In the midst of Mad March – Adelaide’s ridiculously busy festival season – falls WOMADelaide, the World of Music, Arts and Dance festival. Founded in 1982 in the UK, an offshoot of the festival travelled to Adelaide in 1992 to be a one-off event as part of the larger Adelaide Festival of Arts. South Australia’s history of innovative cultural development and radical social reform made Adelaide the perfect place for a festival that celebrates cultural and creative diversity.
Over four sunny days in March, WOMADelaide returned, once again, to lush Botanic Park in the city’s east. Musical performances included French artist Christine and the Queens, Angélique Kidjo from Benin performing the music of the Talking Heads with a West African twist, local Australian roots band the John Butler Trio, and modern Bavarian folk musicians, LaBrassBanda.
Stepping away from the main stages, festival-goers could enjoy a number of workshops, including a salsa dancing or Ukrainian Cossack dance class, cooking demonstrations with plenty of delicious free tastings, or talks with prominent politicians, journalists, scientists and professors on topics ranging from International Women’s Day to mushrooms.
Inarguably, the best way to enjoy WOMADelaide is by taking the time to wholly absorb the unique festival atmosphere. During the day, the grounds are ideal for eating your way through the Global Village, hunting down incredible art installations and stumbling upon quirky performances (like 2019’s The Bells production by 5AngryMen). In the evening, it’s time to stage-hop as you chase your favourite acts across the park, and sing along in the heady night air with thousands of fellow festival-goers.
Scroll through our gallery below to check out some of the action from the festival.