By Deb Kloeden, Rock At Night Adelaide Correspondent
WOMADelaide, South Australia’s renowned World Music Festival, is part of the WOMAD international series of music festivals, set in Adelaide’s picturesque Botanic Park. (Also held in New Zealand, UK, Chile and Spain) Originally a biannual festival, Adelaide’s first festival was held in 1992. This year, WOMADelaide will celebrate its 20th festival from March 11th – March 14th. Artists from more than 30 countries will showcase their talents across 7 stages. Apart from music and dance, the festival also offers: The Planet Talks, Artists in Conversation, Taste the World, Kidzone and Electrolounge, making it a festival for all ages and interests.
This week, WOMADelaide announced the final acts for this year’s festival. One of the latest announcements to get excited about is the Grammy Award winning US hip-hop trio De La Soul. Formed in New York in 1987, De La Soul broke into a scene dominated at the time by a macho, ‘street-gang’ mentality and bands that used confronting lyrics. Their playful lyricism, whimsy and irreverence, mixed with samples from children’s records and a myriad of other sources, changed the face of hip-hop.
USA’s Violent Femmes have resumed touring after a 15-year hiatus. Their raw and inventive fusion of folk and punk, sarcasm and spirituality is best depicted in their enduring anthem “Blister In The Sun”.
St Germain will headline the Sunday night program, also after a 15-year hiatus from recording and touring. They return with an 8-piece band and a new sound, electronic loops, percussive grooves and an emphasis on Malian rhythms.
A number of Australian bands will also feature, including The Cat Empire, double ARIA award winning Sarah Blasko, Husky and Alpine. The Cat Empire are an up-beat Ska band who bring Latin, jazz, reggae, gypsy, Cuban, hip-hop, funk and raw Aussie influences to the dance floor.
The Planet Talks returns to Speakers’ Corner, to discuss sustainability ideas, highlighting the growing public conversation about our sustainable relationship with the planet.
Esteemed Canadian science broadcaster and environmentalist David Suzuki, will be joined by an impressive array of economists, scientists, media identities, PR gurus, educators, business leaders, activists and political experts; headed by internationally celebrated American academic and award winning author, Naomi Oreskes and co-founder and Chef Executive of the UK’s Eden Project, Sir Tim Smit.
Taste the World offers WOMADelaide food lovers a diverse selection of international cuisines prepared by over 40 of Australia’s finest food vendors. Cooking demonstration by some of the WOMAD artists showcase favourite foods from their home countries with discussion about their culture and music. Street in the Park – Taste the World restaurant is a more formal outdoor dining experience, with food inspired by visiting WOMADelaide artists, prepared and served by renowned Adelaide chef, Jock Zonfrillo and the team from Street ADL.
Expect the unexpected at WOMADelaide. A variety of ‘pop-up’ performers will delight you as you move around the park. Acrobats, comedians, guided park encounters and giant, blow-up monolithic playgrounds will entertain festival goers of all ages. There is also the Electrolounge for chilling out, and Kidzone to entertain the children with cool activities, theatre, science discoveries, story telling, dress ups, face painting, bouncy things and much more.
I have been attending WOMADelaide festivals for over 10 years. It is one of the first things I mark on my new calendar each year. Several of my interstate friends travel each year to share this wonderful event. Over the years I have been introduced to many amazing bands and artists, enriching my music appreciation from all parts of the globe.
If traveling from interstate or overseas, Adelaide in March is the place to be. It hosts the famous Adelaide Festival of Arts, The Fringe Festival, Adelaide Writer’s Week, Sound & Light shows, A Day on the Green, and the Clipsal 500 V8 car race, to name a few.
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