WOMADelaide Celebrates its 30th Year in 2022 – Review
by Sharon Harrington & Carla Caruso
For four days over the March long weekend, Adelaide’s stunning Botanic Park comes alive for the iconic open-air festival, WOMADdelaide.
We loved attending this atmospheric outdoor event of eclectic live music, delicious international cuisine and fun activities for the kids.
It’s a great opportunity to kick back with a picnic on a warm Autumn day and listen to some amazing music under the towering Moreton Bay Figs and other beautiful trees.
For those with children, the Kidzone is the place to be if they need a break from the music. It’s a dedicated space for under 12’s where they can relax, play amongst the beautiful fig trees or get involved with all the activities on offer.
We asked our little five to eight year olds for their highlights of the Kidzone and here they are:
Mirror Mirror by Patch Theatre
Created by Patch Theatre for WOMADelaide, Mirror Mirror was an absolute winner with my little five and six year olds. I literally could not drag them out of there! It’s a kaleidoscope of mirrored surfaces, intended to take you into the heart of a disco ball. It was very cool – I want the adult version there next year!
Story Time with Eddie Betts
In between climbing trees in the KidZone, Carla’s boys enjoyed catching ‘story time’ with ex-footballer Eddie Betts.
Eddie is a proud Wirangu/Kokatha/Guburn man and a charismatic guy. Amazingly, when he entered the AFL at age 17, he was unable to read or write. His experience with literacy challenges has given him a deep understanding of the disadvantage this can cause youth. Now he’s penned a fun, educational series, Eddie’s Lil’ Homies, which encourages acceptance and equality, and celebrates Aboriginal culture.
The boys loved getting a photo and autographs with him after the reading.
Evlyn Roth’s Nylon Zoo
My little ones were absolutely delighted with the Nylon Zoo. The children dress up as colourful butterflies, birds, bats and dinosaurs then make their way through the trees, Mirror Mirror and back to the Nylon Zoo. The kids had a ball and it’s a gorgeous sight for parents to behold. After the parade, kids are invited to story time, which is set inside Evelyn’s Spirit House, a giant rainbow coloured native-animal inflatable. It’s a very special experience.
South Australian Museum
All sorts of craft activities were on offer from the South Australian Museum. Mine opted to make hand held drums, made from paper plates, string, gum nuts and sticks. We were also treated to a drum performance during craft time.
Climbing Tree’s Nature Village
Nature Playground specialists, Climbing Tree, are the creators of some of Adelaide’s favourite playgrounds. Think Morialta Conservation Park, Bowman Park and Mitcham Reserve to name a few. The team have brought a sprinkling of that joy to WOMAD with kid’s sized woven huts, cubby building and gorgeous feature pieces. My littlies loved playing in the little woven huts, and watching the world go by through the peep-holes.
Fig Tree Exploring
Botanic Park is a brilliant place for playing amongst the trees. Kids are drawn to the massive buttress roots of the fig trees and are happy playing on them for ages!
Sunday Afternoon’s Music Highlights:
We didn’t know many of the bands playing that Sunday afternoon, so it was a great chance to discover some new sounds.
Ausecuma Beats set the stage alight with their energetic West African drum beats and rhythms. For some reason African drumbeats say WOMADelaide to me, so this was a great way to start off the day!
Balkan Ethno Orchestra were an incredible find. This group of powerful female vocalists sung modernised folk tunes of “heartbreak, woe and odes to the rich landscape of the region”. Their music was spellbinding and hauntingly beautiful. Check them out if they visit again next year!
The Haiku Hands dance workshop was so much fun! I saw Haiku Hands perform in support of Bloc Party a few years ago, and was blown away by how awesome they were. They are a very cool female trio with influences from hip-hop, dance, electronic and pop. They have such a great energy and sound. Their dance workshop drew a large crowd of all ages and the group got everyone in the crowd up and learning their funky dance moves.
YID! are a 23-piece ensemble that blend traditional folkloric Yiddish tunes with elements of dance, cabaret, jazz, indie pop and big band sounds. They were upbeat and a joy to listen to.
Cathedral of Lights
This magnificent cathedral-shaped tunnel is illuminated by tens of thousands of LED light globes. This is one to see at night time (see our video below), but was still worth a look in the day time.
An array of international cuisines was on offer. We opted for some tasty Vietnamese Bao Buns, Turkish omelettes, gozlemes, yiros and some simple chips for the kids. The honey cinnamon Lukomades (Greek donuts) were amazing as was the coconut raspberry gelato.
WOMADelaide is a fantastic music festival to take kids to as it is so family friendly. The setting is gorgeous, the vibes are chill and there’s always some amazing music to listen to. Catch it each year over the March long weekend in Adelaide.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the WOMADelaide website.
All photos by Sharon Harrington & James Elsby for Play & Go Adelaide 2022
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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