Finally – after three challenging years - audiences and artists from around the world were reunited at a record-breaking WOMADelaide in Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla from the 10 - 13 March. The program attracted over 110,000 people across the festival long weekend with arguably the biggest and most diverse WOMADelaide line-up ever with performances from artists such as AURORA, Bon Iver, Fantastic Negrito, Florence + The Machine, The Proclaimers, Sampa The Great, Soul II Soul, Youssou N’Dour and the return of Gratte Ciel’s Place des Anges.
With a program consisting of more than 700 artists from 35 + countries, the world returned, for audiences and artists alike and 50% of advance sales were to interstate visitors to South Australia who were able to travel again – together with a record number of first-time attendees.
Program highlights included Bangarra Dance Theatre demonstrating why they are the country’s most celebrated contemporary dance company drawing on 65,000 years of culture and Kronos Quartet (celebrating 50 years and their final Australian tour) took the audience on an extraordinary musical journey.
German techno marching band MEUTE created a dancing frenzy with an extended roving performance through the park – destined to be a special WOMADelaide memory for delighted audiences, while Beckah Amani showed why she’s one of the most in-demand emerging performers in Australia. Balaklava Blues delivered two stirring performances blending multi-media, contemporary sounds and traditional Ukrainian folk music, eight-piece Kokoroko brought their distinct sound of jazzy Afrobeat and majestic orchestral soul while on Sunday, Colombian supergroup Ondatrópica gave a masterclass in Latin rhythms.
The festival came full circle with the final performance on Monday night as Youssou N’Dour returned – having performed at the first festival in 1992, with an uplifting set delivered in stunning form, to close the festival with his Super Etoile band from Senegal
“WOMADelaide is a potent reminder of the power of art and festivals to observe and honour our differences, but also to bridge them” – The Guardian