FIRST-TIME visitors to Womad last weekend wouldn't have known what to expect, but for many of us Womad in its 10th incarnation was a nostalgia trip with memories of how it all began 10 years ago.
Shooglenifty, a hit Scottish band that performed at that first Womad, certainly reinforced the 'those were the days' feeling, reprising their upbeat blend of Scottish and dance music.
Womad all these years on is probably more polished as an event, with a larger support infrastructure of food and bazaar-like stalls to satiate your hunger, thirst and retail cravings.
The audiences have grown over the years too, hitting almost 20,000 last year.
If this year's turnout was smaller than 2006's, that could be blamed on the weather and the threatening drizzle that luckily did not turn into a downpour, although first-day visitors on Friday were treated to a cool, clear weather and a starry sky.
It's also apparent how a decade in the business can help build a festival brand when you compare the turnout with the much less successful local rock festival Singfest held last month.
Musically, however, the proceedings seemed a tad subdued, a sense of having been there and done that without the experience of having been racked up a notch.
That said, there were some good moments. The Mahotella Queens - one of the first acts to open the festival - belied their ages with their energetic performance, and demonstrated the enthusiasm that has kept them in the business for 40-odd years.
And even though it was a shame that Sheila Chandra lost her voice and couldn't perform, one-man band Muntu Valdo stepped gamely into the slot and made up for the last-minute change in schedule.
Originally slated for a single performance on Saturday, Valdo demonstrated how potent technology can be in the right hands. He recorded and played back pieces of his performance in real time, looping himself and even the audience's singing, over and over in textured layers.
Clube do Balanco got the Fort Green audience to its feet with its infectious version of salsa rock, while Etran Finatawa showed audiences at the more secluded Fort Gate Stage its nomadic African music you'll probably never hear on the radio here.
On Saturday night, Youssou N'Dour gave a generous performance and it was a treat to hear the beauty of that Senegalese voice, out in the open, under the - cloudy - stars.
And yes, he did sing his breakthrough hit with Neneh Cherry, Seven Seconds Away.
Also in good form was David D'Or from Israel, who fused different singing styles ranging from pop to classical music.
Overall, it must be said the whole Womad experience does make for a really pleasant night out with friends in Singapore; it's chill, companionable, and does have some pretty good music thrown in as well.
The holistic package that includes more than just music is probably a key reason of its staying power through the years, and the audiences at side events like cooking demonstrations at the Culinary Stage, and Gibson's guitar workshop, is evidence of this.
Womad is a lifestyle package, not a one-trick pony. Organisers of other festivals would do well to watch and learn.