Ziggy Marley, Mavis Staples & The Cat Empire headline an amazing WOMADelaide 2020 line-up

WOMAD flags
WOMAD flags

By Deb Kloeden, Rock At Night Australia

Venue: Botanic Park, Adelaide – 6th – 9th March 2020

Up and coming Festivals

WOMADelaide, the iconic open-air festival set in Adelaide’s stunning Botanic Park, is an award-winning celebration of the very best in world music, arts & dance. Held since 1992, the festival has become a truly unique part of the Australian festival landscape. The full line-up for the 2020 festival has been revealed with a sterling list of artists.

Ziggy Marley
Ziggy Marley

International acts include 8-time Grammy Award winner ZIGGY MARLEY, son of the legendary Reggae master Bob Marley. Singer, songwriter, producer, author, humanitarian and visionary, if anybody can encourage change through music, it’s Ziggy Marley. As much as he upholds a family legacy that began with his father, he has blazed a trail of his own. This will be an exclusive Australian appearance and one not to be missed.

American Soul and Gospel matriarch, MAVIS STAPLES will bring her powerful voice and messages to our wonderful festival. If you have never seen her perform, this is the perfect opportunity.

Mavis Staples
Mavis Staples

Joining Marley and Staples is the darling of modern folk, singer-songwriter LAURA MARLING from the UK. Winner of the 2011 Brit Awards for Best British Female Solo Artist and Best New Artist at the 2011 NME awards. This will be her debut performance at Womad.

Gospel legends and winners of five Grammy Awards, THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA have demolished barriers of race and genre to become one of the most acclaimed and celebrated groups in modern music. Over seven decades they have come to define the sound of the American South through their soul-stirring harmonies and contemporary interpretations of spiritual music. They will make their first appearance at WOMADelaide.

‘The Golden Voice of Africa’, SALIF KEITA (Mali), returns to WOMADelaide with a cracking eight-piece band as part of his farewell tour, celebrating 50 years of music and 70 years of life. ORQUESTA AKOKÁN (Cuba) is a stunning big band that redefines the golden era of Cuban Mambo, morphing Havana with the creative and talented spirit of the NY Latin scene. I visited Cuba this year so I am very keen to see this band.

Kiwi songwriter ALDOUS HARDING has emerged as one New Zealand’s most celebrated contemporary artists in recent years, with her acclaimed third album Designer earning Harding her country’s top music prize, the Silver Scroll, earlier this month.

US contemporary artist BILL CALLAHAN, formerly known as ‘Smog’, returns with a new collection of elusive, dream-like songs that reflect upon the old days and his new life as a husband and father.

These are only some of the amazing international acts coming to our fair city. Equally exciting is the diverse range of Australian acts on the line-up.

The Cat Empire
The Cat Empire

Crowd-pleasing Australian Ska ensemble THE CAT EMPIRE will also be returning next year for their fifth WOMADelaide appearance. Noted for their high-energy and quick tempo music, they are sure to be crowd pleasers.

KATE MILLER-HEIDKE will also perform at WOMADelaide after a big 2019 that saw her chosen to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest. She effortlessly glides between the worlds of contemporary pop, folk and opera.

Hiatus Kaiyote
Hiatus Kaiyote

Led by songwriter Nai Palm, Grammy-nominated Melbourne outfit HIATUS KAIYOTE have rapidly developed an international fan base on the back of their ‘future soul’ sound that has seen them sampled by the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Chance The Rapper.

The poetic lyricist and singer-songwriter sensation, ODETTE’s soulful voice and worldly- wise, poetic lyrics have seen her flourish in both the Australian and international music scene.


PNG/AUS force of nature, NGAIIRE’s striking live shows fuse fashion, art and music. Known for her boisterous costuming, transcendent vocals, tight beats and brave pop sounds, Ngaiire is a force of nature. Up and coming Adelaide singer songwriter STELLIE will make her debut appearance at WOMADelaide after impressing audiences with her jazz infused modern day Pop.

See the full line-up below.

WOMADelaide is not just about world music. The explosive blend of performances and workshops by over 500 artists from 30+ countries skims the surface of the four-day festival.

WOMADelaide also programs large-scale installation works. Next year, towering 13 metres above the audience, AS THE WORLD TIPPED is an exceptionally ambitious and beautifully crafted aerial performance where dance and theatrics entwine with extraordinary projections which illustrate the very real and immediate realities of climate change.

THE PLANET TALKS FORUMS will host some of the world’s great thinkers, activists and commentators for smart and passionate discussions on the issues facing the citizens of the world.

TASTE THE WORLD sees artists swap instruments for cooking utensils as they demonstrate the cooking of their favourite dishes with entertaining stories.

A family-friendly event, WOMADelaide’s KidZone is a dedicated space with nature-play activities, stories, dancing and educational entertainment.

If you’ve never been to Adelaide before, put this event on your calendar and start planning. It’s a must for the whole family.



Deb Kloeden