WOMADelaide 2015 to thrill the senses

Dec 02, 2014
UK's Architects of Air will present their extaordinary luminarium 'Exxopolis' exclusively for WOMADelaide. Photo Lamar Francois

UK's Architects of Air will present their extaordinary luminarium 'Exxopolis' exclusively for WOMADelaide. Photo Lamar Francois

WOMADelaide 2015 promises to be both a quintessential and a transformative event with return visits from three of world music’s greats and the addition of two “colourcentric” experiences, according to festival director Ian Scobie.

“For me the biggest highlight is the return of Youssou N’Dour who performed at our first WOMADelaide in 1992,” he said.

“He’s an extraordinary musician. He’s in top form and will be playing with a fantastic 20 piece band from Senegal.

“It will be a powerful performance and something you’d call a quintessentially WOMADelaide experience.”

Scobie also mentions Sinead O’Connor, Rufus Wainright, The Gloaming and Abdullah Ibrahim who are also returning to WOMADelaide and “not to be missed”.

Last year WOMADelaide had ‘Slow Dancing’ to provide the visual wow factor, but for WOMADelaide 2015 there are two defining experiences planned – Exxopolis and Artonik’s ‘Colour of Time’.

“At WOMADelaide we have a tradition of having some kind of transformative event or surprising element in trying to create a festival memory for people,” said Scobie. “But we’ve never had something of the scale of Exxopolis before.”

Exxopolis is a giant inflatable installation piece from UK’s Architects of Air resembling an Islamic mosque from the outside and a Gothic cathedral on the inside. By day, its maze of winding paths and soaring 10-metre domes will be lit with dancing hues and saturated colours.

“It’s breathtaking and meditative,” said Scobie. “It’s an experience that people will talk about in future years.”

French outdoor performance company Artonik’s will open and close the festival with their piece called ‘Colour of Time’.

“It’s a choreographed procession, a bit like and Indian Holi festival where they throw coloured gulal powder in the air,” said Scobie. “The Colour Run comes from the same idea.”

‘Colour of Time’ will also be held each evening as the sun sets.

Scobie has held the position of festival director for the past five years, but has worked on each of the past 22 festivals in different capacities since its inception.

“The main change is in its growth,” he says. “In 1992 attendance numbers were 10,000 to 12,000, but now we’re up to 90,000. The number of stages has also grown from three to seven and the length of the festival has increased from three days to four.

“We have also seen a big increase in interstate visitation, with well over 50 per cent of the crowd now coming from outside of Adelaide.

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“The combination of WOMADelaide, the Festival and the Fringe over a long weekend is a great time for people to come to Adelaide to catch up with friends and family. There is a strong sense of reunion.

“And compared with the early days, the audience is broader and much more sophisticated and open minded. Audiences come expecting to make discoveries.”

WOMADelaide will be held in Adelaide’s Botanic Park from March 6-9, 2015. The full program list can be seen below.

WOMADelaide 2015 Full Program

• Abdullah Ibrahim Quartet (RSA)
• Astronomy Class (AUS)
• Balkan Beat Box (BROOKLYN/TEL AVIV)
• Bombino (NGR)
• Buffy Sainte-Marie (CAN)
• Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (ITA)
• Charlie Musselwhite (USA)
• Che Sudaka (ARG/COL/ESP)
• Criolo (BRA)
• C.W. Stoneking (AUS)
• Depedro (ESP)
• DJ Spooky (USA)
• Emma Donovan and The PutBacks (AUS)
• Emma Swift and Robyn Hitchcock (AUS/UK)
• Fanfare Ciocarlia (ROM)
• First Aid Kit (SWE)
• Flavia Coelho (BRA)
• FourPlay (Aus)
• Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys (CAN)
• Gruff Rhys (WALES)
• Hi-Tops Brass Band feat. Shazza T (AUS)
• Invisible Cities (CAN)
• Jambinai (KOR)
• Julia Henning (AUS)
• Jupiter and Okwess International (COD)
• Kamerunga (AUS)
• Lake Street Dive (USA)
• Live Live Cinema (NZ)
• Luzmila Carpio (BOL)
• Malawi Mouse Boys (MAW)
• Margaret Leng Tan (SNG/USA)
• Marrugeku Theatre Company; Cut The Sky (AUS)
• Max Savage and the False Idols (AUS)
• Meeta Pandit (IND)
• Mista Savona with special guest Prince Alla & Randy Valentine (AUS/JAM)
• Mr Culbuto (UK) – SITE ARTIST
• Myele Manzanza and The Eclectic (NZ)
• Neneh Cherry with RocketNumberNine+ (UK/SWE)
• Nick Waterhouse (USA)
• Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club (CUB)
• Osadia (SPN) – SITE ARTIST
• Public Service Broadcasting (UK)
• Ramzi Aburedwan (PLE)
• Robert Forster with Jherek Bischoff and the Zephyr Quartet (AUS/USA)
• Rufus Wainwright (USA)
• Sharon Van Etten (USA)
• Sinead O’Connor (IRE)
• Soil and ‘Pimp’ Sessions (JAP)
• Sóley (ISL)
• Tara Tiba (AUS/IRN)
• The Gloaming (IRE)
• The Painted Ladies (AUS)
• Theo Parrish (USA)
• Timberwolf (AUS)
• Tjintu Desert Band (AUS)
• Toumani & Sidiki Diabate (MLI)
• Typhoon (AUS/CHI)
• Willow Beats (AUS)
• Youssou N’Dour (SEN)

The Planet Talks

• Sylvia Earle (USA)
• Vandana Shiva (IND)
• Simran Sethi (USA)
• Bob Brown (AUS)
• Paul Willis (AUS)
• Rod Quantock (AUS)
• Dr Charlie Veron (AUS)
• Prof Paul Sutton (AUS)
• Prof Fiona Stanley (AUS)
• Tim Jarvis (AUS)
• Cecilia Woolford (AUS)
• Hannah Gadsby (AUS)
• Emily Johnston (AUS)
• Prof Bronwyn Gillanders (AUS)


• Andy Griffiths (AUS)
• Carclew Youth Arts workshops
• Dreamstore
• Evelyn Roth’s Nylon Zoo
• SA Museum Explorers Tent



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