Music festival brings in performers from across globe to unite people through music, dance

The Madison World Music Festival has returned to Madison for its 16th year, with the goal of uniting the globe through music and dance.

The festival runs Friday through Saturday and will run 10 performances at Memorial Union and the Willy Street Fair.

Artists from around the world come to perform their craft, including from countries in the Americas, Europe and Africa. Festival organizers said part of the festival’s mission is to invite performers from unique and unexpected parts of the world.

Italian chitarra battente performer Björn Wennås, said he played a style of Italian music that wasn’t well known for quite a while.

“It was very, very isolated,” Wennås said. “There was an isolated part of Italy.”

Keerthana Sreenivasan, the performing arts director for the Wisconsin Union, said it’s easy to get lost in our own worlds, especially in a big city like Madison. She said the festival is an attempt by the Wisconsin Union and its staff and the University o Wisconsin students to help unite the world through music.

“Music is one of those mediums where you don’t need to understand the language,” Sreenivasan said. “There is no discrimination. It’s for everyone. You can enjoy it. The emotions are going to be conveyed.”

She said the festival connects the community with music they may not have otherwise been exposed to.

The two-day festival is free, and everyone is invited.

“(The festival is) to make all the communities in Madison feel like they belong,” Sreenivasan said.

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