Annually, Adelaide’s Botanic Park comes alive with the global sounds of WOMADelaide. Recognized as one of Australia’s premier cultural festivals, WOMADelaide is a celebration that tantalizes all senses, it represents a convergence of diverse musical traditions from across the globe, transforming Adelaide into a vibrant hub of cultural exchange and artistic expression.
The takes place in Botanic Park, between the Adelaide Zoo and Botanic Garden in the city’s north-east. During the event, the 34-hectare park is exclusively reserved. The festival features a central backstage area flanked by three main stages, complemented by four smaller stages – Zoo Stage, Moreton Bay Stage, and two in Speakers Corner. Attendees can also enjoy visual arts, a KidZone, and the Global Village market with over 100 stalls offering food, crafts, and more, alongside several bars. The festival ensures a smoke-free environment around the stages, KidZone, and dining areas.
The event takes place in early March during the renowned “Mad March” period in Adelaide where the city also welcomes the Adelaide Fringe, The Adelaide Arts Festival, the Adelaide Writers’ Week, a celebrated four-day international music festival. Additionally, the Adelaide 500, a famous street circuit motor racing event, adds to the excitement with its evening music concerts.
WOMADelaide, an acronym for World of Music, Arts & Dance, represents a journey through the world’s varied cultural landscapes. The event’s ethos is rooted in bringing together an eclectic mix of music, arts, and dance from different corners of the world, fostering a spirit of unity and understanding.
Over the years, the festival has welcomed illustrious headliners such as Florence + The Machine and Bon Iver, offering a testament to its reputation for hosting world-class acts. In 2011, American songwriter Joanna Newsom performed at the festival, even amidst a freak cricket plague! In 2018, Gratte Ciel’s aerial ballet Place des Anges (Place of Angels) took over the skies above Womadelaide. In 2022, local hero Paul Kelly, indie superstar Courtney Barnett, and Yolngu rapper and 2019 Young Australian of the Year Baker Boy were part of the line-up.
WOMADelaide, a day-only event (with optional weekend tickets and no on-site camping), has seen a remarkable growth in its audience. It started with 30,000 attendees in 1993 and has consistently drawn over 90,000 people annually during its four-day events since 2014. Notably, in 2015, approximately 95,000 attendees were recorded, and this record was surpassed in 2016 when over 95,000 people enjoyed the weekend festivities. In 2023, the event sold out its first three days (Friday to Sunday) for the first time.
In 2008, WOMADelaide received recognition with the FasterLouder Festival Award for Best Sound & Production and the prestigious 2008 Helpmann Award for Best Contemporary Music Festival. (source
WOMADelaide’s commitment to environmental sustainability and cultural diversity makes it a unique and responsible celebration of the arts. The festival’s location on the traditional lands of the Kaurna People adds a layer of cultural significance, honoring the traditional custodians of the land.