Sydney might have the Mardi Gras, but Adelaide has its own festival of music, dance, colour, light, and love in the annual WOMADelaide Festival.
It’s always exciting to head to the gorgeous Botanic Park to be amazed by the sumptuous buffet spread of international music, dance, food and experiences. It’s never disappointing and always something that makes you appreciate it with wide-eyed wonder. Hitting the field after a few ‘Opening Night Party’ drinks, Glam Adelaide came across perhaps the most visually amazing experience in ‘Artonik-The Colour Of Time” (France/India) It’s like the Pied Piper meets India’s Holi festival, where audience members follow the choreographed band and dancers along a route in the park and ending in an amazing eruption of multicolour gulal powder being thrown up in the air, on people, everywhere! When you have a few hundred participants, it’s truly spectacular and amazingly liberating. The music and performance is entrancing and sets the mood ever so well.
Our first musical act was Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club (Cuba) performing one of their ‘Sessions’ on the main stage. The Cuban maestro’s were typically brilliant ad captivating, playing to a large opening night crowd and setting the pace for excellence.
Immediately afterwards, Fanfare Ciocarlia (Romania) were amazing with their Balkan Gypsy brass orchestra that took things to the next level of awesome, the fast paced brass infusion forcing everyone within earshot to dance. It was Opening night at WOMADelaide and time to party according to these guys! The crowd kindly obliged.
Over on the Zoo Stage Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys (Canada) were having a hoedown with their authentic country tunes and frenetic fiddling whilst on the main stage, Mr Rufus Wainwright (Canada) held the audience in the palm of his hands with his musical genius and chic style.
A quick spring over to Stage 7, and we came across Public Service Broadcasting. (UK) Very innovative and retro, it’s two guys sampling music to old public broadcasts and archive footage. It’s unique and quite good, and coincidentally they screened the first moon landing with a killer soundtrack they created on a full moon night.
The final act for us on opening night was six –piece Soil & “Pimp” Sessions, from Japan. If James Brown were alive, he’d be ‘workin’ up a cold sweat’ to these cool cats that know how to funk!
It’s only the first day, and we can’t wait for tomorrow to come so we can do it all over again. Don’t stay home for watch the TV, get on down to Botanic Park and experience some of the most amazing cultural experiences you can get. It’s very family friendly and kids under 12 are free. There’s truly something for everybody at WOMADelaide, so step out and drop in!
By Darren Hassan
https://www.womadelaide.com.au WOMADelaide Festival. 6-9 March 2015. Botanic Park Adelaide