The Plus Ones Guide to your Wonderful WOMADelaide Weekend!

WOMADelaide continues to be the epicentre of Adelaide’s fabulous summer festivities, drawing in a diverse array of guests, fulfilling the festival’s name with music, arts and dance. The Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla has played host to the festival for decades, with its iconic Moreton Bay figs providing a welcoming haven for festival attendees seeking shade and a place to recoup before the next act.

Black Jesus Experience (photo credit: Bram Lammers)

Every year, WOMADelaide showcases a huge abundance of talent from the world over, alongside a wealth of homegrown stars. Among the lineup, you’ll find both familiar faces, names and some rising talents. The program hosts a veritable A to Z, from A.Girl to Ziggy Ramo. We at The Plus Ones will help you navigate the days, having handpicked a selection of must-see bands and acts, also presented in the fairest of fashions; alphabetical order.

Line Up – Music and Dance

Baaba Maal (Senegal) – Baaba Maal always delivers a mesmerizing performance, captivating the audience with his soulful vocals and infectious energy. Blending traditional Senegalese rhythms with contemporary influences he creates an electrifying atmosphere, leaving crowds spellbound and entranced. A true highlight of the festival!

Black Jesus Experience (Australia) – The Black Jesus Experience bring an electrifying fusion of jazz, funk, and Afrobeat to the stage at WOMADelaide. Their signature catchy rhythms and dynamic performances leave crowds grooving from start to finish. The powerful messages of unity and social justice woven into their music leaves lasting impressions on all who witness their sets. An unforgettable experience that will truly embody the spirit of the festival.

Dakha Brakha (Ukraine) – DakhaBrakha’s initial WOMADelaide show was 2011. Thirteen years later, they return. With performances that take audiences on ethereal journeys, their haunting harmonies, mesmerizing melodies, and unique blend of Ukrainian folk with contemporary sounds create an otherworldly atmosphere. The group’s theatrical presence and vibrant costumes adds to the captivating experience.

Ju Ben (photo credit: Ju Ben (Press Image))

Ju Ben (Fiji) – With his soulful vocals and masterful guitar playing, Ju Ben effortlessly enthrals the audience from the moment he takes the stage. His songs, filled with emotion and depth, resonate with listeners on a profound level. Benju’s set is a sure-fire highlight of the festival, showcasing his undeniable talent.

Mari Kalkun (Estonia) – Mari Kalkun’s sets are fascinating. An exploration of Estonian folk music with haunting vocals and masterful instrumentation, Mari transports the audience to her homeland’s landscapes and stories. With a delicate yet powerful presence on stage, festival goers are taken into a world of tradition and folklore through cultural richness and musical brilliance.

Morcheeba (photo credit: Michelle Hayward)

Morcheeba (UK) – Morcheeba’s performances are renowned for being mesmerizing. A fusion of their pioneering trip-hop sound, soul, and electronic beats will have the crowd dancing all night like the millennium is just around the corner! Skye Edwards’ beautiful voice and Ross Godfrey’s intricate guitar, will deliver familiar classics like “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day” alongside new material, gaining new fans along the way. Come join the fun!

Pongo (Angola/Portugal) – Pongo’s performances promise to be a high-energy explosion of Afro-infused beats and powerful vocals that have the crowd dancing ‘til they drop. Her dynamic stage presence and vibrant personality make for an unforgettable experience, solidifying her status as a rising star in the global music scene. Come and see for yourself!

Tio (Vanuatu) – Tío’s sets are a vibrant fusion of Latin rhythms that have the audience dancing throughout. With tight musicianship and dynamic energy, they deliver standout performances and celebrate musical diversity. This will be the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Wildfire Manwurrk (photo credit: Renae Saxby)

Wildfire Manwurrk (Australia) – Hailing from the northern most Northern Territory (Arnhem Land), there is an 80s Aussie Rock nostalgia to these guys, while singing in language. Theirs is a fabulously honest performance that does not shy away from their culture. Guaranteed to make you rock on and rock out. Bring your mullet and your dancing feet!

Ziggy Marley (Jamaica) – How many festivals have two Ziggys?! This is the other Ziggy! Ziggy may have followed in his father’s footsteps, but he has truly trodden a path of his own. A phenomenal career is as inspirational as the music he makes. This is an Australian-only show, and the perfect way to round out the festival. I am smiling already.

Around the Park

Another of WOMADelaide’s unique charms is stumbling upon the wandering acts, adding an element of spontaneity and chance to the festival experience. This year, there’s a wide array of remarkable offerings, from acts you might literally bump into while strolling through the festival grounds to others that will captivate and draw you in with their magnetic or hypnotic presence.

CORPUS – Les Moutons (photo credit: Gary Mulcahey)

CORPUS –Les Moutons (Canada) – Bringing a delightful blend of physical theatre and interactive storytelling CORPUS – les Moutons bring a flock of whimsical sheep to life in the park. With impressively imaginative choreography and playful antics, they charm audiences of all ages, creating moments of laughter and wonder that make it a captivating festival highlight.

Handspring Puppet Company (South Africa) – Handspring are already well known for large and life size puppets (including the horses in the stage adaptation of War Horse). This time, with puppets the size of elephants, this is literally not to be missed! Or forgotten…

RoZéO – Gratte Ciel (photo credit: Francis Beddok)

RoZéO – Gratte Ciel  – Gratte Ciel’s ‘Palace de Anges’ is well remembered from last year (and 2018). This year, the choreographers make a breathtaking return, dancing atop 10-meter poles that reach toward the sky. Three aerialists gracefully swirl and swoop amidst the treetops, accompanied by an original score from composer and musician Pauline Fremeau, evoking the enchantment of ancient sprites soaring on the breeze.

The Planet Talks

Once again, WOMADelaide presents a wonderfully curated series of talks throughout the long weekend. These discussions cover a wide range of diverse, timely, and significant topics. This year, expertly assembled panels will delve into thought-provoking and pressing issues, including:

The Future of Activism with Bob Brown, Elaine Johnson and Roj Amedi, facilitated by Noah Schultz-Byard, Wild Cities with Darryl Jones, Sheryn Pitman and Sarah Bekessy, facilitated by Chris Daniels and Deep Listening to Nature with Andrew Skeoch, Simone Slattery and Anthony Albrecht, facilitated by Shannon Evenden.

See line-up for details of individual speakers.


Workshops at WOMADelaide showcase the boundless generosity of the artists, extending beyond performances and even the culinary delights at Taste the World. Many artists also offer dedicated workshops, providing an opportunity for attendees to delve deeper into their craft and connect with their favourite performers on a more personal level. Participating in these workshops guarantees the creation of unforgettable WOMADelaide memories.

The workshop offerings are as diverse as the artists themselves, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Highlights over the weekend include:

Photo Credit: The Cambodian Space Project

With such a wide range of options, the only question is: which one(s) will you choose to participate in? Refer to the full timetable to plan your WOMADelaide experience accordingly.

Taste the World

WOMADelaide continues its beloved tradition of hosting Taste the World event. A unique feature that sets WOMAD festivals apart. Artists from the festival come together to share their stories and cook up recipes for a tent full of eager festival-goers. Despite its simplicity in concept, the result is a generous and intimate experience that resonates deeply with attendees. This cherished element remains one of the highlights of the festival, offering a delightful blend of culture, culinary arts, and community connection. This is one of my favourites, every year!

Al-Qasar (photo credit: Philippe Martin)


As ever, the KidZone at WOMADelaide is a vibrant hub catering specifically to young festival attendees. With an extensive array of activities designed to match the energy and interests of every child, there’s something for everyone. From interactive workshops to community-building music sessions with First Nation Weavers (Ku Arts and Iwiri Arts), kids can immerse themselves in a world of creativity.

For those seeking adventure, there’s the opportunity to climb trees or groove at a Silent Disco led by the ever-effervescent and entertaining Guru Dudu. Alternatively, young bookworms can cozy up in Adelaide City Library’s book nook or enjoy story time with Sonya Rankine.

Ku Arts (photo credit: Jack Fenby)

With so much to explore, from artists and performances to stalls, workshops, and food vendors, WOMADelaide truly lives up to its acronym as a World of Music, Arts, and Dance. Come join the excitement—I’ll see you there!

Duncan was the most illegible bachelor in town, but times have changed, although he is still a purveyor of Melbourne’s (and Adelaide’s) surprising, quirky, and cultural events.

WOMADelaide runs from March 8-11 2024 at the Botanic Park, Adelaide. With single day/night or multi-day passes you can purchase tickets now.
The venue is accessible.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones are invited guests of WOMADelaide.