Cultural Information and Research Centres Liaison in Europe (CIRCLE) was a European network established formally in 1984, which operated as an independent think-tank dedicated to developing cultural policy models for Europe. The regular activities of CIRCLE ceased in 2007, although its individual and institutional members continue to collaborate in other frameworks.
The steps towards WOMEX were taken in October 1991 within the ‘Worldwide Music Days at the BID’ in Berlin, Germany as part of the Berlin Independence Days annual indie music convention. The first edition of WOMEX, boldly stand-alone after the closure of the BID, then took place in Berlin in 1994. Back then, the aim was to host an event that would bring together all the key players within world music and, collaboratively, provide a platform to map out a future for the industry, a principle that continues to inform and guide all WOMEX editions to this day.