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Peter Gabriel's WOMAD Festival--which has toured 12 countries outside North America since 1981--hits the U.S. with a vengeance this year. Gabriel, P.M. Dawn, the Stereo MC's, and Crowded House provide the commercial pull for a daylong world-music and arts fest that includes outre entertainments like the Drummers of Burundi, Native American poet John Trudell, Russia's Terem Quartet; workshops in art, music, and dance from around the world; and a display of new technologies called "Future Zone." The event is sort of a more studied, less narrowly cast Lollapalooza; it posits the existence of a Generation Z, say, that's interested in ethnicity beyond rap, a technological future that goes beyond smart drinks, and a definition of the word "alternative" that suggests something more than Primus. I have to say I'm rooting for it. Jam Productions isn't saying how many tickets have sold, but I think it's safe to say that there will be something less than a capacity crowd at the 30,000-seat World, making the festival's general-admission policy a bit easier to take. The show begins at 1 PM. Gabriel, who says he'll be repeating parts of his acclaimed 1993 tour, should finish at around 11 PM; but by all means get there by 5:30 for psychedelic rappers P.M. Dawn in their first Chicago appearance. Saturday, 1 PM, World Music Theatre, I-80 and Harlem, Tinley Park; 708-614-1616 or 777-1700.

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