Fireworks made from white feathers, free face-painting and hundreds of hip world bands. There’s plenty of reasons to head to the WOMADelaide festival with the family this March.
Adelaide’s biggest festival of music, dance and arts is held at the Botanic Park from the 9th to the 12th of March. The annual festival of multi-culturalism has been delighting music fans since 1992. But there’s so much more to WOMAD than music.
The Fun Bit – what to do
Where do we start? This award-winning festival features more than 500 performers from at least thirty countries.
For a real taste of the international flavour, recommended highlights include an all-American gypsy punk band, a tiny orchestra from Zanzibar and Israeli vocalist Victoria Hanna performing hip-hop tracks with lyrics from ancient Hebrew texts.
An awesome interactive artwork by Gratte Ciel will explode into the Adelaide sky in the form of fireworks made of white feathers.
Workshops and artists’ talks abound, including storytelling and dress-ups for kids from Evelyn Roth in an inflatable, luminescent coral reef.
WOMADelide’s Kidzone features fun and free programs of face painting, costumes, science experiments and even story time with Playschool favourite Justine Clarke.
The Nitty-Gritty – what you need to know
Tickets can be purchased online or onsite at the Hackney Road and Frome Road gates, for a single-entry or multi-day pass. Children under the age of 12 enter completely free when accompanied by a paying adult, with no limit to the number of child tickets per grown-up.
For 13-17-year olds, Youth Passes are available, provided you can flash a student card or proof of age.
Gates are open from 4pm on Friday evening, and from 11am until after midnight every other day.
There are four main toilet facilities and a number of water refill stations spread throughout Botanic Park, which can be located using the pocket guide, website or festival app for smartphones.
Children’s wristbands are found at the entrances and have a special strip for Mums and Dads to write contact numbers in case a child gets lost. There are also baby change facilities at Kidzone and at the Plane Tree Drive toilet block. St John’s Ambulance is also present at the event to help out with emergencies.
The Yums – where to eat
No international festival would be complete without international food. Onsite there are 50 stalls with foodie delights ranging from 5 to 15 bucks. Fancy something more sophisticated? WOMADelaide also has seated dining at a restaurant and five bars for the grown-ups. But there’s always the option of packing a nice picnic and finding a spot in front of a good gig.
Need a break from the action? Try Golden Boy, East of Norman, Froth and Fodder, Sean’s Kitchen, Spaghetti Western, Café Troppo, Est Pizzeria, Burger Theory and last but definitely not least, Jamie’s Italian outside the venue.
The Sleeps – where to stay
Adelaide Caravan Park is a good start if you want to camp.
If you fancy a comfortable bed and a hotel breakfast try Mansions on Pulteney, Ibis Styles Adelaide Grosvenor, Adelaide Meridien Apartments, Mantra on Frome, Majestic Minima Hotel and the Intercontinental Adelaide.
The Ride – how to get there
Public transport is your best bet, with extra designated WOMAD buses running in a circuit covering the CBD and festival site. There is no onsite parking and very limited spots in streets. WOMADelaide will have special signposted bus stops.
For a more active option, hop on a bike. The festival will have hundreds of bike park spots at the gates. Adelaide Free Bikes has twenty hubs around the city including one on Frome Road near a festival entryway. Otherwise, most inner city accommodation is within easy walking distance to the park.
The Extras – what else
The Fringe has a jam-packed program with plenty for tiny-tots to teens such as The Nitwits ‘Fractured Fairytales,’ a storytelling comedy about a mysterious house deep in the woods that won Best Kids Show at both Sydney and Perth fringe festivals.
For more laughs and audience participation, ‘A Fabulous teleportation Experiment’ tells the crazy tale of a mad scientist who needs to find a way back home after getting trapped in time and space.
Read up about more family friendly Events in Adelaide coming up soon.
Check out the WOMADelaide website for more information.