WOMADelaide – World of Music and Dance Adelaide, for the uninitiated – has only recently turned into an annual event; and what a turnout, even compared to the huge crowds that flocked to Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens last year. As me and my uncle (he played Annie Liebovitz to my Hunter S. on this intrepid adventure) picked up our press passes on the opening night we overheard a couple complaining that they couldn’t buy a weekend pass. They’d driven all the way from Canberra, they said, and were flabbergasted that the weekend passes – not the more expensive daily passes, mind you – were sold out. Which serves to show that the people of Adelaide aren’t slow: they know a hot ticket when it’s selling. And that Canberra really is the cultural backwater of state capital cities, and deserves to be the butt of more jokes.

WOMADelaide has a laid-back family environment, as opposed to all the headlining summer festivals these days that are sponsored by sugar-caffeine-complex energy drinks – and they wonder why the kids go crazy. On that note, I should apologise that some acts aren’t represented in this review; I was probably digging into a curry, having a nap in the shade of a Moreton Bay fig tree, or else being held hostage by a well-dressed troupe of hippy children fluttering around the festival with their butterfly painted faces – no doubt exploiting the do-good-feel-good vibe and robbing strangers of their organic candy.

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