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Fuerteventura set for major economic boost as WOMAD returns 

PAGE 15 FUERTEVENTURA

The internationally known festival WOMAD is returning to Fuerteventura in November, it has been confirmed.

The town of Gran Tarajal will host the International World of Music, Arts & Dance, created by Peter Gabriel, for the second consecutive year from November 5th.

Last year, it attracted more than 25,000 people to the beach and area of avenida de Gran Tarajal.

President of Fuerteventura Cabildo,  Mario Cabrera and representative of WOMAD in Spain, Dania Dévora, recently signed an agreement over the 2015 festival with high hopes of another tremendous success.

“Some might think that last year’s edition was just a one-off but when we talked about the location with the Cabildo, we knew WOMAD Gran Tarajal was coming to stay and not just for one year,” said Dania Dévora, describing the two sites of the beach and the walkway of avenida Gran Tarajal as ideal.

Last year, she revealed, the festival had been organised in just 15 days and still had an international impact which exceeded all expectations. This time, there were several months in which to prepare the 2015 event and it was hoped to attract even more people.

Mario Cabrera said that following last year’s festival, there had been a huge demand for a repeat and now its return was guaranteed.

Vice-president and tourism councillor, Blas Acosta thanked the organisers for choosing Fuerteventura against stiff competition from other potential venues and culture councillor, Juan Jiménez said it could be seen as a tremendous vote of confidence in the island and its cultural values.

Councillor for the environment,  Natalia Évora said WOMAD had an excellent relationship with the bars, restaurants, cafes and small businesses which surrounded the festival area and the economic impact of the event was very important.

In 2014, WOMAD Fuerteventura featured perfor-mances by the likes of Arizona Baby, Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, La Pegatina, Cig-dem Aslan, Julián Maeso and The Correspondents.

The multicultural music is also supplemented with a craft market,  documentaries, parades through the town, conferences, workshops for children, etc.

Employers in the area estimate the direct economic impact of WOMAD in shops was very high; one example is that  during the weekend, more than 600,000 euros moved through ATMs of the bank branches.  Shops, bars, cafes and restaurants reached triple sales and all rural houses and plazas, rentals of apartments, etc  were sold out.

Many local places had to double or even triple their staff to serve customers and companies related to the construction, sound, audio, lighting, etc. also recorded a significant increase in activity.