WOMADelaide 2016 | Review

womad 2016

Over the March long weekend the beautiful Botanic Park transformed once again into the stunning venue for WOMADelaide; the pinnacle of Adelaide’s festival season!

With over 30 countries represented across the seven stages WOMAD offers festival goers a diverse and rich array of performances and experiences. The 2016 lineup was spectacular including artists such as Angelique Kidjo & the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, De La Soul, Violent Femmes, St Germain, The Cat Empire and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

The big names shone bright, drawing the crowds and energy into their performances but some of the lesser-known artists left just as big an impression along with the excitement from ‘discovering’ something new.

WOMADelaide is a fantastic four-day event with something to appeal to all ages. Children under 12 were free and there are always some wonderful activities and performances designed specifically with children and families in mind. However, to make the most of the price-tag on adult tickets we found it was best enjoyed with a combination of family-time as well as some kid-free festival fun once the sun sets!

woman 2016

WOMAD with the kids:

Of course the music is just as awe-inspiring for young ears as it is for old. Whether it was from the elevated vantage point from up a tree or in the midst of the crowd dancing this is what WOMAD is all about and seeing the kids embracing the atmosphere and music was food for the soul!

womad kid zone

KidZone is the dedicated world of kid-friendly fun in the heart of WOMADelaide with full days of programmed entertainment. If you took the kids with you then you likely spent a lot of time here. The SA Museum tent had an Ancient Egyptian theme which was a big hit with Master 6 and Master 5 enjoying dressing up as mummies and listening to scientists talk.

womad 2016

The Carclew tent was busy with kids making a variety of different arts and crafts, including Aboriginal dot paintings on canvas and stone. Earlier the kids made a kaleidoscope as well. Other options included kite making and mask making. Tip – be sure to book into a workshop early in the day as they have limited places and the spots book out fast.

womad carclew craft

Sacrilege was a big highlight for kids (as well as many adults) in 2016. The life-sized inflatable Stonehenge was great fun for both grown-ups and kids. 100 people were allowed on at a time for 15 minute slots so the waiting times were never too long.

womad sacrilege

Families had plenty of fun with kids vs adults chasey!

WOMAD 2016 Sacrilege inflatable

WOMAD 2016 Sacrilege jumping

WOMADelaide is a busy festival often reaching the park’s capacity of 25,000 people. During the day it has a beautiful family-friendly vibe about it and even into the night many families are still around. However it is dark, busy and has a much more party-vibe into the nights so heading off once it gets into the evening is a good option for a lot of families.

womad 2016

WOMAD without the kids:

  • The big acts are always on late; The Cat Empire, De La Soul, St Germein and Asian Dub Foundation all played well into the night with so much energy and festival atmosphere… It was worth having some ‘chill out time’ under a tree to replenish the energy levels  – the big concerts were worth staying up late for!
  • The Global Village is always bursting with amazing cuisines from various food trucks and restaurant stalls. Gone are the days when ‘festival food’ meant a baked potato with questionable salad on top. It was impossible to get around to trying everything on offer this year. I found it hard to walk passed Pawarna’s stall and indulge in several serves of their Afghan dumplings!
  • After the big concerts the Novatech stage was the place to be to continue the festival into the wee hours. DJs and live music played each night, as they do every year, turning the night into a world-music club in the middle of the forest. Perfect (if your feet could handle anymore dancing!)

womad 2016

2016 Highlights:

  • Music: The Cat Empire for energy and dancing! Ladysmith Black Mambas to feed your soul! The Jerry Cans for dancing and singing along.
  • Food: Pawarna Afgahn Restaurant. Organic Doughnuts. Hanuman Thai, Nonya, Indian. Fresh coconuts.
  • Activities: Sacrilege, life-sized inflatable Stonehenge.

womad 2016

Top Tips for enjoying future WOMADelaide Festivals:

  • If you’re spending the whole day at WOMAD get a shady spot under a tree as soon as you get there. Many people safely leave picnic blankets, eskies etc at a central spot for them to come back to for some rest and refuelling. Shady spots are like gold in the hot midday sun so stake one out while you can! It’s also a good base for the kids to know where to return if they go wandering to climb a tree or you are going backwards and forwards from getting food or seeing different acts.
  • Get cash out before you arrive – there are ATMs available but they come with a $3.50 fee.
  • There are drinking water re-filling stations if you need to fill up your water bottle.
  • When there is a major attraction like Sacrilege this year, with a line-up, it’s best to do them early in the day – often the lines get longer during the day.
  • Make the most of your day/night pass by getting there early! The hours seem to fly by quickly at WOMAD, especially if you fit in some relaxing, drinking, eating, tree climbing, KidZone activities and line-ups in between seeing artists.



At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

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