Rhythms of the World 2012 music festival opens today

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 July 2012 | UPDATED: 15:53 14 July 2012

The Young Knives will play the BBC Introducing Stage at Rhythms of the World 2012

The Young Knives will play the BBC Introducing Stage at Rhythms of the World 2012

Archant

RHYTHMS of the World 2012 kick offs today (Saturday), with organisers promising "an amazing festival", despite the recent wet weather.

JuJu are one of the headlines at this year's Rhythms of the World festival which takes place in Hitchin over the weekend of July 14-15JuJu are one of the headlines at this year's Rhythms of the World festival which takes place in Hitchin over the weekend of July 14-15

The world music festival will be held in the grounds of Hitchin Priory, with gates opening this morning at 11am.

An eclectic line-up of the best local and international talents will be performing across the various ROTW stages from noon until 11pm.

Hundreds of musicians are making their way across the globe – and from nearer to home – to turn the Hertfordshire venue into a massive two-day celebration of music of all kinds.

From Gambian trance to Birmingham bhangra; pioneering punks to hip-hop; indie-rock to beat box, as well as jazz, blues, reggae, Latin, Cuban, folk, classical, gospel, dubstep, jive and rockabilly – there is truly something for everyone across the seven stages.

The Folk recording at High Barn in Great BardfieldThe Folk recording at High Barn in Great Bardfield

Festival organisers tweeted late last night: “Well tomorrow is nearly here and a year of planning comes to fruition. We are looking forward to an amazing festival.”

And earlier today, a posting on the festival’s Facebook page said: “6am and believe it or not, there are volunteeers already on site working hard to make this year’s festival the best it can be... and the weather forecast isn’t bad at all :-)”

Among Saturday’s many highlights will be main stage headliners JuJu, winners of the MOJO magazine 2011 world music album of the year award.

Guitarist and producer Justin Adams and Gambian fiddle player Juldeh Camara will mix up traditional West African instruments with avant-garde jazz.

Folk group Mawkin will appear at Rhythms of the World in Hitchin [Picture: Joseph O'Halloran]Folk group Mawkin will appear at Rhythms of the World in Hitchin [Picture: Joseph O'Halloran]

Meanwhile, Mercury Music Prize nominees Young Knives will close the BBC Introducing Stage from 9.45pm with their spiky and inventive indie pop hooks.

Punk fans old and new should head over to the Nettlebed Stage at 8.30pm for a headline set from veterans The Damned, featuring original singer Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible.

Earlier in the day you can catch Inspiral Carpets vocalist Tom Hingley performing an acoustic mix of rock and roll, blues and soul on the Nettlebed Stage from 5pm.

Also performing today are the likes of The Boxettes, Mawkin, Shoot the Director, Marching Donald and The Folk, who will play the Icehouse Stage at 5pm.

Captain Sensible of The DamnedCaptain Sensible of The Damned

The Herts girls will return to Rhythms on Sunday, with a stage time of 12.40pm over at The Nettlebed after The Huxleys have opened proceedings.

Tomorrow (Sunday), gates will open at 11am, and will close slightly earlier at 8pm.

Performances will once again start at noon with stages having a 9pm curfew.

ROTW parking is available in Butts Close, with organisers encouraging people to car share, or use public transport.

They are also asking festival-goers where possible to avoid driving down Tilehouse Street and Bridge Street, to allow emergency services access at all times.

For those tweeting about the festival, @rotwfestival is using the hashtag #Rotw2012

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