Every Friday Wellington’s Left Bank Arcade turns into a vibrant night market full of ethnic foods, arts and craft stalls and music. At the centre is a stage like platform surrounded by tables and chairs for the dine and dance crowd which turned into a busy Balkan beat space where young and old gathered together swaying to the South-Eastern European rhythms. The Balkanistas are combining gypsy virtuoso, brass tunes and traditional themes into an energetic mix and infectious dance rhythms. During their first busking session at the night market a couple of weeks ago, they set up a laptop where people could stop by and cast their vote for the Balkanistas to be playing at this year’s World Music Festival in Taranaki. Over 50 bands entered the competition and more than 15’000 votes were cast. With two drummers, three trombones, two accordions and a basouki the band won the last slot in the line up and will play at WOMAD on Sunday, March 16th with some of the world’s best musical talents including Femi Kuti, Kimbra, Arrested Development, Buika, Pokey La Farge, Tim Finn and Asif Ai Khan. Congratulations!