March 6, 2015
Every March the world meets in Adelaide’s Botanic Park for WOMADelaide. Through music, food, art and conversation thousands of people come together in mutual respect for the differences that define and unite us.
It was in 1982 in the UK that the World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) was born. It expanded to Australia a decade later, as a biennial festival as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts.
To say South Australians embraced the festival is something of an understatement – in 2003 it became an annual event, and in 2010 was expanded to run over four fun-filled festive days.
From the Master Drummers of Burundi to Midnight Oil, Kimbra to Belgian afro-pop artist Zap Mama, the appeal of WOMADelaide’s annual line up lies in its diversity. In 2015 acts include Sinead O’Connor, Singaporean toy pianist Margaret Leng Tan, Rufus Wainwright, Icelandic instrumentalist Soley and local chanteuse Julia Henning.
The organisation behind the not-for-profit event is immense – with WOMAD’s army of loyal volunteers playing a key role in the events’ success – from setting up the seven stages and global food areas, to programming the Planet Talks sustainability workshops and information sessions.
For Maureen Graney and Andrew Boorman, attending WOMADelaide is an annual ritual. For the last six years the Adelaide couple have volunteered their time at each festival – working in crowd control and, for the past four years, for the Taste of the World program.
In exchange for their time and effort, the couple receive free entry to the four-day festival, which for many long-time attendees is akin to a reunion.
“In Taste of the World you have the musicians coming in and cooking a meal – we have met some amazing performers,” Maureen said.
“The atmosphere and the ambiance at WOMAD is just so special. Botanic Park is such an incredible site, Andrew said.
“We always say it’s like an island, what goes on in that park, we wish the world was like it every day.”
WOMADelaide opens at 4.30pm on Friday 6 March and runs until late Monday 9 March. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Yalumba is a proud partner of WOMADelaide.