WOMEX organizers have reported record attendance at the 2008 edition of the world music trade fair, held in Seville, Spain.

In recognition of its Spanish host, WOMEX kicked off proceedings with a tribute to Andalusia's famed contribution to world music, flamenco. Headlining that event was renowned flamenco artist Miguel Poveda.

Now in its 14th year, the sold-out expo attracted over 650 companies, individuals and organizations to 320 stands, Oct. 29 to Nov. 2. This equated to more than 2,800 delegates from around the world.

Nightly showcases featured almost 50 acts from 40 countries on five stages, and utilized such venues as the Teatro Lope de Vega/Casino de la Exposición and the town centre of Plaza de España.

There were more than 20 sessions in the conference component of the trade fair, which this year included mentoring sessions with industry experts and master classes on legal issues and running festivals.

There were also 13 film screenings during the event.

WOMEX Awards were given to Hungarian folk stalwarts Muzsikás and the Folk Music Department of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, the latter for professional excellence in the service of world music.

After taking place in Seville since 2005, next year WOMEX will move to Copenhagen, Denmark, Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 2009.