First acts confirmed for WOMAD at Bristol Zoo music festival

The first confirmed acts have been revealed for a mini WOMAD music festival held at Bristol Zoo this summer.

The Zoo will host an evening of music, dance and workshops from around the world on Saturday, June 11, set in its beautiful, 12-acre botanical gardens, home to over 400 animal species from lions, lizards and lemurs to gorillas, geckos and giant tortoises.

WOMAD at Bristol Zoo is part of a series of events being staged this year to celebrate the Zoo’s 175th birthday.

We can reveal three of the six unique acts, they are: Muntu Valdo, of Cameroon, Rua Macmillan, from Scotland and Siyaya of Zimbabwe.

Visitors to WOMAD at Bristol Zoo will enjoy two stages offering some of the best in world music, as well as children’s workshops, stalls, and entertainment. And if that’s not enough, visitors can also visit a host of different animal species at home in the Zoo, as some of the Zoo’s animal houses will be kept open late.

Muntu Valdo’s music is rooted in the blues, mixing African traditions with striking modernity and technical mastery. His mesmerising solo set juxtaposes his raw, passionate voice and intensely emotive melodies with an ingenious use of loops, samples and effects.

He has played with some of the great names of African music, toured with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and explored exciting new collaborations with the likes of Damon Albarn’s Africa Express.

Originally from Nairn, in the Scottish Highlands, fiddler Rua Macmillan has quickly made a name for himself as one of the rising stars in the highly competitive world of Scottish traditional music. Rua performs in a trio with Tia Files (from Bodega) on guitar and Adam Brown on bodhran.

Having graduated in Scottish Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Rua has toured extensively throughout Europe and the U.S and was awarded the prestigious title of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2009.

The third confirmed act for WOMAD at Bristol Zoo is Siyaya, a high-energy group of musicians, percussionists, vocalists and dancers whose show encompasses universal themes and traditional stories, interwoven with a passion and a level of humanity deeply rooted in Zimbabwean culture.

Chris Smith, WOMAD event organiser, said: “We are excited to be announcing the first of many great acts performing at WOMAD at Bristol Zoo this summer. Muntu Valdo, Rua Macmillan and Siyaya are all world-class musicians and performers, and we are delighted that they will be coming to entertain and delight visitors at the event.”

He added: “The central aim of the WOMAD festival is to celebrate the many forms of music, art and dance from around the world, and Bristol Zoo is home to wildlife from across the globe, so it is the perfect setting for what is sure to be a fantastic mini festival.”

Tickets are now available for WOMAD at Bristol Zoo, with discounts for those who buy in advance. To find out more visit the Zoo website at or phone the Zoo on 0117 974 7300.

WOMAD – World of Music, Arts and Dance – is an internationally established festival which brings together artists from all over the globe.

As well as offering visitors a great evening out, WOMAD at Bristol Zoo will also help raise money for gorilla conservation.

Advance tickets for WOMAD at Bristol Zoo cost £20 (adult) and £5 (child) or £45 for a family ticket. Under 3s are free. Further discounts apply for Zoo members who book in advance. Doors open at 6pm.

For more information about other events as part of Bristol Zoo Gardens’ 175th anniversary year, visit the Zoo website at or phone 0117 974 7300.

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