has mastery in the area of festival production. He produced some of the most complex work in the music and festival business long before the internet, cell phones, or computers existed. He created platforms for artists that no one would have ever heard of internationally and arranged all of the details so that magnificent art, dance, and music festivals could thrive. As a result of his passion and dedication, many artists’ careers flourished. Just to name a few: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, The Guo Brothers, Remmy Ongala, Ali Farka Toure, and Flaco Jimenez.
Have you ever wondered what that might have been like back in 1982 on an international basis to produce a festival? Make no mistake, when it comes to finding and gathering world music artists, Thomas Brooman is considered a visionary leader.
After 28 years of producing festivals and delivering 175 festivals in over 24 countries, he has morphed into mentoring youth at The Creative Youth Network and is a consultant to the Southwest Music School in Bristol. Thomas Brooman intimately understands the music business and artists’ dilemmas in the industry the way that very few do. In 2008 he was given the honors of CBE, Queen Elizabeth’s honorary list for his work and dedication to music and charity.
Kim had a conversation with him at his home in Bristol to discuss multiple aspects of his work in the field of music, festival production, artist development, and mentorship.