Mortgage your house, sell the precious antiques Great Aunt Ethel left you, or commit to a year without avocado on toast – do whatever it takes to get yourself to WOMADelaide. This wondrous celebration of global culture takes over Adelaide’s beautiful Botanic Park from March 10 to 13.
Back with its first full international program since 2020, WOMAD (World of Music, Arts & Dance) offers a high-octane program of sounds, sights, flavours, and ideas. More than 70 groups and solo artists feature in an impressive range of acts and genres from around the world.
Adelaide has hosted WOMAD since 1992 and has grown to become one of the country’s favourite outdoor festivals, known not only for its entertainment but also for its family friendly vibe (free entry for kids 12 and under).
Every night during this year’s festival, Botanic Park will be transformed into a magical wonderland of music, acrobatics and death-defying theatrics from French aerial circus company, Gratte Ciel. With feathered angels dancing and descending from the treetops, ‘Place des Anges’ promises to be an extraordinary performance that should not be missed.
Another must-see show is Scottish duo The Proclaimers, whose hit song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) is an anthem for celebrations everywhere. With a new album and a world tour under their belts, twins Craig and Charlie Reid are in their 40th year as The Proclaimers. And will be performing on March 11.
Making their Australian debut with three performances at WOMADelaide, German band Meute describe themselves as a “techno marching band”. Their 11 drummers and horn players transcend musical barriers with performances such as their remix of Flume’s You & Me, which has amassed more than 57 million views on YouTube.
Colombian supergroup Ondatrópica will revive their country’s tropical musical heritage while Youssou N’Dour returns for his fourth WOMAD with his unique style of West African groove. Grammy Award-winning American blues artist Fantastic Negrito will perform two shows off the back of his 2022 album, White Jesus Black Problems, which explored the illegal, interracial romance of his seventh-generation grandparents in 1750s Virginia.
Eclectic Norwegian folk-pop singer Aurora, whose voice featured in Disney’s Frozen II, is making her festival debut. So too are influential English indie rock group, Florence + the Machine, and U.S. indie-folk band Bon Iver. The program also includes a contingent of South Australia’s finest performers, including hip hop duo from the APY lands, Dem Mob, and New Zealand-born rapper, Taiaha.
WOMAD’s Global Village is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, cuisines and conversations, with arts and crafts sessions, explorations of First Nations culture, nature-play and the thought-provoking Planet Talks program featuring some of the world’s foremost thinkers, activists, scientists and leaders.
A world of fun awaits in the KidZone, while big and little kids alike will enjoy exploring the world through their taste buds at one of the many food and drink venues around the park. The offerings are way beyond standard festival fare.
A short walk from the festival site, the newly opened Vibe Hotel Adelaide exudes all the energy of the city’s vibrant ‘east end’. The 18-storey hotel is unapologetically local, from its cuisine through to its striking interior design and art works. From bathtubs near guest-room windows to the spa, sauna and pool that allows guests to swim between the hotel and neighbouring apartments, Vibe Adelaide has all the feel of a retreat in the city, making it the perfect place to recover from your WOMAD experience.