WOMADelaide 2019 – All the Highlights We Loved This Year

WOMAdelaide 2019 – All the highlights we loved this year and why it’s a world class festival.

As it does every year, the 2019 WOMADelaide event exceeded all expectations and entertained both young and old over the March long weekend. With perfect weather and set amongst the beautiful surroundings of Botanic Park, it was hard to pick our favourite acts and performers, but our team of reviewers have put together a fabulous list of highlights for you to look back on.  If you haven’t yet been fortunate enough to spend a day at WOMAD, be sure to put it on your wish list of events for next year.

Over 90,000 local, interstate and international guests were treated to a global feast for the senses, as they danced, talked and sang their way through four idyllic days at WOMADelaide from 8 – 11 March 2019.

Here are some of Play & Go’s highlights from WOMADelaide 2019:

Angelique Kidjo:

Angelique Kidjo, Queen of African music, graced the stage and wowed audiences on the Sunday night. An inspirational woman with so much heart and soul; an advocate for equality; and campaigner of rights for African women and girls in health and education. Her unique fusion of music with upbeat African vibes and her re-imagining of The Talking Heads album ‘Remain in Light’ made for a sensational evening. Angelique is so generous with her fans – braving the packed crowd to dance in the audience amongst us, and later greeting all the eager ones along the fence with hand touches. ‘Once in a Lifetime’ and ‘Burning Down the House’ were huge crowd favourites with the audience, along with ‘Afrika’ and ‘Batonga’.

Angelique Kidjo WOMADelaide

Angelique Kidjo WOMADelaide

Ephemeral City:

By Olivier Grossetête {France}
A tower built with imagination, cardboard boxes, tape, and people power. Watch our video below of how, with everyone’s help, another layer of boxes gets added to the tower.
This was built taller and taller during the day. Our second video below shows how it all came down in the end. So much interactive fun for all ages.

Ephemeral Tower WOMADelaide

Here’s how the Ephemeral Tower was built:

And here’s how it looked when it was taken down:

The Colour of Time:

Oh, we so looked forward to this. Having experienced this before when Artonik last visited WOMAD four years ago, we knew we were in for a treat. This joyous procession that is a homage to India’s Holi Festival, is an amazing celebration of dance, music and colour, and embodies the wonderful inclusive spirit of WOMAD.


The KidZone area with all activities free for kids, had plenty to entertain the younger ones.

Nature Play Structures:

Climbing Tree always come up with the most amazing nature play structures to ignite imagination with the kids.

Build your own Teepee:

Our boys could have spent hours building their own teepees. We couldn’t get them to leave.

Evelyn Roth’s Nylon Zoo:

Evelyn Roth’s Nylon Zoo is an old favourite that has not lost its appeal. Even some of our older children who we thought might think they’re too old for this, still relished in the storytime and dress up fun. It is still such a gorgeous delight watching the kids parade around in costume. Evelyn Roth (dressed as a chicken) still shows just as much enthusiasm even at an 80+ year old. The Nylon Zoo has appeared at 24 WOMADelaide festivals. Thanks to Catherine Leo Photography for her photos above and below.

The Leafies:

These amazing plant sculptures by Le Phun (France), made from autumn leaves in human form, were a delight to spot in all different places. If you thought to yourself, I’m sure I didn’t see that one there yesterday, you were probably right. They did pop up and migrate around Botanic Park during the festival. After WOMADelaide you can still see some of them around the City of Adelaide.

The Leafies WOMADelaide

Kiddo Silent Disco:

A new activity in the KidZone this year, the Silent Disco was fun for many families wanting to have their own little music experience.

The Correspondents (UK):

The Correspondents were a huge hit and especially when they filled in last minute to do an extra performance Monday night. So many fans who couldn’t get enough the first time, or missed it because they clashed with another performance, had their wishes granted. Oh my goodness this guy can move.

the correspondents womadelaide

Annabel Crabb & Natasha Stott-Despoja AM

Annabel Crabb & Natasha Stott-Despoja AM, International Women’s Day address was a great way to start the festival on Friday evening. Very eye opening but ultimately optimistic. It was a joy to hear such strong, intelligent, witty and graceful women talk.

Compagnie BiLBoBaSSo “Amor”

This unique performance was brilliant. The kids were also mesmerised by the dancing with fire by this couple.

Fatoumata Diawara:

Fatoumata Diawara was beautiful and definitely Friday nights highlight.


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Some of the other wonderful acts we saw but didn’t manage to get a pic of:

The John Butler Trio had everyone enthralled on the Saturday night. Always a passionate performance, and their plea for conservation of our seas did not go unheard (although we did have to block ears for all the four letter words with our kids in the audience).

Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir was beautiful and perfect to sit down and chill to.

LaBrassaBanda were So. Much. Fun. Absolutely loved them. They got the whole place dancing.

Ukelele Death Squad had many people gathered for a huge distance around the smaller stage. They were a huge hit with the crowd with their lively upbeat tunes and hard to believe they were just using ukeleles.

Circus Abyssinia – we saw these amazing talents at The Fringe so it was a treat to see them perform here as well. Their African disco funk music was perfect for the WOMADelaide atmosphere.

What a wonderful long weekend line-up of music, arts and culture – together with such perfect weather as well, WOMADelaide totally excelled this year. There is so much on offer that it’s pretty much impossible to see everything in a day. That’s why those who have gone before will often try to go for at least 3 days. This is a world class festival, right in the middle of our fair city, which thousands travel from all over the country, and from around the world to be here. If you’ve never been before, then make sure to put it on the bucket list to do at least once in your life.


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.

As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post and our review is done completely independently. 


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